Summer garden ideas to help you get the best from your space

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  • If you're enjoying the warm weather, you'll love these fab summer garden ideas. From furniture to lighting via croquet and ping pong - we've got it all covered

    One of the best things about summer is being able to spend more time out in the garden. Whether you’ve got a large expanse of lawn, a small oasis or a compact courtyard, get it ready for easy summer living, casual barbecues and busy summer garden parties, with our easy seasonal updates for summer gardens and patios.

    Create a spot in your summer garden that’s perfect for sitting out in and enjoying the great British weather, simply by introducing a new piece of garden furniture; a striped deckchair, a bright bench, or rattan love seat – it’s easy. Alternatively, you might like to transform your plot into an English country summer garden fit for intimate tea parties with friends. Whether you’ll be sunning yourself alone or hosting a big gathering, read on for all the summer garden tips you need.

    1. Paint your furniture in bright colours

    Summer garden ideas painted furniture

    Image credit: David Giles

    What better way to add a summer vibe to your garden than with hot pink, vibrant orange or even bright aqua? Old furniture will take on a fabulous new look with a coat of paint – make sure you use a formula designed for outdoor use. A mixture of colours, plus a natural wood finish, creates a relaxed feel on this pretty French-style terrace.

    Get the look
    Buy now: similar outdoor furniture paint, Cuprinol Garden Shades at Homebase

    2. Take advantage of a large patio

    Summer garden ideas patio

    Image credit: Mark Luscombe-Whyte

    If you’re feeling ready for a bigger project, consider working a beautifully paved patio into your garden scheme. On warm summer days, you can fling open your patio doors (bi-folding preferably) and step out onto a stunning tiled area, ready for a relaxing time spent in your own wonderful outdoor haven. Planning a big summer garden party? Take your cue from this gorgeous outdoor oasis – comfy chairs, a relaxing swing seat and a practical path that links up the rest of the garden (no heels in the grass!) Perfect.

    Get the look
    Buy now: similar swing seat, Wayfair

    3. Add cosy blankets and cushions

    Summer garden ideas blankets and cushions

    Image credit: Alun Callender

    Layer up chairs with throws and cushions – they’re ideal for adding a bit of colour and for keeping warm when the sun goes down.

    Get the look
    Buy now: similar cushions, Dunelm
    Buy now: similar throw, Laura Ashley

    4. Shine bright at night

    Summer garden ideas water feature garden lighting

    Image credit: Mark Bolton

    A garden is the ideal place to escape the stresses and strains of life. Create an atmospheric party space with a statement water feature and clever garden lighting. Adding light and heat will create an oasis of comfortable calm surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature. A large table and plenty of potted plants make the patio feel welcoming.

    Get the look
    Buy now: table, The Heveningham Collection

    5. Go traditional

    Summer garden ideas traditional furniture

    Image credit: Brent Darby

    Classic furniture is perfect for adding a touch of charm to a simple patio. Wooden furniture is always a good choice in the garden, where its natural tones harmonise with the surroundings. Layer up cushions, table linen and napkins to make the look feel warm and inviting.

    Get the look
    Buy now:
    similar table linen, Zara Home

    6. 0Make a small space fabulous

    Summer garden ideas bistro table and chairs

    Image credit: David Still

    Even if you’ve only got a tiny terrace, you can still create an amazing space. Bistro tables are perfect for compact gardens – add some potted plants for colour and greenery and, if possible, squeeze in a few flowerbeds.

    Get the look
    Buy now:
    similar bistro table, Shabby Store

    Garden furniture looking a bit worse for wear? READ: How to clean and restore garden furniture

    7. Have fun with a ping pong table

    Summer garden ideas ping pong

    Image credit: Simon Scarboro

    For the ultimate party pad, create an entertainment space outside. Here a ping pong table takes pride of place on the slate patio.

    Get the look
    Buy now: similar ping pong table, Sports Direct

    8. Get architectural with potted plants

    Summer garden ideas decking with potted plants

    Image credit: James Merrell

    If you’re having an informal get-together, a relaxed deck filled with large potted plants and a bench works well – great for an evening drinks party.

    Get the look
    Buy now: seating fabric, House of Hackney

    9. Create a comfy corner

    Summer garden ideas rattan corner sofa

    Image credit: Robert Sanderson

    Swap traditional recliners for a large garden seating area with an outdoor corner sofa. This decking has been warmed up with clever planting and colourful cushions – perfect for a relaxed afternoon with friends.

    Get the look
    Buy now: similar cushions, Anthropologie

    Want more decking inspiration? READ: Garden decking ideas you have to see

    10. Take your furniture outside

    Summer garden ideas shabby chic

    Image credit: Trevor Richards

    Bringing indoor furniture outdoors will add an air of sophistication to your garden party. We think this mismatched French-style selection works a treat.

    Get the look
    Buy now: similar chairs, The French Bedroom Company

    Buy now: similar table and bench set, Little Tree Furniture

    11. Hang some festive bunting

    Summer garden ideas bunting

    Image credit: Simon Scarboro

    No garden party would be complete without bunting. Setting two or three key colours against an all-white scheme gives it a fresh, contemporary edge.

    Get the look
    Buy now: similar bunting, Etsy
    Buy now: similar vintage straws,
    Party Parade

    12. Get into the party spirit

    Summer garden ideas drinks tray

    Image credit: Simon Scarboro

    A deep-bottomed tray will help you transport drinks from kitchen to guest without fear of spillage! Choose a pretty pastel colour for a festive summery touch.

    Get the look
    Buy now:
    similar tray, Ella’s Kitchen Company

    13. Play a game of croquet

    Summer garden ideas croquet

    Image credit: Dan Duchars

    Conversation drying up and in need of entertainment? Challenge your guests to a round or two of croquet. Just make sure you’ve mowed the lawn first…

    Get the look
    Buy now: similar croquet set,

    14. Keep little ones occupied

    Summer garden ideas wigwam teepee

    Image credit: Spike Powell

    Put up a wigwam and pint-sized party-goers will camp out in it all day – leaving the grown-ups to enjoy their own fun.

    Get the look
    Buy now:
    similar wigwam, All Sorts Shop

    15. Light the way

    Summer garden ideas garden lighting lanterns

    Image credit: Paul Raeside

    Paper lanterns add instant atmosphere after dark. Use them to line the garden path, guiding your guests to and from the house.

    Get the look
    Buy now:
    similar paper lanterns, Not On The High Street

    Looking for more ways to light up your garden? READ: Garden lighting ideas

    16. Be bold with print

    Summer garden ideas ikat prints

    Image credit: Tom Leighton

    Turn a small garden space into an exotic party area by hanging wallpaper from a fence or tree – this stunning ikat design evokes images of a Morrocan riad. If your space is uncovered, it might be best to bring the paper in at night, incase of rain.

    Get the look
    Buy now:
    wallpaper, Ornamenta
    Buy now: padded seat, Jim Thompson

    17. Find a place for everything

    Summer garden ideas storage

    Image credit: Simon Scarboro

    Planning a garden party? Hang crates and boxes from a tree for practical food and drinks storage that will keep everything off the ground.

    Get the look
    Buy now: similar crates, Love Tiki

    18. Recline in a hammock

    Summer garden ideas hammock

    Image credit: Dan Duchars

    Use natural fabrics for a casual look that will keep you cool. Here a pretty parasol provides plenty of shade, while soft chair covers and a luxurious hammock are great for relaxing.

    Get the look
    Buy now:
    similar hammock, Hammockology

    19. Put flowers centre stage

    Summer garden ideas hanging baskets

    Image credit: Simon Scarboro

    This gorgeous garden scene with fresh flowers, hanging baskets and potted plants is easy to recreate at home.

    Get the look
    Buy now:
    table runner, RE

    20. Soak up some rays on a deckchair

    Summer garden ideas deckchair

    Image credit: Brent Darby

    Not got enough space for an outdoor dining area? Use comfy chairs as a relaxed alternative. One of the most popular pieces for outdoor chill-time is the deckchair (or sun lounger). Try out a lounger for size before you buy: make sure it’s long enough and wide enough, and that it has enough support for your back.

    Get the look
    Buy now: similar deckchairs, Maisons du Monde

    We hope these summer garden ideas help you to make the most of your outdoor space this summer. Which ones will you be trying? We’re definitely up for having a ping pong table!

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