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

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

garden wooden furniture with flower pots
(Image credit: Future PLC/Trevor Richards)

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

French-style terrace with old wooden furniture

(Image credit: Future PLC/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 patio ideas

(Image credit: Future PLC/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,

3. Add cosy blankets and cushions

outdoor table with chairs and cushions

(Image credit: Future PLC/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

dining in garden area with garden lighting

(Image credit: Future PLC/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

traditional garden furniture during summer

(Image credit: Future PLC/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. Make a small space fabulous

Summer garden ideas with bistro table and chairs

(Image credit: Future PLC/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

garden ping pong table for summer

(Image credit: Future PLC/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 for decking with potted plants

(Image credit: Future PLC/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

garden corner sofa with cushions

(Image credit: Future PLC/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,

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

10. Take your furniture outside

outdoor dining in garden this summer

(Image credit: Future PLC/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

garden party with bunting and drinks

(Image credit: Future PLC/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,
Buy now: similar vintage straws,
Party Parade

12. Get into the party spirit

Summer drinks in tray

(Image credit: Future PLC/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

croquet during summer in garden

(Image credit: Future PLC/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

wigwam camping for kids in garden

(Image credit: Future PLC/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 lighting lanterns

(Image credit: Future PLC/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

garden area with hanging wallpaper with blue sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC/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

garden storage for drinks and beverages on tree

(Image credit: Future PLC/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

relaxing in luxurious hammock in garden

(Image credit: Future PLC/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

hanging baskets, potted plants and flowers in garden

(Image credit: Future PLC/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

garden deckchair with grey bunny

(Image credit: Future PLC/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!

Deputy Editor

Jennifer is the Deputy Editor (Digital) for Homes & Gardens online. Prior to her current position, she completed various short courses a KLC Design School, and wrote across sister brands Ideal Home, LivingEtc, 25 Beautiful Homes, Country Homes & Interiors, and Style at Home.