Smart gardens - discover how tech can change your outdoor space for the better

We reveal the clever smart gardens gismos and gadgets you can invest in to make your outdoor space even more inviting this summer…

a wicker hanging chair on a raised patio with a wicker table beside it and plenty of planters
(Image credit: Future/Colin Poole)

You'll have heard of a smart home, but what about smart gardens? Well, despite the many pros of having a garden, the upkeep involved in keeping it in tip-top shape can be pretty demanding.

After all, despite being an ‘additional room’ in the summertime, gardens tend to lack the creature comforts that your actual home can offer. Well, it’s not all that bad, because that’s where tech can help - nd smart robots are just the start...

Smart gardens

Just like the jobs that can be automated in a smart home, there are now devices that take on the dreary, repetitive gardening tasks to neat gadgets that help create a welcoming atmosphere, tech companies have cottoned onto the fact that there’s money to be made in making people’s outdoor lives a lot more enjoyable...

Hydration stations

wooden post in the middle of garden with outdoor tap and smart irrigation system attached to it and in the background woman relaxing on chair in garden

(Image credit: Gardena)

When it comes to clever tech that works away in the background and you barely notice it doing so, smart watering is a brilliant example. Controlled via a companion app on your smartphone or pre-programmed to water your plants of lawn plants on cue, some of these smart irrigation systems can respond to voice control, too.

What's more, certain devices - when linked to your Wi-Fi signal - will pinpoint the weather forecast in your local area and react to it automatically, watering more if it’s going to be extra sunny, even cancelling a scheduled sprinkling if rain is due.

Robot gardeners

close up of a veg patch with bamboo climbing sticks and a large hedge in the background fill of pick flowers

(Image credit: Future)

Much like the best robot vacuum cleaners, robot mowers will, on a schedule of your choice, make their way around your entire lawn trimming the grass and mulching the cuttings as they go. And once they’re done, they’ll quietly make their way back to their dock to charge up for their next round.

smart robot cleaner robot mower in a garden on a large lawn

(Image credit: Honda)

And worth a mention (though eye-wateringly priced) is the EEVE Willow. This cute, eye-blinking robot will cut your grass, identify weeds and kill them using a bio-herbicide, sweep your patio, and double as a security guard at night. It features AI capabilities, too, so it can detect different items, like objects and animals, avoiding them as it makes its way around your garden.

TOP TIP: Some smart garden gadgets require access to an outdoor tap or plug - always check first before buying.

Scene setters

A decked area of a garden at dusk, with smart festoon lights hanging over a corner sofa with candles and cushions

(Image credit: Nanoleaf)

Once your plants and lawn being looked are after, the next thing to consider is your outdoor entertaining space. Smart lighting is one of the easiest ways to create an atmosphere outdoors, whether you’re outside with friends or family and need some subtle lighting, if want to enjoy the view of your garden at night from inside your home, or you decide to have an impromptu garden disco.

Smart lighting can be programmed to switch on automatically at planned times of the day, then dimmed later on, and eventually switched off at a set time. It can be used to highlight certain areas of your garden, to brighten up walkways for safety, or just to add a little magic to your outdoor space.

Sonos Move portable speaker on an outdoor balcony at dusk

(Image credit: Sonos)

Once you have the lighting sorted, it's time for some music. The best wireless speakers that are extra durable and waterproof will add to that atmosphere, providing a soundtrack of your choice to your garden via a music streaming platform of your choice.

Our tip 3 buys for smart gardens

Ginevra Benedetti
Deputy Editor (Print)

Ginevra Benedetti has been the Deputy Editor of Ideal Home magazine since 2021. With a career in magazines spanning nearly twenty years, she has worked for the majority of the UK’s interiors magazines, both as staff and as a freelancer. She first joined the Ideal Home team in 2011, initially as the Deputy Decorating Editor and has never left! She currently oversees the publication of the brand’s magazine each month, from planning through to publication, editing, writing or commissioning the majority of the content.