Take your outdoor space from zero to hero this summer
Summer is the time to enjoy being outside – it’s barbecue and garden party season, a time for family gatherings and fun with friends. We don’t always want to be spending sunny days improving our gardens, we’d just like to enjoy them. But, if your outdoor space is feeling a little drab it can take a bit of encouragement to head outside.
Never fear - you’ll be surprised how easy it is refresh your garden this summer. With just a couple hours of your time and a few well-chosen items, you can create a space that’s perfect for relaxing or entertaining.
We’ve nine top tips to help you make the most of your great outdoors – whether you’ve a large lawn, petite patio or urban balcony. Better still, they all focus on improving what you’ve already got, so they’re ideal if you’re renting or not ready to make big changes to your space.
Tools & materials required
Get your garden tidy
Mow your lawn
Begin by getting your lawn under control. Giving your lawn a trim is an easy way to make your garden look instantly neater. A lawnmower with a grass collection box leaves no mess behind, making it quicker to tidy away afterwards. For the perfect finishing touch, use a grass trimmer to leave crisp edges.
If garden weeds and unwanted plants are getting in the way of enjoying your outdoor space, a weed pulling tool will make light work of removing these from lawns and borders. It’s an easy, no-mess way to remove dandelions, docks and more.
Tidy paths and patios
Sweep paths, paving and decks with a stiff broom to remove leaves, dust and dirt. If you’ve got time and it’s a dry day, pressure wash surfaces to bring them back to life.
For a speedier refresh, bring colour and texture to your dining or seating space with an outdoor rug. It’s a great way to make your garden feel like an extension of your home – and can draw attention away from tired paving and patios.
Add colour and light outdoors
Add colour with planting
Hanging baskets and containers bring an instant splash of colour to front and back gardens, terraces and balconies. Choose summer stunners such as bold geraniums or fragrant Nicotiana for easy-care but high-impact displays. For a speedy makeover that’s bound to please, opt for one of our pre-planted baskets or containers. As we do the hard work planting them for you, there’s no need for tools or mess.
For guaranteed colour and minimal maintenance, choose our highly-realistic artificial topiary or hanging baskets – no watering required!Shop pots and planters Shop artificial plants and topiary
Light it up
For evening soirees, nothing sets the mood better than some subtle outdoor lighting. Hang string lights along fences or the front of sheds and garages, cluster lanterns and tea light holders on tables and add stake lights to patio planters or along your garden path. You don’t need an outdoor power supply – many of our lights are battery or solar powered, taking just a few minutes to install.
For twice the impact and half the effort, hang our pre-lit artificial topiary balls from hanging basket brackets. Not only do they bring lush foliage into your outdoor space, they feature twinkling lights that add a delightful touch as it starts to get dark.
The great British garden party
Bring the British summer to life by adding bunting and hanging ornaments around your seating area. It’s easy to add hooks to wooden fences and trellis, and refresh and update decorations throughout the summer. We recommend using Command outdoor decorating hooks to hang your decorations – they’re self-adhesive, removable hooks that can be used on painted and treated wooden surfaces such as fences and sheds.
Make a space for entertaining and play
Make the table the centrepiece
If you’re expecting guests for an alfresco meal or barbecue, bring your table to life for the occasion. Create a centrepiece by arranging a cut flower bouquet in a vase, or cut a few pieces of greenery from your garden for your vase. Add LED or solar powered lanterns and candles for delicate lighting as the sun comes down, and arrange drinks and nibbles on a stylish tray that not only looks gorgeous but makes it easy to tidy away at the end of the day. Our bamboo trays are also a great way to transport sauces, napkins and cutlery to and from the barbecue – keeping mess to a minimum.
For a contemporary look that’s right on trend, cluster our colourful artificial succulents in cement planters at the centre of your table. It’s perfect for adding texture and vibrant colour to your dining area.Shop vases Shop lanterns Shop candles Shop trays
Create an instant play space
Having fun in the garden doesn’t need lots of planning or play equipment. Kids of all ages will love building a play den outdoors – simply drape a blanket, large sheet or tablecloth over a small table or a washing line to create an instant hideaway. In the evening, add cushions and LED lanterns to make the perfect space for magical bedtime stories.Shop cushions
Cosy up with cushions and covers
Entertaining out of doors should be at least as comfortable as entertaining indoors, so encourage guests to linger by adding extra cushions to dining chairs and garden benches. Place a few throws and blankets on the arms of chairs so they can stay warm even if a breeze picks up or temperatures drop into the evening. A chunky knit throw is a firm favourite and can double as a picnic blanket for relaxing or playing on the lawn.
Raise the temperature
A chimenea or fire bowl is a guaranteed way to make evening entertaining special. Arrange seating around the fire to keep guests warm, and have barbecue skewers and marshmallows to hand for toasting. It’s a fun alternative to dessert and helps to beat off any chills as the evening cools down.Shop garden heating