Top tips to take the garden from zero to hero this summer
Summer is the time to enjoy being outside. It’s barbecue and garden party season, the perfect opportunity for family gatherings and fun with friends. And when the sun is shining, we all want to enjoy our gardens, rather than just improve 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 bit of your time and a few well-chosen items, you can create a space that’s perfect for relaxing or entertaining.
To help, here are our top tips to get great garden results without lots of time and effort. And best of all, we’re not talking massive changes, just quick fixes to improve what you’ve already got - ideal if you’re renting or not keen on a big project.
Tools & materials required
Quick and easy updates for outdoor entertaining
Mow and weed the lawn
Begin by getting the 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 are getting in the way of enjoying your outdoor space, a weeder will make light work of removing these from lawns and borders. It’s a simple, no-mess way to remove dandelions, docks and other unwanted plants. For more on identifying and controlling weeds, head to our helpful guide.
Tidy paths and patios
Sweep paths, paving and decks with a stiff broom to remove leaves, dust and dirt. If you’ve got time, 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 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 petunias 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. Check in-store for availability.
Or for guaranteed colour and minimal maintenance, choose our highly-realistic artificial topiary or hanging baskets – no watering required!
For more on creating your own hanging basket, visit our step-by-step guide.
Light up the garden
For evening get togethers, nothing sets the mood better than some subtle outdoor lighting. Hang garden 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.
Add some garden party panache
Bring the British summer to life by adding decorative flourishes to your seating area. We love the nostalgic charm of bunting and how hanging ornaments, such as stars and hearts, move with the breeze.
These decorations can be refreshed and updated throughout the summer and hung from hooks on wooden fences and trellis - or even from suitable tree branches. We recommend using Command outdoor decorating hooks – they’re self-adhesive and removable so can be used on painted and treated wooden surfaces. Simply hang, enjoy and remove when you need to with no fuss.
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. For a contemporary look that’s right on trend, cluster our artificial succulents - perfect for adding texture and vibrant colour to your dining area.
Finish the look with style and function thanks to our Kilner Drink Dispenser (pictured). Combine with Kilner Handled Jar Glasses for a coordinated but understated look that adds elegance to any outdoor entertaining.
Create a kids’ 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, bed sheet or throw over a small table or a washing line to create an instant hideaway. Or for something a little longer lasting, invest in a Wooden Teepee with fabric door – fun for children of all sizes.
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 and seat pads 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, fire pit 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.