From quick makes and best buys to clever tricks for planting, use these simple tips to get your garden looking gorgeous this summer.

outdoor rugs in a shaded living area from John Lewis SS19 collection

Image: John Lewis 

We're officially ready for summer. Now the warmer weather just needs to kick in. 

Read on for some easy garden inspiration for prepping your outdoor space for the summer so when the sun does eventually come out, all you'll need to do is soak it all up with a tipple in hand. 

Dining in the shade

garden dining table with pergola covered in vines in the shade by Neptune

Image: Neptune  

Set up your dining table in an area that escapes the midday sun. If you have no natural shade, train climbing plants up a simple wooden pergola and add festoon lights for al fresco evenings.  

Add a pop of paint

pink chair and lime green painted chair by a vintage style coffee table with plants in crate planters by Valspar 

Image: Valspar

Revive tired garden furniture by updating in a perky colour. Go for a sunny yellow, cheery orange or hot pink instead of traditional garden shades – a bright colour will pop against dark timber or brickwork for a lighter look.

Outdoor rug styling tip

outdoor rugs in a shaded living area from John Lewis SS19 collection

Image: John Lewis

Make rough paving or weathered decking comfier under bare feet with an outdoor rug. Go for an all-weather material like polypropylene that won’t fade in bright sun and is easy to keep clean.

Enjoy drinks on tap

drinks holders, jugs and tap dispensers on outdoor table from Argos SS19 collection

Image: Argos

Set up a makeshift bar so thirsty guests can help themselves. Prepare batches of homemade lemonade or fruit punch in advance, served in sturdy drinks dispensers, with supplies of cups, plates and cutlery on hand.

Totally tropical decorations

wood table and wall with tropical palm prints decorations by Talking Tables

Image: Talking Tables 

Go for a totally tropical vibe for al fresco entertaining by decking out your outdoor space with lush potted palms, leafy garlands and paper lanterns. Finish by dressing the table and serving party fare with a palm leaf motif.

Make your balcony or patio a peaceful spot

outdoor chair with cushions and tropical plants from Sainsbury's Home SS19 collection

Image: Sainsbury's Home

No garden? No problem. A chair, space to rest a cuppa and a little greenery are all you need, even if the only outdoor space you have is a balcony or small patio.

Wildlife friendly styling tip

bird boxes with bird feed staggered on outdoor steps to attract wildlife to your garden from National Trust Shop SS19 collection 

Image: National Trust Shop 

Make your garden wildlife-friendly by fixing up a bird, bee or bat house. Choose a sheltered spot, at least 2m off the ground and away from overhanging branches where cats might lurk.

Grow your own

growing own vegetables in small grouped pots from garden trading SS19 collection

Image: Garden Trading

Make space in the back garden for a mini vegetable patch using easy-to-assemble raised wooden beds. This modular range can be stacked at different heights with grow tunnels and covers that can be added on top.

Give your garden wall some wow 

ombre painted outdoor wall by Sandtex for SS19 collection

Image: Sandtex

Perk up a drab exterior wall with an easy ombré effect. Use a pale colour as your base, then paint the bottom third a darker shade. Mix the two colours together on a board and use for the mid-section, blurring the edges where they meet with a clean roller.

Go big with outoor lighting 

polka dot and spot print outdoor lighting and lanterns by IKEA SS19 collection

Image: IKEA

Hang colourful clustered paper lanterns as a fun focal point in an outdoor seating area. Use solar lights so there are no untidy wires to tangle.


Words: Lisa Fazzani


Have you updated your outdoor space for summer yet? Share your pics tagging us on Instagram with #thisgoodhome, tweeting us @goodhomesmag or posting a comment on our Facebook page.



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