Summer Garden Ideas: Tips To Transform Any Outdoor Space

Summer Garden Ideas: Tips To Transform Any Outdoor Space

Summer brings with it the promise of sunny days and the perfect opportunity to make your garden the heart of your home. Whether you have a large back garden or a cosy corner, this is the season to bring out its best, creating a space where you can unwind, host friends or enjoy some peace and quiet in the fresh air. 

All too often forgotten, your garden is more than just another space in your home - it’s your private slice of the outdoors to enjoy the little pleasures of summer. From sipping your morning coffee in a comfy chair to fun family barbecues and intimate evening gatherings with friends under the stars and a bottle of wine, there’s no better time to enjoy it.

Any garden can be elevated into a luxurious summer haven with the right mix of furniture, fixtures, accessories, and a pinch of thoughtful design. So get ready to be inspired and turn your garden into your favourite summer spot with these top summer garden ideas. 


1. Invest in good quality Garden Furniture 


Bay Corner Group Set with 4 Waist Pillows Teak Table in Latte - £3,299


As summer rolls in, we all look forward to lounging and dining outdoors. But there's nothing more frustrating than garden furniture that falls apart after just one season. So, here's a tip: go for quality pieces that last. Think of durable rattan or solid wood furniture – not as a seasonal statement piece, but as a long-term addition to your summer fun.

If you’re looking for tips on maintaining your garden furniture all year round, take a look at our guide that covers the best garden furniture to leave outside.


2. Install an Outdoor Kitchen  

Photo by Arcwind


What’s better than al fresco dining in the summer? We’ll wait. The truth is, nothing quite beats an outdoor kitchen in the summer. 

Bring people together in the sunshine, flip burgers on a state-of-the-art BBQ grill, fire up your pizza oven, or chop veggies on a rustic outdoor countertop while chatting away with friends. An outdoor kitchen is guaranteed to make your garden the go-to space for family and friends and be the heart of all your summer parties. 


3. Get cosy with a Fire Pit

Luna Deluxe Outdoor Fabric Square Corner Dining Set with Rising Firepit Table in Oyster Grey - £4,299


There’s something magical about gathering around a fire pit on a late summer evening. Great for keeping guests warm whilst entertaining, they act as a focal point for all to rally around, exchange a story or two, and get comfy.

Why stop at a fire pit, though? Create an inviting outdoor entertainment area by pairing your flickering feature piece with plush garden sofas, a causal dining set, or a bar area. Great for summer, but equally good as an autumn or winter garden idea.


4. Grow a Vegetable Garden 

Photography by Priscilla Du Preez

Cooking with fresh, homegrown herbs and vegetables from your kitchen garden is one of life’s ultimate luxuries. Not only does it give you more control over what you eat, improving your cooking and helping you to save money in the long run, but the benefits are truly endless. 

If you have space in your garden, create dedicated areas for your seeds and arrange them in raised beds or decorative containers to add variety. If your garden is too small, don’t worry - you can still benefit from nature's rewards by growing a mini herb or vegetable garden on your windowsill with the help of windowsill kits. 

Offering the perfect blend of utility and beauty, these mini gardens provide fresh and healthy ingredients for your kitchen and a feast for the eyes.

Take a look at our guide on small garden ideas if you’re looking for ways to maximise your back garden.


5. Extend your outdoor living with a Pergola 

PergoSTET 3m x 4m Rectangular Pergola with 3 Drop Sides and LED Lighting in Grey - £3,999.00

Luna Side Table - £179

Luna Outdoor Fabric Rectangular Corner Dining Set with Rising Firepit Table in Grey (Right Hand) - £3,999


An extension of your home that also increases the time you can spend outside, think of a modern pergola as your garden’s summer highlight. 

They’re not just about shade – pergolas are a great way to make your garden a central hangout spot, helping you create a stylish area for lounging and entertaining whilst providing the perfect outdoor space to relax. Ideal for changeable British summers, they provide shade in the heat and can be switched to a waterproof shelter when those unpredictable summer showers come rolling in. 


6. Relax in a Hammock 


Globo Royal Double Seater Hanging Chair in Natura - £979

Nothing says zen quite like a hammock. The ultimate place to relax, whether you have a large space, a small patio or a little cosy corner, there's always space for a hammock to swing away in the summer. 

More movable than a sun lounger, hammocks now come in various shapes and sizes to accommodate couples and pairs for simultaneous lounging. 


7. Create an Outdoor Living Space 

Cloverly 8 Seat Rectangular Dining with Teak Table in Latte - £2,349


People often see the garden and home as two separate entities when, in fact, the two work best in harmony together. 

Make the most of your garden by expanding your living space into an outdoor living area that blends the indoors with the outdoors. Open your kitchen and dining room doors to join the two spaces and maximise your garden’s potential by choosing garden furniture and accessories that are as beautiful as they are functional, turning your garden into a seamless extension of your home. 

Need more ideas? Check out our top outdoor living space ideas to elevate your summer experience.


8. Upgrade your Patio 


Newport 2 Seat Lounge Set With Cube Side Table in Charcoal - £799

Updating your patio is an easy way to upgrade the appeal of your outdoor living space with minimal effort. 

Add a large dining table to gather the family around, a comfy corner grouping to lay back on whilst staring into the distance, or opt for something simpler by incorporating a fun bistro set to one of the patio corners. 

Versatile, stylish and, most importantly, easy to maintain, an elevated patio can take your garden to the next level. Whether you love the timeless charm of a traditional design or a sleek and minimalist modern layout, your patio offers an excellent opportunity to reflect your personal taste. 


9. Release your creative side  

Bromic Tungsten Smart-Heat™ Electric 6000W in White - £1,399


As we’ve already mentioned, your summer gardens and homes should work in harmony with one another. That’s why your garden should reflect your personal style and tastes just as much as your interior - and what better way to express this by releasing your inner creative side? 

From sculptural pieces that make a statement to eye-catching feature walls, each element will add a touch of your personality to your outdoor space, allowing it to complement your home. 

Make sure that your creativity doesn’t go to waste. Create feature areas with ample garden seating and outdoor lighting to showcase your outdoor masterpieces.


10. Cool down in the shade

Ares 3.5m Round Cantilever Parasol with Solar powered LED Lights in Beige - £649


Every garden needs a shady spot to transform it from what can sometimes feel like the Sahara into a cool oasis. Providing respite from the harsh summer sun to creating an outdoor office space, garden shading structures are an outdoor essential. 

Beat the summer heat by adding a stylish parasol that complements your garden’s aesthetic.


11. Illuminate your Outdoor Space 


Höfats GRAVITY CANDLE Lantern - £34.99

Höfats GRAVITY CANDLE Pole - £17.99


Adding additional light sources is a fantastic way to transform your garden when the sun goes down, creating a warm and welcoming transition from day to night. 

Outdoor lighting shouldn’t be limited to a handful of wall lights scattered throughout your garden; many options are available, providing different immersive experiences for onlookers.

Think of striking pillar lanterns dotted throughout the garden, elegant table lights that lighten your outdoor dinner adventures, or flickering Höfats SPIN lights that draw your gaze.


12. Get creative with your Seating  

Bermuda Daybed in Stone Grey - £1,387.99


Relax and sit back in style this summer with comfortable garden seatingJust like any other room in the home, the right seating can create a cosy haven that’ll make you want to relax with your favourite book all summer long. 

Take your garden to the next level with a hanging chair nestled among the trees for a whimsical touch that kids and adults alike will love. Add a classic wooden bench for a rustic feel or an inviting plush sofa – no matter the size or style of your garden, the options are endless. Check out our top garden seating ideas for more inspiration.


13. Introduce sustainable gardening practices

Photo by Markus Spiske 

Embrace a green and mindful approach and introduce sustainable gardening practices to turn your garden into an eco-friendly haven for creatures of all shapes and sizes. 

A great way to give back to Mother Nature, it can be hard to know where to start. Luckily, plenty of tips and tricks online help you on your journey. Implementing simple and easy practices like planting native plants, using eco-friendly materials, making your own compost and recycling rainwater go a long way to helping the environment and enhancing the natural beauty of your garden all year long.


14. Transition for Autumn

Merano 2 Seat Sofa Set and Coffee Tables in Latte - £2,799


As lush summer greens slowly give way to the rich hues of autumn, there’s still so much that your garden has left to offer. 

Start getting ready for the new season and take small steps to transition your garden into something that feels a little more cosy and a little less summery. You can do this by adding layers of comfort and warmth with soft cushions and warm blankets in classic autumnal tones, upgrading your garden furniture with beautiful, durable outdoor fabrics that can be left out all year long, introducing warm lighting like lanterns or fairy lights and arranging rustic decorations to celebrate the start of a new season. 

Looking for more autumnal inspiration? Take a look at our guide on autumn garden ideas to find out more.


15. Warm Up with Outdoor Heating 


Bromic Eclipse Smart-Heat™ Portable - £3,835

Extend and enjoy your time outside for longer using outdoor heating solutions that bring year-round comfort. As the temperature drops with nightfall, transform evenings and cooler days into cosy moments with a sleek fire table as your patio’s centrepiece or elegant wall-mounted heaters, depending on your outdoor set-up. 

These heaters will provide much-needed warmth and add a sophisticated touch to your garden, making every gathering a warm and inviting experience. 


16. Spruce up Garden pathways and walkways

Challenger T2 3m Square Cantilever Parasol in Grey - £554.99


Garden paths and walkways are often forgotten-about features, but when done right can bring structure, depth and organisation to your garden, breaking up areas into smaller pockets of interest. 

More than just a route from point A to point B, an inviting walkway made from natural stone, decorative gravel, or a classic and traditional brick will tie everything together. Line them with low-lying flowers, a herbaceous border or versatile ornamental grasses for added visual appeal while making your way through different sections of your garden.


17. Bring serenity to your Garden with a water feature 

Monterrey Rope Rectangular Corner Dining Set with Rising Table in Grey (Right Hand) - £2,999

Do you live in a city or a noisy neighbourhood? Then, the presence of water might be what you’re looking for, reducing noise while instantly adding tranquillity (and a pop of elegance) to any garden. 

Acting as a natural humidifier, a fountain, a swimming pool, or a serene koi pond can indirectly attract and support surrounding wildlife, including insects, birds and even your garden plants. 


Final thoughts

From significant changes to small additions, just about anyone can transform their outdoor space in time for summer. 

Whether you prefer swinging the long, sunny days away on a relaxing hammock, setting up the kitchen garden you’ve always longed for, or simply looking for a water feature to block out the hustle and bustle of city life, our top summer garden ideas have something for everyone.

Remember, your garden should reflect and work in harmony with your home. So, don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different styles, furniture, accessories and plants that reflect your personality and transform your outdoor space into a garden that’s so relaxing you won’t want to go away on your annual summer holiday.

What are you waiting for? Get started with Harbour Lifestyles' range of luxury garden furniture, available online.