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Dawn Matthews  |  Apr 24, 2024

Outdoor Styling Tips For The Summer

10 Minute Read

A stylish home is important to you, and since your garden is an extension of your home, your garden and the exterior of your home needs to look stylish too, so you can really enjoy it throughout the warmer months of the year. How do you get your garden looking great, you might wonder? Well, some great gardening techniques will help, but some clever styling tips will get you there if you don’t have green fingers.

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Plan Your Outdoor Space Carefully

Whatever size garden you have, there are plenty of ways to get it looking fabulous. Careful planning, with zones for different uses, will help you to make the most of it. If you’re starting from scratch, or doing a complete makeover, then try one of the garden planning tools that are available online to help you visualise it, and choose what to plant. They are great if you’re unsure about colours of accessories too – which we’ll get onto next.

Choose A Colour Palette For Your Garden

There are so many things to consider when choosing plants for your garden that we can’t cover it all in a single blog post, and there is plenty of advice available from expert sites like the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), and Gardeners’ World. When you’re choosing plants though, make sure you consider at what points in the year each plant looks their best, so you can make sure you don’t end up with visually empty patches after each one is done. The RHS are suggesting these planting trends for your garden in 2024:

🌻  “Meadowscaping”, using wildflower seeds, cow parsley, and poppies to create a haven for bees.
🍎  Growing fruits and vegetables to enjoy in your cooking – grape vines and lemon trees grow fantastically in sun traps!
🌿  Add plants that flower in the Pantone colour of the year – for 2024, that’s “Peach Fuzz”.

In addition to the colours of your plants and flowers, you’ll want to think about colours that will complement the space. Pale colours on walls and fences to help the space feel bigger, and will allow your colourful flowers to pop. You can also use reflective surfaces such as water features, tiles, and garden mirrors to help bounce light around a smaller garden.

Once your plants are in place, you need to choose garden furniture and accessories. To keep your plants as the focus, choose accessories that are made from natural materials like wood and wicker, with striking black metalwork, and opt for a gentle colour palette of pastels for soft furnishings like cushions and throws.

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Create Comfortable Spaces

Being able to make the most of your garden in the summer means being comfortable. With that in mind – no matter the size of your space – make sure you can really chill out. If you’re lucky to have a big garden, you might want to consider having several places that you can relax in! A spot for sunbathing, a garden bench to enjoy your morning cuppa, an outdoor dining space, and maybe somewhere a little sheltered for hotter days or cooler evenings. When you’ve planned your spots, make sure you have the accessories you need to be able to truly relax. Add plenty of outdoor cushions, and have rugs and blankets on hand in case of cooler evenings.

Create Cover With Garden Planters

When you need to create privacy, cover something unattractive, or simply to visually fill space, then garden planters and large pots are a great way to do that – you just need tall plants to make sure you get the coverage you need. And since planters and pots aren’t permanent, if that thing you want to cover up needs to remain accessible, you can simply move them, although if you need to be able to move the planter regularly, then add caster wheels to make it easier.

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Plan For Outdoor Entertaining

If you’re anything like us, it won’t be just you and your family in the garden this summer. If you know you love having friends over for drinks, dinner in the garden, or a good old fashioned impromptu barbecue, then make sure you’re ready for those occasions. Get your outdoor dining set up sorted, with a stunning wooden outdoor table and comfortable seating, as well as your outdoor kitchen or barbecue station.

Invest In Outdoor Dining Furniture

You deserve a better outdoor table and seating than those terrible plastic pieces that break easily. Wooden garden furniture isn’t just the more sustainable choice, it is more durable, and with the proper care, will last far longer than cheap plastic – not to mention that it just looks and feels so much nicer too.

Add Your Garden Accessories

In years past, garden accessories meant a bird bath and maybe an ornament such as a gnome or two. While a bird bath can still be a great way to attract wildlife to your space, gnomes are… not currently trending, shall we say (although if you really love them, we say go for it!) The accessories we’d include?

🏡  An outdoor rug to change the look of your seating area without needing to redo your patio or decking
🕯️  Lanterns containing candles (LEDs are ideal!) to create atmosphere
🎵  A Bluetooth speaker for party evenings
🕰️  A garden wall clock – there are gorgeous styles that age perfectly

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Outdoor Tableware

Your indoor dining table looks best when dressed with fantastic tableware, and the same goes for your garden table too. While you don’t necessarily need table cloths and napkins outdoors, your plates, glassware, and cutlery should all look good together. Breakages might be common when dining al fresco, but if you’re prioritising sustainability and avoiding plastic as we are, then visit your local charity shops and collect vintage pieces that cost pennies. The mismatched look can be delightful in a cottage style garden, and you won’t be upset if something gets dropped since you can replace them easily.

Curate Your Herb Garden

We’ve talked extensively about creating herb gardens before, and that’s because they look great, smell great, and taste great – what’s not to love?! If you’ve got a smaller garden, you can still include herbs in your growing by having them in pots on shelves, or in a hanging planter. However you decide to do it, it is worth having your herbs planted near where you plan to cook to make it easy to add fresh rosemary to your barbecued steak, delicious basil to your summer salads, and more.

Garden lighting

Those summer evenings that you’re having so much fun that you want them to go on forever? The right garden lighting makes them so much easier, and can keep that relaxed atmosphere going. However you’ve chosen to style your outdoor space, there are so many types of lighting that can really set the tone of your space much more than functional flood lights or porch lighting.

⏺  Festoons and fairy lights create a relaxed, but also celebratory atmosphere
⏺  Stake lights can add light to paths or darker corners easily
⏺  Garden spotlights can highlight your favourite features
⏺  In-ground lighting are perfect for casting brightness along walkways (also ideal in the winter!)
⏺  Outdoor table lamps can illuminate your dinner parties without the danger of candles

If sustainability is key for you, then solar powered lighting will be on your agenda. Solar powered garden lighting is really effective now, and can light up your outdoor space without needing an electrician to install them, or adding to your electricity bill. Most styles of outdoor lighting that you might want for your garden are available with solar power. Just make sure you can put the solar panel in a spot that gets enough sun through the day.

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Style With Scents

In gardens that are well-established, you’ll almost certainly have plants that smell incredible when they are in bloom. Lavender, honeysuckle, jasmine, roses all provide wonderful scents, and of course, your herb garden is going to give you delicious scents too.

You should certainly make the most of those scents, but you don’t have to rely on your plants to provide beautiful scents if you’re not a gardener, or prefer a low maintenance space. As you’ll probably already know, citronella is a natural insect repellent, and burning candles infused with it means that you can keep the bugs away when you’re trying to enjoy a hot day, or a balmy evening. Essential oils such as lemon grass can be a perfect addition if you’re using your garden as your yoga studio, or if you’re working in your garden office, since it is also an insect repellent, and it is super relaxing.

Final Thoughts

With a bit of luck (the Great British summer being what it is!) we’ll be enjoying some wonderful weather over the next few months, and styling your garden means that you can be ready for it when the heatwave hits. If you’re looking for that all-important finishing touch for your outdoor space this year, then browse our range of outdoor furniture, as well as our new arrivals. When you’ve styled your garden for summer, make sure you tag us in your Instagram posts – we’re @bensimpsonfurniture

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