How to guides
how to guides

Your summer garden checklist

How to get the garden looking ship-shape for a summer of outdoor fun - including that extra Bank Holiday to celebrate the King's Coronation.

Table decorations

1. Spruce up furniture

Whether you have a bijou courtyard or a sprawling plot, the key to enjoying your garden, is stylish and comfortable outdoor furniture. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to give chairs and tables an annual overhaul. While metal furniture can be left outside all year, covering up during the winter months will prevent rusting (any rust patches can be lightly sanded using baking soda and water). As with rattan furniture (which does need protecting), gently clean all surfaces with warm, soapy water and a soft cloth and use a hose to clean awkward areas. Wooden benches, tables and loungers might need sanding down and revamping with a new coat of varnish or garden paint. 

TOP TIP: Why not give your wooden garden furniture a new lease of life with a different paint colour? Try citrus yellow, earthy rust or cobalt blue, for a touch of Mediterranean chic.

 Photo credit: Rockett St George

2. A good grilling

BBQ season is here! But before you chuck on the bangers and burgers, remember to treat your outdoor grill to a deep clean as it probably hasn’t been used since last summer. First, check the parts are all in good working order, brush off any cobwebs and dust and give the kit a quick wipe down with a damp cloth. Next, preheat your gas or charcoal grill as it’s easier to scrape off baked-off food and grease when it’s warm – this should take around 30 minutes and might give off smoke. When it’s cooled slightly, cover the grill in water-soaked newspaper and close the lid for half an hour – this will steam clean the barbecue ready for scrubbing with a wire brush. Voila! A shiny grill ready for your summer shindigs. 

TOP TIP: Other tricks to get your BBQ clean include using an onion, white vinegar, ketchup or baking soda.

Photo credit: B&Q

3. Light up, light up

Lighting up the garden is a fool proof way to transform any outdoor space into a welcoming spot for relaxing and socialising. It can be as simple as hanging strings of twinkly, solar-powered fairy lights for a magical glow or a sophisticated scheme that creates pools of light and pathway accents. Oversized rattan lanterns will add a rustic, laid-back vibe while multicoloured festoon lighting is pure disco under the stars – especially when rigged up to a speaker so the lights flicker to the sound of the music. If all else fails, rows of scented tealights is all it takes to add sparkle to your outdoor get-together. 

TOP TIP: All-in-one outdoor lamps and speakers are perfect party starters for balconies and patio spaces.

Photo credit: Lights4fun
Table decorations

4. Invest in a garden bar

Garden bars are still a hot summer buy for 2023 as we extend our living outdoors and create fun spaces for entertaining alfresco. Buy a ready-made bar for a corner of your garden, complete with drinks station and shelving for cocktail kit. Or even a kitsch, tiki-style bar with raffia roof and decorative grasses for a holiday-at-home tropical mood. Confident DIY-ers could try their hand at making a wall-mounted bar or else invest in a drinks trolley, an old metal barrel for an ice bucket and a fire pit so you can stay out partying long after the sun goes down. Weekend celebrations at home just got epic. 

TOP TIP: Look out for garden stools that double up as ice buckets when you lift off the lid…very cool!

Photo credit: Wayfair

Table decorations