We’re not all fortunate enough to be experiencing lockdown with acres of outdoor space at our disposal. For many, a windowsill, a small balcony or an outdoor patio is the only outdoor space in our homes and it’s important to make sure that during this time it’s a place we can all enjoy.
There are plenty of ways to spruce up small gardens and patios to make them useful and enjoyable additions to your home.
Planting and growing
If you have a small garden with a few pots lying around, it’s the perfect time to start learning how to grow and cultivate your own plants. Here are a few products that can help you along the way.
Mano Mano Window Box
These little window boxes are ideal for small outdoor spots outside the living room and kitchen windows, allowing you to grow plants in a fixed setting. They are available in a range of colours and are made from a durable material allowing you to keep them outside. From £45
Liven up a patio space with these weatherproof, adaptable planters that look equally stylish inside or outside. £50 for a set of three
ReChic Eden Canopy Glass Terrarium
Designed in collaboration with the Eden Project, this terrarium is the perfect item to create a little mini ecosystem within your home without having to have lots of outside space. The recycled glass acts as protection, allowing you to create a garden for small plants such as succulents and mini cacti. £40
Norfolk Leisure Florenity Grigio Folding Pot Shelf
Folding pot shelves allow you to display a number of plants in a small space, and can be put away in the winter. £69.99
Even something as contained as a balcony can be enhanced no end by the right furniture:
Stripes Company Deckchair
Is there anything more British and better suited to a small garden than a deckchair? We really liked the classic design of this one. They have a solid, sturdy feel to them and come in a huge range of attractive stripey designs and colours. The teak hardwood frames give them a feeling of longevity which means they’re bound to be used summer after summer. £110
All-weather small bench
This nifty little loveseat would be equally at home indoors or outdoors, making it the perfect addition for owners of small terraces. £261
Habitat Bistro Set
If your ambition is to create an Italian cafe setup in your patio or garden space, you’ll need some authentic furniture, and luckily there are lots of good options out there. We’d recommend spending a little more to get quality tables and chairs that’ll stand the test of time in the garden. £95
Screen with Envy Large Garden Screen
With everyone at home, having some privacy in your garden space is particularly important. Luckily, there are a few options on the market, and we liked these screens from Screen with Envy which are cleverly designed to act as barriers to partition off certain areas of our outdoor space. Particularly useful in small patio areas. £85
Once you’ve decked out your garden and made it a habitable and enjoyable space, cooking outside during the summer time is one of life’s great pleasures. Here are a few options for the garden in this category.
Campingaz Attitude 2100 LX Barbecue
This a great tabletop barbecue in a compact package that’s suited to a small outdoor space. It has many of the features usually found on larger, ‘trolley’ style barbecues and integrates Campingaz’s innovative modular cooking system, allowing items such as hot plates or roasting skillets to be easily installed. We also found that it’s economical to run, meaning that gas top-ups are required less regularly. £249.99
The Red Original Cool Bag
The king of cool bags, this example from outdoor adventure specialists Red suits those increasingly warmer days where meat needs to be kept cool for the BBQ or frozen food needs to survive the supermarket queue. Good for a home setup, but we also liked the fact that it’s designed for adventures in mind. It’s fully waterproof, and clips easily onto Red’s famous paddleboards, so you can enjoy it for summers to come when the lockdown’s over in a range of different environments. £159.95
GardenLine BBQ Pizza Oven
With this ingenious device, you can easily transform your existing barbecue into a functional pizza oven by putting this on top. Cooks pizzas up to 12in in size and it’s easy to clean thanks to its stainless-steel construction. Included a handy temperature gauge too, to get that perfect crust. £39.99
Tech and entertainment
Something nice about your own personal garden space is making it your own, which includes personalising your entertainment options outdoors.
Lava BrightSounds 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
It’s a perfect time to add some music to your garden setup, and this portable speaker includes a light and a powerpack so you can also charge your devices from it. We found that it holds battery charge well, allowing for up to 36 hours of playback and usage. It’s also sturdy as anything, so perfect for an outdoor space where the rugged shell, which is also IPX4 water resistant, can protect it from the elements. £19.99
Philips Hue Appeal Wall Light
Adding some light to small outdoor spaces can really change how they feel, and this outdoor light is easy to set up, and twinned with a Philips Hue Bridge, can be customised to different colours and controlled using voice through Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple HomeKit. A good buy to make small spaces feel cosy, calming and attractive. £129.99
Swann Wi-Fi Spotlight Outdoor Camera
For those of you wanting to add an extra layer of protection to your small outdoor space (especially if you have bikes outdoors for example) then this is a good piece of tech which connects simply to your WiFi and stores clips to a free cloud-based system. It also features a spotlight, and a talkback feature which means that you can speak to people at your door – good if you’re getting deliveries through at home during lockdown. £139.99
Tools and gear
Ryobi Cordless Hedgetrimmer
A simple piece of kit that could save you time and money, if you have a small garden space with a hedge, this cordless trimmer is affordable, doesn’t take up much space but still provides enough cutting power to keep perimeter hedges and shrubs in check. £40
Mahabis Canvas Shoes
A good pair of gardening shoes can be invaluable, even for a small garden or patio space, especially at this time of year when the idea of getting wellies or boots on in the hot weather seems particularly unappealing. Slip these on in seconds and you’re away. £79