The Ultimate List of Creative Garden Design Ideas UK
Gardens don’t have to consist simply of a lawn and some flower beds – although simple gardens are beautiful too!
There are loads of ways that you can use imagination and creativity to create some truly spectacular and unique elements in your backyard.
You’ll find loads of inspiring design ideas in the list below, divided into different categories. There are garden ideas for children, dining & entertainment, furniture & buildings, storage, water features, and wildlife.
Check out these 77 garden design ideas – they’re creative, fun and achievable in one weekend!
Creative Garden Ideas for Children
1. Hobbit Playhouse
Give your kids the playhouse of their dreams, while indulging your Lord Of The Rings obsession, with this quirky hobbit house! As garden ideas go, this is one project that might take a bit of time and effort – but it’s worth it! In fact, if you plan it right and you can have a daytime play space that transforms into an evening Shire-themed reading nook for adults to enjoy.
2. Rowing Boat Sandpit Ideas
Ahoy mateys! Your little captains will have hours of endless fun traversing the high seas with this unique garden design. Don’t have an old boat lying about? No worries! You can either buy a ready-made sandpit or, if you’re feeling ready for some DIY, you could build a simple boat structure from plywood. Just remember to drill holes for drainage.
3. Garden Noughts and Crosses
The perfect puzzle for low-maintenance gardens! All you need is a few pieces of slate and some painted pebble markers. Whether it’s for the kids, grandkids or big kids at heart, this is a great addition to any outdoor space. It would work just as well across a small garden as it would in the corner of a large one.
4. Mud Kitchen Ideas
Let your budding chefs loose in the open air with a custom-built mud kitchen in your own backyard. Add as many features as you want and give a good home to all of your disused crockery and pans. Throw in a picnic bench and your mud kitchen becomes a mud café.
5. DIY Tyre Swing
Give the classic tyre swing an updated look with some brightly coloured suspension rope. Why not give the kids creative license to paint their own designs on the rubber? Add some outdoor cushions for maximum comfort and this will easily become a garden favourite.
6. Outdoor Chalkboard Ideas
Keep your little artists entertained during the summer months with this fantastic outdoor chalkboard. All you need to make this garden design a reality is some backing boards and chalkboard paint. This terrific feature blends in perfectly with the most tranquil gardens and won’t look garish even in a small garden space (unlike some children’s toys).
7. DIY Garden Race Track Ideas
No more matchbox cars lost in the expanse of lawn and bushes! Keep your mini racers on the straight and narrow with a DIY race track. You can even plant a little shrubbery in the grassy centre.
8. Skateboard Rope Swing
Don’t throw out that forgotten old skateboard! Some of the best garden ideas make use of what you’ve already got lying around. Remove the wheels and sand it down to create this fun side to side swing. These make a great addition to any custom built jungle gym.
9. Back Garden Mini Golf
This is a super fun way to transform garden spaces – you and your kids won’t even have to leave the house to enjoy a bit of crazy golf! This mini golf course is fun for all the family and all it takes it some wood to build the frames and some imagination to design the obstacles. Your kids will be busy perfecting their putt all summer long!
10. Sunken Trampoline Ideas
A sunken trampoline is the perfect way to get a trampoline in the garden without overwhelming your outdoor space. The sunken design keeps an open feel, without any bulky trampoline frame blocking your view, and you could even seamlessly cover it over when not in use – as exemplified by the garden above.
11. DIY Treehouse Ideas
Classic garden ideas like treehouses have stood the test of time for good reason. A great treehouse creates the ultimate childhood clubhouse. The best thing about building your own is the total control you have over the design. Keep adding to it over time and you’ll have a luxury tree complex. And you don’t even need a tree to attach it to!
12. Climbing Frame Ideas
Let your mini explorers burn off steam outdoors with an awesome climbing frame. Slides, swings, monkey bars and rope bridges are popular features. Just remember to lay a good layer of soft bark or rubber tiles to save those little hands and knees.
13. Pebble Footprints
You don’t need to be an expert garden designer to pull off this fun idea. It’s a great craft project that the whole family can help with! Toddlers will love trying to find little pebbles to match the size of their feet and older kids will delight in painting names and designs on the stones. Why not make it a yearly tradition?
14. Garden Hopscotch
Indulge in some childhood nostalgia by creating a hopscotch that will be enjoyed by family and friends for years to come. All you need is some garden pavers and a pot of paint.
Creative Garden Ideas For Dining & Entertainment
15. DIY Garden Bar
Enjoy entertaining outdoors during the summer months? Bring the spirit of the holiday beach bar to your garden with your own garden bar. Amazingly, all you really need to recreate the design above are some tools, a few pallets and some corrugated aluminium for the roof. Martini anyone?
16. DIY Wooden Dining Table
Perfect for dining al fresco, outdoor garden furniture doesn’t have to be boring and expensive. Breathe your own personality into your garden with a custom built table and chair set, or else give some life to your existing set with a string of overhead lights.
17. Outdoor DIY Pizza Oven
Garden design is at it best when it brings people together. And there’s nothing that unites people quite as much as homemade pizza. This oven isn’t just for pizza, it’s also ideal for slow cooking larger joints of meat too. Bon appetite!
18. Outdoor DIY BBQ
A good barbecue is a must-have for any serious carnivore. Why not build your grill a permanent home? A grill station is the ultimate outdoor culinary feature, perfect for both elegant entertaining and everyday use.
19. DIY Fire Pit Ideas
Gather round and grab a bag of marshmallows! A fire pit is a great focal point that allows you to continue enjoying your garden long after the sun has set on those cooler autumn evenings. Fortunately, this garden design idea is easy to pull off too – no special masonry skills needed, it’s as simple as laying a few bricks.
20. Lawn Wine Rack
Love a refreshing glass of Sauvignon Blanc? Then this quirky bottle and glass holder is the perfect adornment for your lawn. Position in the shade next to your deckchair and enjoy.
21. Terracotta Pot Smoker
This is a great way to cook in small gardens, especially if there’s no space for a BBQ or smoker. You don’t need a dedicated smokehouse to smoke your meat. These terracotta pot smokers are compact and easy to build, without compromising on flavour. A small hotplate, a pot, a grate and a cover will have you on your way to smoky heaven!
22. DIY Garden Cinema
Host a party with a difference by creating your very own garden cinema. A projector and a decent set of speakers are a must and although you can use a bedsheet, it won’t reflect light so if you’re serious about your al fresco movie nights, it might be worth investing in a proper projector screen.
23. Table With Built-in Drinks Cooler
Running out of fridge space? Keep your ice cold longnecks within arms reach with an integrated drinks cooler. This makes great use of your patio table space and can be covered back over when not in use.
24. Wooden DIY Hot Tub
What better way to relax in the evening than outdoors in a bubbling tub of bliss? Be the envy of all your friends with a wooden hot tub. If you’re confident at DIY, you could build one yourself, but there are also kits and ready-made units available.
Creative Garden Ideas for Furniture & Buildings
Whether you’re in need of some shade or you simply want a defined garden seating area, a pergola is a wonderful feature for any garden to have. You can buy flat packed pergola kits but if you’re handy with a hammer and saw, it’s just as easy (and a lot cheaper) to custom build your own.
26. Garden Pod
Garden pods are a brilliant way to create a secluded garden room. They’re the modern equivalent to a summer house and can be used as offices, workshops or reading rooms. Brighten it up with some planters and a selection of vibrant upholstery and outdoor cushions.
27. Boat Shelter
A fantastic feature for anyone who loves the nautical life! This little seating alcove is the ideal place for those philosophical discussions that last long into the night. Position it close to your fire pit and surround with solar powered lanterns.
28. Living Tepee
A garden tepee is the perfect spot to meditate and reconnect with nature. It also makes an excellent cubbyhole for the kids. Overall, a tepee is a great addition to any outside space and is perfect for a family garden! The design featured above looks great with loads of climbing plants.
Who doesn’t want a peaceful niche for catnapping those lazy Saturday afternoons away? Hammocks are no longer a basic sheet tied precariously between a few trees. Blankets and cushions give added comfort and style, making a garden hammock the perfect place for kicking back and reading the weekend papers.
30. Gardening Potting Bench
Keeping your tools in order is the key to having a tidy, organised garden. So why not buy or build your own garden potting bench? A simple unit can be thrown together cheaply with a few pallets. Sand it down and paint it for added style.
31. Garden Bed
Need to infuse some life and colour into your concrete jungle yard? A garden bed is the perfect solution, giving your outdoor space a patch of grass which also serves as a great spot for basking in the sun. A straightforward elevated frame and a layer of astroturf is all it takes to give your garden a blast of nature.
32. Bed Swing
Another terrific relaxing spot that can be built at almost no cost with some strong pallets. For an added touch of luxury, hang sheer curtains from the top pallet to act as a canopy and give some much needed shade.
33. Garden Bench
Cut tree stumps make a great foundation for garden furniture. Sturdy and secure, they can hold the weight of a good, heavy table top once it is attached correctly. For a touch of opulence, try using a marble or limestone surface.
34. Garden Arm Chair
These feature chairs make a wonderful focal point amid the foliage of your garden. They’re a practical piece of garden furniture but can also be used as a platform for a large colourful planter in the summer.
35. Plastic Bottle Greenhouse
No need to spend a fortune on a greenhouse or polytunnel for growing your fruit and veg. This greenhouse takes a bit of work, but is self-watering and raises the temperature by about 10 degrees. It typically takes 1400 2 litre bottles to build an 8×6 greenhouse – time to get collecting!
36. Garden Mirror
Mirror, mirror on the wall. Don’t throw out that old looking glass! Garden mirrors are a great piece of garden decor and a fantastic feature for giving light and the illusion of more outdoor space. Positioning is the key, so hang it opposite a display of bright colourful flowers for optimal effect.
Creative Garden Ideas for Plants & Flowers
37. Stacked Planters
Who said planters have to be boring? This garden design idea makes the most of vertical space in a small garden by building a wooden stacked planter frame. Line a few of these together to ‘wall off’ a defined area.
38. Colourful Wall Pots
Got a stack of empty paint cans lying around? Give them a lick of vibrant paint and create a colourful planter display to brighten up drab garden fencing or walls. This idea works brilliantly as a hanging herb garden too!
39. Driftwood Planter
Pieces of driftwood make wonderfully interesting garden ornaments, but have you ever considered them as planters? They are ideal for succulent cuttings and air plants. They can even be mounted as a hanging display.
40. Seed Planting Board
Save your aching knees and make planting your seeds a cinch with a seed planting board. All you need is a sheet of wood, old corks and some screws. Mark up your board with the desired seed interval and screw the corks in place. Easy peasy!
41. Wendy House Compost Bin
Compost bins are great for helping the environment and your garden but let’s face it, they’re not the prettiest to look at. Turn yours into a feature rather than an eyesore by building it into a roof-opening wendy house. It’s one of the cutest garden ideas that also serves a practical purpose!
42. Tyre Planters
Another fantastic use for those old tyres! A coat of paint and a selection of bright potting plants will transform your old rubber into a unique hanging planter. Just remember to drill some holes for water drainage.
43. Birdcage Hanging Basket
Remember when bird cages were in fashion and considered as ‘kitsch’ home décor? Well, that trend may be long gone but as it turns out, they make brilliant hanging baskets for trailing perennials. Perfect for hanging from porches!
44. Boat Planter
Nautical memorabilia makes fantastic garden features! Tenders that are too small to convert to seating are great as upright planter displays. All you need is some pallet or crate wood to build a platform for the base and form your planting boxes.
45. Truck Planter
Sentimentally reluctant to discard those outgrown toy trucks? Plant ‘em up! This garden design trick is ingenious – turn toy trucks into boxes for succulents and plants! You can even rope the kids in to help.
Creative Garden Ideas For Storage
46. Garden Tool Rack
Tired of being attacked by a pile of falling tools every time you reach for a shovel? This garden tool storage solution is so easy to make and will save your toes (and sanity!) a thousand times over.
47. Wheelie Bin Storage Planter
Ugly wheelie bins a blight on your garden landscape? Brighten up your horizon by building them their own little shed, complete with a planter top. This is a brilliant idea for keeping rodents and pests at bay and is a great way to get extra planting space in a small garden too!
48. Double Entrance Shed
Stuck for sheltered utility space? In small gardens, there isn’t always space for a standard shed. However, a double entrance shed makes great use of dead space if you have a side return on your house. With this garden design you can gain the extra storage room without compromising your through way. This is perfect for storing out of season garden equipment or bikes.
49. Log Storage
Is your log pile taking over your entire garden? Take advantage of the vertical space and make some simple log storage platforms with some disused pallets and masonry blocks.
50. Wellie Rack
Your kids will never lose a wellie again with this lovely wellie rack. All you need is a few strong branches and a larger log split in half. If you want to go the extra mile, sand it down and paint to match the exterior of your house.
Creative Garden Ideas For Water Features
51. Watering Cans
If you’re after a quirky water feature, don your garden designer hat and create something inventive with watering cans. You could replicate the water feature above, or come up with your own version. All you need are a few galvanised watering cans, a galvanised tub/water barrel, some water tubing, hanging brackets and a small water pump.
Again, this is a lot easier to create than it looks. Get inventive with some old metal chutes and transform them into a quirky water feature. You can even add some water plants to the tub at the bottom. This particular design would look excellent on the wall of a courtyard garden.
53. Homemade pond
A hassle-free alternative to the conventional pond, this is one of the best garden ideas if you want a pond but don’t fancy all the digging. Instead, make your pond in a galvanized tub. A small water pump and some water tubing keep the mini-waterfall flowing, with some rocks to dress it up.
54. Decking Pond
Who said ponds had to be set in the ground? Relax on your decking to the sound of trickling water with this unusual water arrangement. This one takes a bit of effort but the results are absolutely stunning!
55. Bathtub Pond
Upgrading your bathroom? Don’t throw out that old bath! Create an easy inexpensive water feature with a small water pump and some water tubing. Brighten it up with a layer of enamel paint.
56. Pond in a Pot
This is a wonderful feature for apartment balconies, concrete yards and small gardens. Choose a large container and fill it with aquatic plants such as water lilies and irises. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you could add a small water pump and create a fountain.
57. Hovering Teapot
Tea, anyone? This unusual faux water feature is a great focal point for your garden. Surround with bright planters for an extra striking effect.
58. Piano Waterfall
This is a fantastic idea for repurposing an old, broken piano. A piano waterfall is the ultimate garden feature for music lovers, lending a touch of class and uniqueness to your garden. It’s a masterpiece!
59. Water Table For Kids
Kids love messy sensory play. All the better in an outdoor setting, where cleaning up is quick and easy. A simple heavy duty plastic storage box can be transformed into an amazing fountain water table with some pipes, water tubing and a water pump. It’ll keep the kids occupied for hours!
Another one the kids will love. Keep cool in the hot summer weather with this DIY sprinkler. Simply punch holes in a 2 litre plastic bottle and secure a hose over the mouthpiece. The kids will have a ball, plus the lawn will get some much needed irrigation!
Creative Garden Ideas For Wildlife
61. Boot Birdhouse
A birdhouse with a difference. Repurpose those old work boots by using them to build an unusual nesting house. The material of the boots provides a lovely warm, insulated environment for the birds.
62. Bottle Bird Feeder
Bottle bird feeders are ideal for keeping the birds fed during the winter months. Any empty plastic bottle can be used and the kids will love helping you build and decorate them. Be sure to hang or mount them out of the reach of any prowling predators.
63. Bee Hotel
Bee hotels are fantastic for attracting solitary bees and other flying pollinators to your garden. Bees love little nooks and crannies so fill your hotel with a range of different textured tightly packed materials.
64. Rabbit Hutch
Give Bugs the run he has always dreamed of by building a luxury rabbit hutch. Pallets are a great, inexpensive material for this project and you can even rope the kids in to design an interesting obstacle course for the bunny to navigate.
Creative Garden Ideas For Lighting
65. Glow in the Dark Planters
Take your outdoor lighting to the next level by painting your planters with glow in the dark paint. This is a great idea for a Halloween theme, or even just to illuminate a garden path.
66. Tree Fairy Lights
Outdoor fairy lights aren’t just for Christmas! Use them all year round to create interesting and magical displays. Wrap around tree trunks, pin along garden fencing, drape across hedges, the choice is yours! Even if you only have a small garden, draping some fairy lights will really bring the space to life.
67. Border Rope Lighting
Rope lighting can be used as a cheaper and easier to install alternative to ground lighting. Simply dig a shallow trench along the length of your paths and line with the rope lighting.
68. Floating Candles
This is one of those simple garden ideas that looks incredibly effective. Give your garden an ethereal air on those long summer evenings with some floating candles. Masonry jars can be recycled as votives and hung from ground spikes. Perfect for garden parties and outdoor entertaining!
69. Brick Tea Lights
Have lots of candles but you’re short on candlesticks? Use fire bricks as candle holders. Arrange along paths or on steps for a striking, unforgettable effect.
70. Tin Can Lanterns
This idea offers some great garden inspiration if you’re looking for inventive lighting. Aluminium cans make great outdoor lanterns. Use a hammer and nail to punch patterns into the cans to make beautiful, subtle lighting displays. It helps if you draw your pattern on a piece of paper beforehand and stick to the can as a guide.
Creative Garden Landscaping Ideas
71. Log Path
Create a magical woodland walkway in your garden with wood discs. You will need to coat the wood with shellac beforehand and do some digging to get the discs to sit smoothly in the ground, but the result is so fantastic it’s worth the hard graft!
72. Seating or Stage
Your kids will love performing their showpieces on this custom built stage that doubles as seating. Or perhaps you just want to display your favourite planters on a platform worthy of their magnificence. Either way, the results are stunning.
73. Private Dining Area
Define your outdoor dining area and give it a more intimate feel by enclosing it in a wooden fence. Using different heights of wood give it an interesting edge and stop it from feeling too walled-in.
74. Bottle Borders
A wonderful idea for recycling green beer bottles is to stick them in the ground along the edge of your flower beds. This creates an unusual border that matches the colours in your garden.
75. Decorative Drainage
Ugly drainage can be an eyesore that takes away from the beauty of your garden. Brighten yours up by covering with a layer of pebbles and planting succulents and air plants along it.
76. Climber Tunnel
Construct a stunning foliage walkway in your garden! The frame can be built from wood, or by using garden wire over metal poles. Choose your favourite climbers and vines to line the frame. This is also perfect for climbing vegetables and fruits.
This is a sundial with a difference! Use bricks to make the roman numerals and set into the ground. You tell the time by standing on the centre platform and casting your shadow along the timeline.
How can I redesign my garden on a budget?
The most budget-friendly garden ideas will involve using what you already have or sourcing things cheaply/for free. First, I would recommend taking stock of any DIY and gardening supplies that you might have lying around in the shed or garage. If you’ve got some leftover tins of paint, you could decorate a wall or some plant pots, if you’ve got leftover gravel or bark, you could create some new borders. Even a small amount of wood, or some pallets, will present you with some options for redesigning the garden. You could build shelves, planters or furniture.
Keep an eye on local social media groups, ‘freebie’ pages, car boot sales and charity shops. There will be loads of items that you’ll be able to use to redesign your garden without spending a lot of money. You’ll likely just need to invest a bit of extra time into some DIY projects.
What are the important elements to bear in mind with garden design?
When designing a garden, there are five important elements to consider: line, form, texture, colour and scale. If each of these elements is considered, and used in balance with the other elements, this creates the recipe for good landscape design.