Best garden ideas for small spaces 2023: Furniture, planters and more

Best garden ideas for small spaces 2023: Furniture, planters and more


ny kind of personal outdoor space is precious in London.

Though the capital is lucky enough to have swathes of green space in the form of its parks (3000 of them, in fact), having a little pocket of green to call your own is something very special.

A garden comes into its own in the warmer months, when it can expand your floor space by acting as another room. It can be a place to entertain friends and family, whip up BBQ feasts or just sit with the papers on a leisurely weekend morning.

But if you plan on your garden being something more than just a space to hang your washing, you’ll need some clever outdoor furniture and decor ideas to maximise every inch. Think bistro sets that pack in on each other, garden sail shades that do away with the need for a central pole, and lightweight collapsible seating that will store compactly when you’re not hosting.

Luckily you’ve come to the right place to find the right things. Here are ES Best, we love clever home ideas, and that extends out towards the garden too. We’ve found all the pieces you need to make the most of your small garden so you can enjoy it all through the summer – and beyond.

Shop the selection below

La Redoute Dudena 3-Piece Garden Set in Acacia Wood

La Redoute

Smarten up your garden with a small bistro set that folds flat when you want more space. From La Redoute, this two-seater with a matching table comes in white, terracotta, green and blue colour options, as well as black, which will hide weather and wear more effectively. Dress with tablecloth and outdoor crockery and never worry about booking table for brunch again.

Freeport Park Blom Football Table

Freeport Park

A playful design which can be folded and stored upright, this football table makes a wonderful gift to serious footie fans and beginners alike. The body is made from strong and smooth MDF with a marked pitch and teams in blue and black. A score counter on either side also allows you to keep tabs on who’s winning. Slip on a furniture cover when not in use to keep it in good nick.

Dunelm Trellis Planter Self Assembly


Create privacy and a place for plants and produce to grow with a small trellis. From Dunelm, this sturdy metal frame creates a space for climbing plants to grow as well as strawberries and tomatoes if you want to try growing your own.

Keter Eden Bench 265L Garden Storage Box – Grey


Loyal readers will know by now that here at ES Best we have a thing for furniture with storage. When space is scarce, it pays to invest in items that work harder for your money. In the garden, that means a bench that doubles up as a storage bench. Simply add squishy outdoor cushions to this bench for additional seating, storing plant pots, gardening tools or even picnicware underneath, ready to whip out when you need it. The weather-resistant wood-look panel design is lockable and can hold up to 265L within.

Habitat Nordic 4 Seater Rattan Patio Set – Grey


When the weather’s on your side, who doesn’t want to eat all their meals outdoors? This patio set seats four people around a square table with the seats tucking in completely underneath. With an oak-effect table top and rattan and steel chairs, it’s a sleek outdoor dining solution for small spaces.

Brabantia Wallfix Wall Mounted Clothes Line with Protective Cover


The ability to dry clothes outdoors is something only readers of a certain vintage will understand. Why drying wet laundry for free outside is one of the best ways to save money, a garden rack can take up rather a lot of space. Push back with Brabantia’s clever retractable washing line, which can be packed (almost) flat against the wall when it’s not needed. This means you won’t need to find room indoors or in a shed to store it, freeing up more space. There’s plenty of drying space to do a whole load full.

Moda Furnishings Bistro Stacking Set


Another great option for those short on space, this stacking set comprises two chairs and a low table, all of which can be stacked together to form a rather beautiful vase shape, allowing it to double as a bar table. We loved the ease of the whole process and brilliant design – we’ve lost count of the times we’ve almost sliced off a finger tidying away folding deckchairs and loungers. The different components lock into place incredibly sturdily, and the chairs’ dual-density foam provided a much greater level of comfort than we’d expected.

IKEA Sundso bistro set


Got a beautiful balcony you want to make the most of? IKEA’s Sundso table and chairs set is ideal – it folds away when not in use, and is coated with a wipe-clean finish that doesn’t require maintenance. Add the striped Sommaflader tablecloth to create a stunning al fresco dining scene on a small scale. Pretty, huh?

La Redoute Interieurs Anaïa Wall-Mounted Metal Planter

La Redoute

Depth: 16.5cm

Perfect for shallow balconies or window ledges, this sleek black planter will add interesting texture to your exteriors. It’s a wall-mounted unit although if the depth between your balcony edge and door is 20cm or less, there’s nothing stopping you from wedging it into the gap as long as it’s secure. For fans of colour, there are five other options in addition to black: sage, white, prussian blue, light grey/green and mustard yellow.

VonHaus Botanical Print 2x3m Shade Sail


Why not use your new purchase to inject some colour into your space? VonHaus has two designs available in triangular and rectangular shapes to add a little twist to your outdoor decor. This 2x3m shade is in a red, peach, green and white botanical-inspired print and is perfect for small terraces and seating areas.

Charles Bentley Natural Wicker Bistro Set

Charles Bentley

Turbo charge your small space with a sophisticated bistro set, like this design crafted by expert Charles Bentley. Made from natural wicker and finished with a cushion pad to make things more comfortable, the two-seater set offers a chic and relatively inexpensive way to get your garden seating up to scratch. It does require construction, so dust the DIY kit down – at least you’ll have a lovely spot to sit once you’re finished.

Habitat Samoa Wooden Single Seat Garden Chair-Natural


There’s backrests, and then there’s this single seater garden chair that takes things to another level. Ideal for sectioning larger gardens or adding multi-use in a small one, use it to create a windbreaker or add a statement piece to your space. Dress the wooden FSC-certified bench as you please, with plants hanging from the slats or solar fairy tales threaded through it. The light wood is also easy to paint too, if you’ve got a hue you love in mind.

Primrose Tortola Wooden Hammock with Stand

No mature trees to hang your hammock on? Worry not, as there’s a host of options that come equipped with their very own handy stand. This stylish number is an elegant piece crafted with honey-hued larch wood and a cream canvas to stretch out on. It manages to be elegant while also being extra-strong, so it’s the perfect place to hang out à deux if that tickles your fancy.

Lechuza Balconera Plastic Self-Watering Balcony Planter


Depth: 19cm

Never again fret about the state of your plants when you go on holiday or a business trip: Lechuza’s self-watering planter has your back. The lightweight design (4.32kg) features a small reservoir to feed plants with just the right amount of liquid; simply check the water level indicator before you leave to make sure it’s topped up.

The planter contains two mini removable sections in which you can grow your favourite seeds and is offered in a range of colours with a matte finish.

Foldable Pet Bath Tub


Dimensions: 80 x 76.2 x 30cm

It’s easy to forget that when the weather warms up, your pets need to cool off too. Let them join in the paddling pool fun with this purpose-built pool that’s ideal for small to medium-sized dogs. No inflating required here, the durable PVC sections fold up to create a watertight enclosure for your pets with a built in plug on the side for easy drainage.

Tekscore Table Tennis Top


Transform any table into a table tennis table thanks to this high-quality cover which comes in 7ft, 8ft and regulation-sized 9ft sizes. A design like this means that storage is barely an issue, and you can take your game practically anywhere, from the dining table to your next staycation rental. It comes with all the usual accessories: a net and post set, two bats and two balls. Includes a 12 month manufacturing warranty.