How to Make the Most of a Large Garden

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riel view of a large garden featuring a garden room

TGO4 Garden Room from Green Retreats

In today’s post, I will be sharing some large garden ideas to help you make the most of your outdoor space this summer. Most of us probably dream of having a large garden, but in reality, it can be a lot of work to maintain and it can be hard to know what to do with all that space. The temptation is often to do nothing. My husband is a gardener and he works for lots of people who have large gardens and I can tell you how many people struggle to keep on top of a large garden and simply let it grow wild. But how do you make the most of a large garden? Let’s take look at some of my favourite large garden ideas.

How Do You Make a Large Garden More Manageable?

A woman trimming branches using a mini chainsaw

STIHL GTA 26 Battery Garden Pruner from Quiet Mark

According to my husband, the only way to make a large garden more manageable is regular maintenance. A garden needs to be tended to often. This includes mowing the lawn, trimming back any excess growth, pruning trees and bushes, and digging up weeds as a bare minimum. If you also want your garden to have plants and flowers these will also need to be looked after. Regular maintenance is the only way to manage a large garden. So if this is something you do not have time for and don’t enjoy, you should probably look to outsource it to a local gardener.

What is the Best Layout for a Large Garden?

Once your garden is under control you might wonder what the best layout is for a large garden. This is where the planning comes in.

Plan Your Space Around Your Lifestyle

When you start designing your garden, the first thing to consider is how you want to use the space. Think about your lifestyle and what features you want to include.

Do you want a quiet place to relax, a space for entertaining guests, or a play area for children? Deciding on the main purposes of your garden will help you plan the layout effectively. Once you know what you want, sketch out a basic plan.

This doesn’t have to be detailed; just map out different areas and how they will connect. This will help you organise your large garden ideas and give you a clearer idea of how to use the space and how to balance open areas with more structured sections.

Ideas for Breaking up a Large Garden

Create Garden Zones

One of the best ways to manage a large garden is to divide it into different sections. This makes the space more manageable and allows you to create distinct areas for different activities. For example, you might have a dining area near the house, a lawn for playing, a vegetable garden in a sunny spot, and a secluded seating area for reading.

Dividing the garden can be done in various ways. Hedges, fences, screens or even rows of plants can create natural boundaries. Pathways can also help guide people through the garden and define different zones.

Think about using different materials and plants to give each section its own character while still keeping the overall design cohesive.

Let’s take a look at the five main zones you will want to consider:

1. Outdoor Dining Zone

A large garden featuring an outdoor dining scene beneath a pergola draped with white fabric

Monaco Dining Table With 6 Dining Armchairs from Bridgman (affiliate link)

Eating outside when the weather is good is probably one of the best things about having a garden no matter what size it is. We try to eat in the garden as often as possible as soon as the summer arrives. And we love having friends around for BBQs and al fresco drinks.

It makes most sense to locate your outdoor dining zone as close to the house as possible. That way you won’t have to traipse halfway through the garden to bring food and drinks from the kitchen. You want it to be as easy as possible to pop back inside and get whatever you need.

Set up a patio or a small deck near the house with a dining table and chairs for meals outside.

2. Relaxation Zone

A lounger under a tree in a large garden

Shorwell Garden Lounger from OKA

One of my personal favourite large garden ideas is to have a relaxation zone. This should be in a quiet corner far from the house. You’re trying to get away from the chaos so you want to find a place that is slightly more secluded and where you cannot hear everything that is going on inside.

Your relaxation zone should include comfortable seating such as loungers, hammocks or swinging seats in a quiet corner.

Think about what else you might need in order to be able to fully relax in this part of your garden. You may want to include a parasol to provide shade on sunnier days. You may want a picnic blanket in case you want to lay on the ground.

3. Play Zone

Kids enjoying an inflatable splash pad in a large garden

H2O Splash course Multicolour Water park from B&Q

If you have children, you probably need to consider them in your large garden ideas. Dedicate a section of your outdoor space for children’s play equipment or an area where they can practice sports. This might be a playhouse, a swing set or climbing frame, or perhaps it’s an area to play football, basketball or do trampolining.

You will likely want to place this area far away from the relaxation zone. The last thing you want is to be hit by a football while you are relaxing with a good book. It should probably be within view of the house so that you can keep an eye on the children while they play.

4. Garden Work Zone

A potting shed in the corner of a large garden

Redwood Lap Forest Retreat 8×5 Shed from Forest

Whether you hire a gardener or manage your garden yourself, you will need to allocate a garden workspace. Here, you can have a potting shed or a small greenhouse for your gardening tasks. This can also be somewhere to store your gardening tools and equipment.

5. Planting Zone

If you want your garden to look pretty and you enjoy plants and flowers, you will inevitably want to include a planting zone. This could be the border of your garden, or a dedicated area somewhere in the garden. Bear in mind the conditions when deciding where to put your planting area. There are a number of planting options to choose from.

Flower Beds
Flower beds behind half sleepers

Half Mini Sleeper garden borders from Forest

Flower beds are great for adding colour and texture. Choose a variety of flowers that bloom at different times of year so that you can enjoy the flower garden all year round. If you don’t have the time or inclination to be planting flowers every year, choose perennials instead of annuals.

Plants like Yarrow, Michaelmas daisy, Crocosmia, Delphinium, Cranesbill, Hellebores, Daylilies, Ice plant, and Iris will all last more than one season and will ensure that your garden is full of colour and beautiful floral scents.

Vegetable Garden
Male hands hold carrots in a vegetable plot

MamaTerra by Verve Vegetable from B&Q

Create a vegetable patch to grow your own produce. Focus on the vegetables that you will most enjoy eating and if you are a beginner, choose easy vegetables that will be most productive. Lettuce, green beans, radishes, tomatoes, peppers, beets, carrots, chard, spinach, kale and peas are all great options for beginners.

Chose the right plot size and make sure that you prepare the soil well as it will need to be nutrient rich.


Planting fruit trees will add a mix of beauty and utility. Consider which trees will do well in your local climate. It can take a number of years for fruit trees to actually bear fruit so be patient and in the meantime enjoy the blossom.

Herb Garden
Herbs grow in a wooden trough in a garden

Kitchen Garden Trough from Forest

A herb garden will enable you to grow a variety of herbs for culinary and medicinal uses. This can either be planted directly in the garden or you can grow herbs in pots. Any that you want to use regularly for your cooking could be kept close to the house. Bear in mind that some herbs grow super quickly and will take over the garden if not managed well.

Other Large Garden Ideas

Once you have decided on the distinct zones that you want to create in your large garden, there are a whole host of other large garden ideas that you can consider to make your outdoor space more homely, practical and enjoyable.

Water Features

A water feature in a large garden

Water Dome from Solus Decor (affiliate link)

There is scientific evidence to suggest that being near water can have a calming effect on the body and can help to relieve stress and anxiety. The sounds of running water are beneficial for our health and wellbeing. So adding a water feature to your large garden is a great idea. Water features also add beauty to your garden.

Swimming Pool

A seating area beside a pool

Aubrey Corner Garden Sofa Set from Cult Furniture

If you have the space and budget, a swimming pool can be a fantastic addition. When you’re adding a pool, consider its placement carefully- it should be in a sunny spot, away from trees that might drop leaves into the water. Safety is also important, especially if you have children. Make sure the pool is securely fenced and that there are non-slip surfaces around it. Don’t forget to plan for pool renovations to keep your pool in good condition.

Pond or Water Garden

A pond covered in netting

Universal Pond Cover from Agriframes

Installing a pond or water garden will help to attract wildlife to your garden. You’ll notice an increase in the number of butterflies, dragonflies, birds, and bees in the garden after installing a pond. You can get a cover for the pond to protect your fish, frogs or any other creatures that live in it.


A water fountain

Water Nymph Fountain from Hadstone

A fountain can serve as a beautiful focal point and provide you with the soothing sounds of running water. This could be a great addition to the relaxation area.

Stream or Waterfall

A small waterfall leads into a stream

Photo by Bryan Dickerson on Unsplash

If you want to push the boat out with your large garden ideas and have the space consider adding a stream or waterfall as a natural feature in your garden. This works particularly well if your large garden has natural slopes that you can use.

Add a Garden Room

This is probably one of the large garden ideas that will have the most impact on how practical your garden is. Outbuildings like summerhouses, greenhouses, or garden studios can add functionality and charm to your garden and allows you to make the most of your garden all year round. When you’re planning outbuildings, think about their location and how they fit into the overall design. 

A summer house in a secluded corner of a large garden

A summerhouse allows you to enjoy your garden in comfort and you can spend time outside even when the weather isn’t the best. It can provide a perfect retreat for crafting, reading or doing other hobbies.

A glass greenhouse

Palram Canopia Oasis™ 8×6 Hexagonal Greenhouse from B&Q

A greenhouse allows you to grow plants all year round by extending your growing season and allowing you to experiment with exotic plants.

Garden Studio
A garden studio

TGO1 Garden Room from Green Retreats

If you want something more robust and than a summer house, a garden studio could be a good option. Ideal for working from home, garden studios are much more watertight, and can be fitted with electricity, lighting and heating to ensure a comfortable environment.

Gazebo or Pergola
A seating area under a large pergola

Eden 3m x 4m Garden Pergola from Lime Lace (affiliate Link)

A gazebo or a pergola in your large garden can help to create shade and a place to relax or entertain. Decide whether you want to grow trailing plants over your pergola or whether you want to add some kind of shade to protect you from the strong mid-afternoon sun.

Garden Pod

A garden pod in a large garden

 Summerhouse Garden Pod from Lime Lace (affiliate link)

Imagine wandering down to the bottom of your large garden with a book, a blanket, a hot water bottle and a hot chocolate in winter to read inside your garden pod. Watching the rain outside while you’re all snuggly inside. Wouldn’t that just be so dreamy? It’s definitely a dream of mine.

Create Social Spaces

One of the very best things about a large garden is that it’s perfect for entertaining. For us, it is far easier than hosting people indoors. Our flat is tiny, our dining table is only big enough for the four of us and there is no space for an extending table. When we host in the garden we can have many more people over.

Creating social spaces where you can gather with your family and friends is a great way to make the most of your large garden. A patio or deck with comfortable seating and a dining table can be ideal for meals and parties. Think about shade and shelter, too. Pergolas, awnings or large parasol umbrellas can provide you with protection from the sun and rain so that your garden is enjoyable in all weathers.

But there are lots of other additions you can make so you can entertain in style in your garden.

Outdoor Kitchen

WWOO outdoor kitchen is a low maintenance concrete kitchen that can be customised to meet your needs

WWOO Outdoor Kitchen

One of my dream large garden ideas is to install an outdoor kitchen. Granted we don’t really have the weather for it here in the UK so it wouldn’t get that much use, making it quite a luxury. But if you have the space and the money, why not? Just make sure you add some kind of shelter to protect it from the weather if you want to use it even when it’s not sunny.

Garden Bar

People sitting round an outdoor bar at night in a large garden

Garden bar with bar stools from Grillo

Going to the pub is getting increasingly expensive and more people are opting to entertain at home. If you really want to impress your friends and family, consider installing a bar in your garden. This will really up-level your entertaining credentials.

Fire Pit

A cosy seating area in a large garden with firepit

Long Island Curved Modular Dining Set With Firepit from COX&COX (affiliate link)

A fire pit is a great addition to your large garden. It will keep you warm as the sun sets and the evenings get chillier but it is also a wonderful thing to watch. There is just something so calming about watching a roaring fire and hearing it crackle. It’s also great for toasting marshmallows with your friends and family.

Outdoor Cinema

An outdoor cinema set up at night

Dekoria Open Air Cinema

An outdoor cinema is the perfect set-up for a large garden. Include it inside a covered pergola area or simply create a makeshift one whenever you want to invite friends and family over for a movie night. You can make it as simple or as special as you like, just remember to make it comfortable.

Maximise Seating Options

It’s always a good idea to maximise the seating options. If you have a large garden you can incorporate lots of different options so that you can mix things up. It’s also helpful if you’re a very social family and often have multiple groups of people over at once as you can spread out and mingle with different people.


A bench against a hedge in a garden

Teak 2 Seat Bench from Bramblecrest

Place benches in scenic spots for rest and enjoyment. These are great for sitting quietly and taking in the fresh air. Maybe reading the newspaper with your morning coffee or quietly reading a magazine. Invest in some nice seat cushions to make your bench more comfortable.

Outdoor Sofas

A couple snuggle on a round daybed on a patio

Avalonia Stone Grey Rattan Effect Round Garden Daybed from Clickstyle (affiliate link)

Outdoor sofas are great for creating a comfortable lounging area. Make sure you get weather-resistant furniture or at least invest in some covers to keep your outdoor sofa protected. These are great for when you want to spend more time outdoors in comfort.

Swing Seats & Hammocks

Left: AMAZONAS Fat Hammock | Right: Macrame Double Hanging Seat from Ella James (affiliate link)

Swing seats are a great way to add fun and relaxation in a large garden. Install a hanging chair, swinging seat or hammock so you can really relax in your outdoor space. How long will it be before you’re off in the land of nod?

Illuminate Your Garden

One of the large garden ideas you don’t want to forget is outdoor lighting. If you have a lot of space to navigate it’s advisable to make sure that you set up some kind of lighting so that you can see where you are going and stay safe but also so that you can stay out in your garden even after dark. There are various options you may want to consider and it has never been so easy considering you can now get reasonably priced solar lights so no need to hire an electrician to hardwire your lights.

Solar Lights

Solat stake lights run alongside the edge of a garden path

Newbury Solar Garden Lights from The Solar Centre

Solar-powered lights can be used along pathways and in garden beds so that it is much easier to see where the pathways are in your large garden.

String Lights

A glass greenhouse is lit up with string lights, lanterns and candles

Lighting options from Lights4Fun (affiliate link)

Hanging string lights in your large garden will help to create a lovely cosy atmosphere. You can suspend them over seating areas, hang them in trees, or install them in your greenhouse. This simple idea will transform your outdoor space and give it a magical glow that all your neighbours will be jealous of…believe me, my neighbour has put some up this summer and I am so jealous.


Colour Changing Solar Spotlights from Lights4Fun (affiliate link)

You can install spotlights around your large garden to highlight key features such as trees, sculptures, or water features. This is what they do in large national gardens and tourist attractions and it can create a stunning effect, especially if you use colour-changing spotlights.

So there you have it. When done right, implementing these large garden ideas can bring so many benefits. During periods of good weather it’s almost like having a summer staycation in your own garden but they also allow you to make the most of your large garden throughout the whole year even when the weather isn’t playing ball.

Is there anything I’ve missed? If you can think of any other suggestions, pop them in the comments below.

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