7 Ways To Create An Enchanting Outdoor Space With String Lights

Written by: Lucy Kirk

Now that summer is on the way, we’ve delved into our library of inspiration to bring you our all-time favourite ways of decorating gardens, patios, and pergolas with outdoor fairy lights. From canopies to Instagram backdrops and gorgeous glowing greenery, the possibilities truly are endless...

1. Think Small

You don’t need a big garden to get the best out of your string lights this season. Potted plants and window boxes are the perfect setting for a touch of summer magic, too: dot tiny flower-capped fairy lights in amongst your favourite foliage, or twist simple strings up the trunks of dainty olive trees or miniature topiary.

2. Create A Fairy Light Canopy

There’s nothing more charming than the twinkling glow of fairy lights overhead: the crowning glory to any outdoor summer party. Attach each end of a string of bulbs to a tree, a wall, or the edge of any outdoor structure, and then swag back and forth in intervals to create this pretty ceiling of lights. Go big by draping over entire gardens, or keep things cosy with a mini canopy over an outdoor dining table.

3. Pep Up Your Parasol

An illuminated parasol over an outdoor dining table just became the ultimate garden must-have. Rather than taking your parasol down when the sun fades, use a simple battery operated fairy light and wind the lights up and down the arms of the umbrella, twining the rest of the bulbs down the central support for an extra touch of sparkle.

4. Light Up Garden Furniture

Bring some sparkle to your outdoor living space by wrapping fairy lights around benches and chair-backs, sofas and sun loungers, and illuminating pergolas and garden structures with a warm, summer glow. Battery and solar fairy lights work particularly well for smaller spots. Dot battery powered outdoor candles on tables and pouffes to complete the look.

5. Spruce Up Garden Fences

Create a glowing border for your garden by draping fairy lights back and forth along walls and fences. Pretty shapes (think dragonflies, butterflies, and flowers) look magical when twined around wrought iron gates and fence posts, whilst simple string lights added to tall privacy fences will add a beautiful backdrop for outdoor living spaces. Cosy up in the glow with pallet benches, scatter cushions, and outdoor rugs: your garden just became your new favourite room in the house.

6. Add A Glow To Greenery

Tuck your lights in amongst the foliage and the flowers and watch as hedges and shrubs come to life at dusk. Use plug in strings for larger hedges, or opt for handy solar or battery powered fairy lights for topiaries and smaller plants: simply hide the battery box out of sight in amongst the leaves themselves. To bring a little extra magic to your outdoor space, choose lights with enchanting creature caps like bees, or butterflies: utterly charming when night falls.

7. Make Trees Magical

Tree lights aren’t just for Christmas. Bring some cheer to your garden by wrapping string lights ‘candy cane style’ around trunks and branches, starting from the base and working your way up through the tree. Warm white fairy lights will look magical against dark green foliage, whilst white lights are particularly striking when paired with paler barks like silver birch. If you have a pair of trees side-by-side, dress both of them, then string up a hammock between the two so you can relax in the soothing glow from above: what could be more idyllic in the summertime?