Garden suppliers: a sourcebook of the top 52 garden transformation essentials

Everything you've ever needed for your garden in one place – the ultimate compilation of the best garden retailers out there

traditional garden
(Image credit: Leigh Clapp Photography)

Planning a complete garden transformation and want to know where to get the best garden supplies? You've come to the right place – everything you could possibly want for your new garden design, in one handy sourcebook. 

We cover everything from hard landscaping suppliers to garden ornaments and garden tool suppliers. 

So take the time and the stress out of looking for the best garden products and suppliers – we've already done the searching for you. 

And once you've chosen the garden suppliers you need, be sure to check out our garden ideas piece for inspiration.

  • Starting from scratch? We've got an ultimate guide to garden design too

Britain's best garden centres

Why you can trust Real Homes Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

A garden centre is likely to be your first stop if you're making over your garden, and it's highly likely you'll go to the one that's nearest to your home; however, it sometimes pays to travel that little bit further if you're looking for a wide selection of products at competitive prices.

1. Best garden centres nationwide

Pressed for time, on a budget, or simply want the easiest way possible to get all your garden supplies at once? A big, well-stocked garden centre is your best bet. Large, well-established chains such as Wyevale should cover most of the garden basics, from plants and tools through to gravel and garden furniture, plus they'll deliver. 

We recommend the following chains to start with (all of them have the option to shop online, which makes life even easier):

Garden paving and brickwork suppliers

Let's start with the structural materials for your garden transformation. Patio paving is a good place to start your new scheme – it will be integral to your garden's design and will influence all other hard landscaping materials that you choose. 

Find out more about choosing the best patio paving for your garden. And be inspired by our feature on how to design a patio to get yours just right.

2. Best real stone patio paving

Real stone is by far the most popular option for patios, and is perfect for creating a traditional, characterful feel for your garden. Real stone is also durable, though can be heavy. Picking a stone that complements your garden's natural surroundings will give you the best results, but look for limestone, York stone or sandstone for a timeless look that will go well with most garden design schemes. 

There are lots of places to get natural stone paving, including the garden centres above, but if you want to look at a wide choice, it's worth going direct to specialists; most of them will offer subtle variations of the same stone types, although if you feel like something a bit different, try The Natural Slate Co.

burnt magenta block paving Natural Paving

(Image credit: Natural Paving)

3. Best man-made patio paving

Man-made patio paving includes paving blocks made from porcelain, terracotta, and concrete. These types pf paving look great as part of contemporary garden design schemes, or for creating a link between your indoor and outdoor spaces if, perhaps, you want to choose a stone to run from a kitchen diner right outside on to the patio. Man-made paving blocks are durable, and are also typically more cost effective than natural stone. 

Our top sources for man-made patio paving include:

Porcelain Spa Collection Ashbourne Beige Garden Display | Westminster Stone

(Image credit: Westminster Stone)

4. Best replica patio paving

Replica patio paving uses man-made materials to make imitations of real stone slabs, and wood lookalikes, too. Again, this is a more cost-effective option than natural stone – and, in some cases, it can be more low-maintenance, too. Concrete, for instance, is easier to clean and re-seal than stone. 

For replica paving head to:

Bradstone Old Town concrete Paving in Old Quarried

(Image credit: Bradstone)

5. Best brickwork sources

When choosing bricks, whether as a patio paving or for building retaining walls, you'll want to think about the colour of your brick and mortar, as well as the colour, size and texture of your brick and the type of bond you opt for. While in isolation all these factors may seem to have a small impact, in combination they'll have a significant effect on the aesthetics of the brickwork. Let's face it, bricks aren't exactly something that you can change easily further down the line. 

When making a decision you'll want to think about how suitable each kind of brick is for your area, as well as the overall style you're looking to achieve.

As a general rule, the following types of brick are commonly used in each area of the country:

  • Orange bricks are typical of the Lincolnshire region;
  • Red bricks are more common in the North;
  • You'll tend to find creams and yellow bricks around Cambridgeshire and London;
  • If you're in the Midlands, it could be blue bricks.

That said, the age and style of your home could be more effective in determining the kind of brick that will suit your garden transformation.

For Georgian properties, avoid anything too malty; for farmhouses ensure your choice isn't too mechanical or with precise, tight joints.

If you're looking for an affordable and cost effective solution, clay bricks are your closest ally. Suitable for modern construction, they promise long-term sustainability and little maintenance for up to 150 years.

When it comes to sourcing bricks, try:

6. Best garden drainage supppliers

Drainage may sound like a less exciting aspect of planning a garden, but it's absolutely essential to the health of your garden, not to mention the stability of any paving. For all your drainage needs (and handy advice) head to the following drainage specialist websites:

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Gravel types and suppliers

Gravel is a cheap option that's easy to DIY-lay, although it's not practical as a primary surface if you have children because it's unforgiving on knees and hands, and it's easily transferred indoors. However, it's ideal for use on and around patios, rockeries and borders, and for paths and driveways, too.

Laying a gravel path is perfectly doable for an experienced DIYer, again helping you cut the cost of your garden project. Use our guide to designing a driveway to find out all you need to know about that project.

7. Best loose gravel sources

Loose gravel is a popular, low-cost option for creating garden paths and driveways. Typically, loose gravel is laid over a compacted stone base or straight onto the ground. Loose gravel is permeable, which is very important for keeping the ecosystem of your garden healthy. With loose gravel, however, expect imperfections and, over time, potholes (especially if using the gravelled area for parking). 

Find out how to choose the best gravel for your garden, then shop:

8. Best resin-bound gravel sources

Resin-bound gravel uses epoxy binders to hold the gravel together once it's been laid. Resin-bound gravel will hold its shape for much longer and is weed resistant. Avoid anything that is term 'resin bonded' rather than 'resin bound', as it's not permeable and could cause flooding and other problems in your garden and surrounding area. 

9. Best self-binding gravel sources

Self-binding gravel is the perfect in-between option; if you want a firmer, neater finish than you'd get with loose gravel, but still want an all-natural material, self-binding gravel is the way to go. Unlike loose gravel that has been cleaned and is sold as separate, neat pebbles, self-binding gravel comes with the dust and particles naturally produced by crushing stone. As a result, when this type of gravel is being rolled out, the dust or sand that comes with it acts as a natural binder. 

Our top sites for buying self-binding gravel are:

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 Soil and mulch suppliers 

Choosing soil correctly is essentialy to a healthy garden, and the type of soil and mulch you choose should depend on what type of plants you plan on growing. For borders and beds, you have two options: keeping the existing soil and simply adding a thin top layer of fresh compost, or digging up your topsoil and replacing it. The latter is much more effective in the longer term, although more labour intensive. 

Bear in mind that some plants, including hydrangeas, camellia, and rhododendrons, require acidic soil, so look for compost labelled 'ericaceous'. Lilacs and clematis, on the other hand, thrive in alkaline soil. It is a good idea to test your soil's pH before planning your planting scheme, as it's much easier to go along with what you've already got. 

Mulch in the winter and summer to protect the structure of your soil and to prevent fungal infections and other plant diseases.  

Read more about spotting and treating the most common plant diseases

10. Best soil and mulch sources

The quality of topsoil in your garden will without exception determine how healthy and prolific your plants will be, so it's well worth the effort and extra cost to get the best compost possible. We especially recommend John Innes for bedding and container plants. The Compost Shop offer the full award-winning John Innes range of compost. 

John Innes No.3 Container Compost

(Image credit: John Innes)

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Lawns and fake grass suppliers

The most important thing to remember about lawns is that grass is not the same as your other plants and needs mowing regularly. This is because new grass growth is always at the bottom of the plant, while old growth that needs to be trimmed off is at the top. If you don't mow your lawn, your grass may grow very tall indeed and eventually will go to seed. 

11. Best lawn sources

Grass is grass, right? Well, not quite. For best results, always buy your lawn seed from lawn specialists, as the seed quality will determine the quality and durability of your lawn. If you have children or dogs, we recommend going for grass labelled 'hardwearing'; and – avoid sowing sports lawn grass in your garden, as it's not suitable for residential use. 

Got your lawn seed ready? Find out how to mow a lawn for the best results year around. Now is the time to invest in a lawnmower, too. Choose from our pick of the best lawnmowers

Staygreen Lawn Grass Seed Lawnsmith

(Image credit: Lawnsmith)

12. Best faux grass sources

When is faux grass appropriate? We say: as a temporary measure in a garden that has a damaged or unattractive patio area you won't be able to fix or remove for a while; and it's a great option if you have young children who will kick the heck out of a real lawn. 

Artificial grass is low-maintenance and good-quality types look quite natural. However, you will need to ensure you have adequate drainage (read, sub base) before installing it. And we strongly advise against using artificial grass in areas where natural grass may be used – it is actually easier to sow real grass rather than bothering with weed membranes for artificial turf. 

Lazy Stripe artificial grass by Lazy Lawn

(Image credit: Lazy Lawn)

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Decking suppliers

Decking has been a firm favourite for garden owners for many decades; hygienic, warm underfoot, and good-looking, decking is the perfect addition to a contemporary garden design scheme. The main types of decking available are softwood, hardwood, and composite decking. Which is best for your garden will depend on how much maintenance you're prepared to do and, to an extent, the look you're going for. 

Find out more about choosing the best materials for your deck and, if you are a competent DIYer, how to install your own decking.

13. Best pressure treated decking sources

Pressure treated decking is made from softwood, usually pine, and has been treated with chemicals that make it resistant to rot and pests. Pressure treated decking is cheaper than hardwood decking and is available from the following retailers:

14. Best hardwood decking sources

Hardwood decking is the highest quality natural decking material you can get, with woods available including teak, balau, iroko and cumaru. These species of wood have a naturally high oil content, making them resistant to all kinds of damage. For hardwood decking, head to the following suppliers:

Dark Brown Larch Brushwood Finish Decking Board (145mm x 38mm) from

(Image credit:

15. Best composite decking sources

Composite decking is the easy-care, eco-friendly option, since composite decking uses wood chips and sawdust that are by-products of other industries. The wood is then bound with plastic, which makes it durable and easy to clean. High-quality composite decking can look as good as all-natural decking. We recommend the following retailers: 

Trex composite decking

(Image credit: Trex)

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Fencing, trellis and gate suppliers

Fencing is typically sold by panel, so to work out the cost, you'll need to measure the perimeter of your garden, divide that number by the length of the panel, and then multiple that number by the cost per panel. Add installation costs and any additional materials such as gravel boards, which are needed if your fence will be coming into direct contact with the ground. 

Bear in mind that under current UK regulations, you need planning permission for a fence that is taller than two metres. This can become confusing, since many fencing panel sizes are provided in feet, so it's always best to double check with the manufacturer. 

16. Best contemporary garden fencing and trellis sources

From traditional fences to trellises and fence panels, the fence is an important part of your garden design. The style you choose should depend on several considerations, the most important of them being privacy. A trellis makes for a gorgeous climbing plant display, but is also the most open design that will offer you the least privacy. To maximise privacy, go for solid fencing panels. Iron fencing is the most secure and most durable, but will look very formal, and be expensive. 

Browse our gallery of garden fence design ideas for inspiration. 

Shop around for the best style at these retailers:

Canterbury Combi Slatted Fence Panels by Jacksons Fencing

(Image credit: Jacksons Fencing)

17. Best traditional fencing suppliers

Traditional fencing is woven from the flexible branches of willow, hazel, sweet chestnut and birchwood. We advise always going for coppiced fencing – that is, wood that has been cut in a way that allows the seed banks contained within to survive. This means that your fence will stay 'live' and will sprout new growth, making it wildlife-friendly and attractive. 

For coppiced fencing, head to the following retailers: 

18. Best garden gate suppliers

Your garden gate needs to complement the rest of your garden boundaries, so choose carefully. Many wooden fence manufacturers will supply wooden garden gates to match; alternatively, you can have a bespoke garden gate tailor made for your garden as part of an overall bespoke design. If your borders are made from brick or stone, a metal garden gate would look great (and, of course, is the most secure option). Browse our favourite garden gate styles for inspiration.

For garden gates, check out the following: 

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Water feature suppliers

Water features can make a fantastic addition to a garden; however, they are not maintenance-free, and it's important to remember to clean them regularly and check any larger water features for any wildlife that may have accidentally got in. You will need to check all water features regularly for algae, as these micro-organisms can be a source of harmful bacteria. If you have a pond or natural swimming pool, be very careful not to use pesticides or chemical weed killers in your garden, as these are likely to contaminate the water and kill the delicate eco-system of such a feature.

To help you make an informed choice, we have gathered everything you need to know about garden water features in one handy guide. 

19. Best solar water feature sources

Solar water features are self-contained and come in two main types: with or without battery back-up. Unless you live in an area that consistently gets a lot of sunshine, models with a battery back-up are advisable. 

For the best choice of solar water features, these are the best retailers:

Terracotta Cascade Solar Water Feature from Water Features 2Go

(Image credit: Water Features 2Go)

20. Best mains-powered water feature sources

Mains-powered water features are the largest category and give you the most options design-wise. You will need electricity supply for the pump that drives the water movement, so think carefully about the positioning of your feature; all outdoor sockets will need to be weatherproofed, too. 

OASE Waterfall Kit

(Image credit: Oase)

21. Best self-contained water feature sources

Self-contained water features can be either mains powered or solar powered – 'self-contained' refers simply to how much water you're using. A self-contained feature keeps moving the same water around and only needs topping up occasionally. 

For self-contained water features, the best retailers are:

Solitary Pour Water Feature by Easy Fountain

(Image credit: Easy Fountain)

22. Best swimming pool sources

Considering adding a swimming pool? You need the expert know-how of experienced professionals who will be able to assess your garden for the right size and type of pool. We recommend the following swimming pool companies:

outdoor swimming pool by Falcon Pools

(Image credit: Falcon Pools)

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Garden lighting suppliers

In terms of positioning your garden lighting, you'll need to think about any features you might want to highlight, whether they're structural/architectural or based on how you use your garden. For example, you might want to light up your outdoor dining area. 

Find out how to plan your garden lighting in our guide. 

23. Best garden lighting sources

If you're planning on using your garden lighting into the evening, garden lighting is a must. The type of lighting you choose is largely down to personal preference, but some gardens (especially overgrown ones in quiet areas) will need security lights. If you live in an area that gets reasonable amounts of sunlight, consider solar lights. 

Take a look at our buyer's guide to the best garden lighting and investigate the full range of lighting options with the following retailers:

Outdoor Living

(Image credit: Lights4fun)

24. Best garden pond lighting sources

Want to add a bit of drama to your garden pond? You'll need special, water-feature compatible lighting. There are lots of options out there, including the high-quality Oase lighting. Oase pond lighting (shown below) is available from Bradshaws Direct.

Oase Lunaqua 10 System from Bradshaws Direct

(Image credit: Oase)

25. Best garden security lighting sources

If your back garden has side access, or if your front garden has lots of trees and shrubs, you'll need to be extra vigilant about security. Security lights or porch lights are excellent intruder deterrents – and are practical for late-night parking, too. Lutec security lighting (shown below) are available at Wickes. Try these retailers for more options:

Lutec Peri PIR Security Floodlight With Wireless CCTV - 25W from Wickes

(Image credit: Lutec)

26. Best solar garden lighting sources

Solar lights are both eco-friendly and save you money; they're also easy to install, making them one of the easiest garden lighting options. We have the best solar-powered lights for your garden.

The Henley Premium Solar Pillar Lantern is available from the Solar Centre.

Henley Premium Solar Pillar Lantern

(Image credit: Henley)

27. Best mains powered garden lighting sources

If you're creating a more elaborate garden lighting scheme, using festoon lights, for example, a mains-powered option is likely to be the best. For the biggest selection of mains-powered garden lights, head to these retailers:

25m Warm White Connectable Festoon Light Bundle Clear Cap from Lights4fun

(Image credit: Lights4fun)

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Garden room and shed suppliers

Garden rooms should be distinguished from summerhouses; as a general rule, a garden room is better insulated and therefore suitable for spending long periods of time in, all year round. Summerhouses, on the other hand, are mainly suitable as shelter during summer afternoons. Garden rooms make great home offices or home gyms, but you do need to be aware of height and size restrictions on building them. 

For more details and lots of practical advice, consult our expert guide to adding a garden room

And if you are looking for garden room design inspiration for a traditional garden, we have beautiful traditional garden room design ideas and oak frame garden room design ideas. For a modern garden design, browse our contemporary garden room design ideas.

28. Best bespoke garden room sources

A bespoke garden room is the ultimate in garden luxury: an outbuilding that is tailor-made to your specific needs and is harmonious with the look and style of your home and garden. Bespoke garden room costs vary widely depending on size, materials used, and the design, and range between £800 and £1,600 per square metre. 

The following bespoke garden room companies have our seal of approval:

Kendrick | Oak Orangery by Richmond Oak Conservatories

(Image credit: Richmond Oak Conservatories)

29. Best modular garden room sources

Modular garden rooms aren't quite bespoke (and come with lower price tags than bespoke garden rooms), but they still offer you some layout flexibility. These garden rooms are made from panels that can be combined in a variety of ways. Expect to pay anything between £2,000 and £30,000. Try the following modular garden room manufacturers for best results:

Scotts of Thrapston garden room

(Image credit: Scotts of Thrapston)

30. Best garden room kit sources

Garden room kits are the most cost effective option if you want a garden room: these are flat-packed designs that you can assemble yourself if you are an experienced DIYer, or which the company can help assemble for you. There's no flexibility in the design or layout of these garden rooms, but many of the designs are very attractive, particularly those made by the following companies:

garden pod by Garden Hideouts

(Image credit: Garden Hideouts)

31. Best oak frame garden room suppliers

Oak frame garden rooms are highly desirable due to their durability and the rustic character they provide that goes perfectly with country homes and period properties. Many oak framed garden rooms come fully insulated, wired, and plumbed, which makes them ideal for long-term use as home offices. Our top oak frame garden room suppliers are:

32. Best garden shed sources

A garden shed is a must for the keen gardener – or for anyone who has a lawnmower/hedge trimmer. Always look for a shed with plenty of storage – or with enough room for you to build some. If you have a fireplace, indoor or outdoor, look for a shed with log storage. 

Browse our garden shed storage ideas and find out more about choosing a garden shed.

For the best sheds, browse our buyer's guides to the best small sheds and the best sheds (of all sizes), or head to the following retailers:

7 x 5 Waltons Groundsman Tongue and Groove Apex Garden Shed

(Image credit: Waltons)

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Pergola, arbour and arch suppliers

These three garden structures are often mixed up, but they are different and have different uses. A pergola has a roof-like structure supported by posts, and its primary purpose is to create shade in a desired area in the garden. Garden arches are primarily decorative structures – think of them almost as arch-shaped trellises. They are typically used to create a focal point in the garden or visually separate one area from another, and can be used as support for climbing or trailing plants. Arbours are covered outdoor seats, often with an arch-shaped roof. Consider adding an arbour in a large garden as a relaxation spot. 

33. Best garden pergola sources

A pergola is perfect for creating a relaxation spot in your garden – and for showing off some climbing or trailing plants. Our selection of retailers covers both pre-assembled pergolas and self-assembly pergolas (see Perfect Pergolas). Find out how to build a pergola

The Eichner 2.8m x 2.8m Pergola by Lynton Garden available at Wayfair

Eichner 2.8m x 2.8m Pergola by Lynton Garden

(Image credit: Lynton Garden)

34. Best garden arch sources

Keen on growing a rose garden? Or perhaps you're planning on training a wisteria or jasmine? A garden arch is the perfect support for climbing and trailing plants. Metal is probably the best material for garden arches; if you get a wooden one, make sure you seal it to prevent loss of shape due to moisture getting into the timber.

The Poppyforge Monet Arch is available at Greenfingers. 

Poppyforge Monet Arch

(Image credit: Poppyforge)

35. Best garden arbour sources

Garden arbours up the comfort level even more and provide both seating and shade. Because garden arbours are frequently used as seating, approach choosing one with the same rigour you would approach choosing garden furniture. Shop around for yours with these retailers:

Rowlinson Tenbury arbour

(Image credit: Rowlinson)

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Garden plants and planters

How rigorous you are about choosing plants will determine both the overall health of your garden and the quality of your plant display. Our advice is to pay attention to the conditions in which the plants you are buying are being raised. A spacious and airy garden centre with plenty of natural light gives plants a much better start than a dark warehouse. Avoid buying any plants that are in bloom out of season – they will have been artificially stimulated with excessive fertilising, and you are more likely to have problems with such plants further down the line. 

Our one most important tip for choosing planters is: a planter does not replace a pot. All plants need adequate drainage, so always pot your plant up in a container with a drainage hole (even if it's just a plastic one), and only then place it in a planter. Avoid having plants standing in water; fill the bottom of your planter with gravel to prevent water-logging. 

Find out more about choosing plants for your garden and container gardening for small spaces.

36. Best garden plant sources

Our top tip for the beginner gardener is to avoid purchasing your plants from supermarkets (with the exception of Waitrose, which has a dedicated Garden department in partnership with Crocus). You need plant experts with years of experience who take care when raising their plants. If buying seeds, try to go for organic whenever possible. 

Use our guides to buying the best small garden trees and pollutant-tolerant plants to begin narrowing your choices. Then head to the following plant retailers (all with online delivery) for the healthiest plants:

Acer palmatum

(Image credit: Thompson & Morgan)

37. Best garden planter sources

Garden pots are containers that have holes at the bottom, and can be made from terracotta or plastic. Garden planters, on the other hand, are mainly decorative and do not provide drainage. If you are using a planter, make sure your actual plant is housed in a pot with drainage first. If housing your plants in terracotta pots, bear in mind that they do not retain water, so you'll need to water more regularly than with a plastic container. 

Check out our pick of the best planters for indoors and out

The Rowlinson Marberry Wooden Barrel Planter available at Homebase. 

Rowlinson Marberry Wooden Barrel Planter

(Image credit: Rowlinson)

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Garden ornaments

Choosing garden ornaments is all down to personal preference, but considering the size of your garden is also a good idea. A traditional garden statue will complement a larger garden, while the smaller, cuter ornaments, especially animal-shaped ones, will look great in smaller, quirkier gardens.

How much maintenance your garden ornament will require largely depends on the material and finish. Stone statues will need regular cleaning. Find out how to restore a garden statue in our guide. 

38. Best garden ornament sources

Garden gnomes, ducks and hedgehogs, or a buddha statue? Whatever your preference, we have the best sources for garden ornaments online. 

The Copper Heart Birdbath Tree by London Garden Trading, available at Not On The High Street. 

Copper Heart Birdbath Tree by LONDON GARDEN TRADING

(Image credit: London Garden Trading)

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Garden tool suppliers 

Choosing garden tools can be a somewhat daunting task, given the huge variety of brands on the market. Our main tip is to go to a garden centre or warehouse and physically test out the tools you're considering buying, or at any rate hold them in your hands. It is important that the tool feels comfortable in your hand, that it isn't too heavy for you and allows you to grip it well. If you have reduced strength in your arms, you may want to consider lighter aluminium or plastic tools, but bear in mind that they may not be as effective or long-lasting as traditional stainless steel tools. 

To make an informed choice, consult our buyer's guide to the best gardening tools for maintaining your plot

Testing is even more important when it comes to choosing a lawnmower. You want to be satisfied that you'll be able to move it around, and, if the model is corded, that the cord won't constantly get in your way. 

39. Best lawnmower sources

When choosing a lawnmower, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • How large is my lawn? If it's very large, a cordless model is preferable;
  • How much mowing am I prepared to do ? If you prefer a more hands-off approach, a robotic mower may well be your best option;
  • What kind of storage do I have for a lawnmower? This will partly determine the size of the model you end up buying.

To make the choice even simpler, we have buyer's guides to the best lawnmowers, from robotic to hand-held models; the best small lawnmowers for small gardens; and the best electric lanwmowers

To keep your lawn in top condition, choose your lawnmower from these top retailers:   

40. Best garden tool sources

If you're serious about your gardening, you need high-quality garden tools to match your enthusiasm. As a bare minimum, invest in a spade, a gardening knife, a pair of secateurs, and a watering can. We think you can do a lot worse than the sturdy and beautiful tools from Wolf Garten, or any one of these top retailers: 

Wolf Garten garden tools

(Image credit: Wolf Garten)

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Children's garden play equipment

The one crucial consideration in choosing appropriate garden play equipment for your kids is their age. The smaller your child, the more you need to think about the safety of your garden. A flat lawn to play on is all that small kids need. Toddlers will appreciate a trampoline, but choose one that has a safety enclosure. Older kids will love the fun of a climbing frame, football pitch, or treehouse, so your garden will need to evolve as they grow. 

Get more advice on how to make your garden child-friendly

41. Best garden climbing frame sources

Climbing frames need a flat, stable base and, if self-built, must be constructed to take the weight of adventurous children swinging off their extremities – you can always bury the wide footing supports if you don't want to see (or forever be tripping over them).  Take a look at our buyer's guide to the best climbing frames for recommendations. 

From small climbing frames to full-on, large activity centres, these companies have the best garden climbing frames on the market:

JUNGLE GYM HOME T401103 from Active Garden

(Image credit: Active Garden)

42. Best treehouse sources

Have a large garden and ready to make the most of it for the kids? Nothing is quite as special a treat as a treehouse. The type of treehouse you'll choose will depend on what type and size of tree (or multiple trees) you have in your garden. There are some type of trees that aren't suitable for supporting a treehouse, such as elms, so we recommend consulting a tree surgeon or landscape architect to establish whether your tree will be suitable. Some treehouses come with their own supports, so will not require a tree.

Treehouses themselves vary wildly in size, design, and price. From modest, budget-friendly designs to fairytale retreats, these sources have the best treehouses we could find: 

High Life Treehouses

(Image credit: High Life Treehouses)

43. Best garden trampoline sources

Want something a bit simpler and more budget-friendly, but still fun for the children during the summer? A trampoline is a good option; when the summer is over, simply dismantle and store in your shed. Whether or not you have a toddler, opt for a trampoline with an enclosure.

We have the best trampolines in our buyer's guide.

For the best selection of trampolines, head to the following companies: 

JumpKing 11.5ft x 16ft Rectangle Trampoline from John Lewis

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

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Garden furniture

No other single choice will determine the character of your garden design as your choice of garden furniture. With a dizzying variety of brands and designs out there, where do you begin? We say, think about the overall personality of your garden before you make a purchase. Try to choose outdoor furniture that is sympathetic to what your garden already is: if it's a rambling country garden, for instance, traditional rattan will be more harmonious with it than an ultra-modern set. A tiny urban courtyard will benefit from the slimline design of a metal bistro set, while  a luxurious modern garden with decking can accommodate fancier, more expensive pieces. 

Get more practical advice on how to choose garden furniture in our guide. 

44. Best wooden garden furniture sources 

Wooden garden furniture is made from all kinds of wood, from affordable pine to supremely durable teak. It's not always necessary to go for the most expensive or exotic wood, so long as you're prepared to look after your garden furniture well, putting it away for the winter and regularly re-sealing it. Besides, the quality of the manufacturing matters as much as the material; browse our buyer's guide to the best wooden garden furniture, then head to the following companies: 

Harmen Outdoor Table Or Bench

(Image credit: Rowen & Wren)

45. Best rattan garden furniture sources

Rattan is lightweight, durable and elegant, and is a firm favourite of garden owners countrywide. AS a rule of thumb, if your rattan furniture is natural, keep it covered or indoors in winter. Synthetic rattan is more weather-resistant and can be left outdoors year round. Take a look at our buyer's guide to the best rattan garden furniture

For the best selection, check out these retailers: 

Bridgman Mayfair dining set

(Image credit: Bridgman)

46. Best metal garden furniture sources

Metal (coated aluminium) is the typical material for bistro garden sets, which come in a variety of styles and colour finishes. Metal garden furniture does eventually suffer the effects of wet weather, so regular maintenance is important. Find out how to revive metal garden furniture in our guide. 

We also have a buyer's guide to the best metal garden furniture.

The Mia aluminium furniture set is from Lazy Susan. 

Mia aluminium set by Lazy Susan

(Image credit: Lazy Susan)

47. Best garden lounging furniture

Whether you have a swimming pool that calls for sun loungers, or a lovely deck that isn't complete with some deck chairs, lounging furniture is in a class of its own for adding a touch of luxury to your garden scheme. We have plenty of amazing lounging furniture options in our luxury garden design ideas gallery. To buy the best garden lounging furniture, see our guides to the best garden recliners and the best garden chairs, then try the following retailers:

48. Best garden dining furniture

If you are a fan of al fresco dining, then an outdoor dining set is a must. How you choose yours should depend on whether you want to create an outdoor dining area that's permanent, or would prefer something portable that can be put away when you're using your garden for a different purpose. 

Take a look at our pick of the best outdoor dining sets and check out the following retailers:

Neptune Bordeaux Rectangular 6 Seater Set£3,689, Herringbone Throw in Old Rose £120, Grace Cushion in Emma Old Rose £82, Camilla Cushion in Rebecca Ash and Chloe Ash £79

(Image credit: Neptune)

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Best barbecues for your garden

The two main things to consider when choosing a barbecue are 1) whether you want your barbecue to be a permanent feature in your garden, or you'll be using it only once in a while, and 2) how many people you're planning to cook for. The latter point should determine the size of the cooking area you'll be going for. A cooking area of  2000cm² should cover most people's needs, but if you are cooking for more than six people in one go, you may need to go larger. 

49. Best Barbecue sources 

Barbecues are such a firm favourite with garden users the world over, there are literally hundreds of options out there. To keep the very long story of barbecue choices short, we'll just say that your main choice is between a traditional charcoal barbecue and its various fancier alternatives (all of them are covered in our buyer's guides): the powerful gas barbecue, the electric grill, and the smoker (lovers of hot smoked salmon and ribs will especially want to look at those).   

If your concern is less about the type of barbecue listed in our guides above, and more with choosing the very best, head straight to our comprehensive buyer's guide to the best barbecues. Then check out the following barbecue retailers:

Rockwell 220 charcoal barbecue from B&Q

(Image credit: B&Q)

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Garden heating and awnings

Anyone who has lived through a British summer will know how unreliable the weather is even during the warmest months: one week it's a heatwave, another it's cold and pouring with rain. And if you like sitting out in the garden in spring and autumn (and perhaps on sunny days in winter), too, then adequate outdoor heating becomes even more important.

Depending on how much you're prepared to pay, and what appeals to you visually, there are several options. An outdoor fireplace is the most luxurious (and costliest) solution, and can be either freestanding or built into a wall. Then there are the chimeneas and fire pits, which have the benefits of being portable and, with some models, suitable for making a pizza or toasting marshmallows. These can usually be burnt in your garden without restriction, provided they don't generate too much smoke. 

Patio heaters are another option; they can be either freestanding or hanging, and are powered by either gas or electricity. Find the best patio heaters in our buying guide.

50. Chimeneas 

A chimenea can be incorporated into virtually any garden, however small. Traditionally made from clay, these outdoor ovens handily combine outdoor heating with the opportunity to do some outdoor cooking. Contemporary chimeneas are made from cast iron, steel, or clay, and range from very heavy and imposing to portable and unobtrusive. To shop for the best chimeneas, we have the best chimeneas in our buyer's guide. Or visit the following retailers:

51. Garden awnings 

A garden awning is a great addition to an outdoor dining or living area, and is a great way to not only keep out of bad weather yourself, but also to protect your garden furniture from direct sun and rain. Some models now come with built-in weather sensors and integrated lighting and/or heating, so it's worth shopping around for the most high-tech options. Our top retailers for garden awnings are:

garden awning from Hillarys

(Image credit: Hillarys)

52. Best conservatory and orangery sources

If you live in the UK, you'll know that the weather can be temperamental even at the height of summer, making spending time outside tricky. Adding a conservatory or building an orangery is a perfect compromise, allowing you to enjoy your garden from indoor comfort. Our pick of the best conservatory specialists will be able to help you with your project:

Vale Garden Houses orangery

(Image credit: Vale Garden Houses)

Anna is a professional writer with many years of experience. She has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening. She covers a range of topics, from practical advice to interior and garden design.