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20 Top Tips on How to Make the Most of Your Small Garden

Tiered Planters

It can be a struggle adding garden features when you don’t have much space to work with but by working up you can create a unique focal point and make the most of what you have. The great thing about tiered planters is that they add so much depth and texture to your garden alone but can look even better if you add a mixture of vines, flowers or shrubs to add a bit of your own character and personality. There are a range of different styles and designs of tiered planters available so take a look around for one that suits your current garden design or even better you could make one yourself! Not sure how? Take a read of our Rockery Stone Guide and we’ll talk you through each step (it’s not as difficult as it sounds!)

Revise your storage space

Big sheds can seem like a good idea as they provide plenty of storage space, but in most cases they become cluttered and end up being a waste of space. A large shed or storage area can eat into your garden, without really providing much benefit.  The first step is having a big clear-out. It’s common knowledge that having a big clear-out can help to utilise the space more efficiently.

Once all that’s remaining are essentials, it’s easier to determine how much storage space you really need. You can then replace your shed with an up-cycled minimalist shed, or if you’re prepared to say goodbye to all those unnecessary tools; a garden ottoman. Adding an ottoman will help keep all your mess tidied away in a subtle, safe storage place as well as providing more seating area.

Choose colours wisely

Choosing which colours to include is majorly important for any small space. In order to create a finished deign you are truly happy with, it’s vital that you decide on your colour scheme & placement first just like you would when choosing your interior designs. The general rule to remember is that any warm toned colours will create an atmosphere which is intimate and lively whereas cool tones such as purples & blues will add more depth to your garden. Adding a mixture of vibrant flowers, shrubs & features can also help your garden to appear lighter and bigger than it actually is.

Create a focal point

Creating a focal point for your garden can make a much bigger difference than you would realise as it takes people’s attention away from the size of your garden and puts the focus on your feature instead. Don’t let anyone fool you that garden features are only for large open spaces; every garden should have a feature which gives the garden a sense of purpose and character. Your garden feature doesn’t need to be huge it could just be an ornament that you like or some rockery; you could even add a seating area so that your focal point can be functional too. After all, nothing quite beats sitting peacefully in your garden looking around at all the charming surroundings, with a drink on a warm summers evening.

Bird baths (or even our mushroom statues) are also a great feature option, as they provide an ‘all in one’ solution; simply place them where you think they look best!

When considering placement, we suggest putting some serious planning in before starting so you can be sure that your feature is a focal point rather than just another addition to your garden.

Artificial grass

Faux grass isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but it is a great (and cost effective) option for adding depth and ‘sectors’ to your garden. It can be especially helpful for transforming small concrete gardens which would otherwise require extensive work at a hefty price. Once your artificial grass is down, add some planters or features and this will bring your garden to life, whilst still being low maintenance.

Trellises, Arches, Arbors and Pergolas

Adding these types of structures to your garden creates passageways that can help to segregate your garden, adding intrigue, whilst still keeping a sense of flow & purpose. They also make room for more vines and hanging baskets to create a relaxed but magical atmosphere within your own garden. Due to the nature of these structures they help to make your garden appear larger due to adding more height & depth.

Create an atmosphere

The main aim when designing any living area is to add an atmosphere. Lights and candles are a sure way to add warmth and create a cosy atmosphere; especially on those warm summer nights.  For a more lively feeling why not add a seating area & fire pit/BBQ area which will come in handy for those important garden parties during the Summer months.

Upside down planters

The major bonus to upside down planters is that they don’t necessarily need to be placed outside but either way these quirky planters will definitely save you some space. Upside down planters can be hung from porches, tree branches or fencing to save the most amount of ground space possible. Not only do they save valuable space but they can also save a great amount of money and time that would be spent trellising by growing tomatoes in them. If you want yours to be truly unique why not try making your own? Up-cycling is becoming more popular and is looking to be a big garden trend this year, just start gathering some unused items and get crafting!

Hidden Walls

Clear boundaries make it obvious just how little space you have but that’s no reason to go tearing down any walls yet. If you’re wanting your walls to be more pleasing and your garden to appear larger then try adding some vertical planters or climbing vines. Plants are a great way to hide boundary lines and instantly add more depth to your garden; they also look much more aesthetically pleasing, even in larger gardens.

Vertical garden

When you can’t go outwards there’s only one way to go; upwards! Vertical gardens add much more depth and texture to a garden as well as providing more space to plant. Planting vertically has some practical benefits too because it makes tending to plants much easier whilst helping to minimise pest and disease issues.

Add movement or sound

Nothing can be worse than a boring flat garden that has no sign of life. Adding movement and sound to your garden will instantly improve the surroundings (and that all-so-important atmosphere we spoke of earlier). By creating something beautiful & interesting you can easily distract people’s attention away from the size of your garden. You could have acres of space but without any sort of design or movement this is just acres of land, not a garden.

The easiest way to achieve this is by adding or creating a water feature. You can find plenty of water features across different stores; some larger than others and each one with their own design & style to suit different gardens. If you’re struggling to find the perfect water feature for your garden there are standalone options available, such as all in one water features and bird baths.

Hanging baskets

Even in the smallest of gardens there’s always room to hang a basket; that’s the beauty of them! A great way to use hanging baskets is to place one either side of your door or if you have a balcony, they look great hung from there too. To get the best effect from your hanging baskets we suggest adding a mixture of plants & flowers to create glimpses of eye-catching colour. Hanging baskets can be a saving grace for those who aspire to start their own little organic garden because tomatoes & strawberries can both grow within a hanging basket along with rosemary, parsley, thyme & mint.

Mirrors

People don’t usually consider adding mirrors to their garden but they’re great for creating the illusion of space; this has been a common trick for interiors quite some time. It’s important that they are strategically placed though for them to have their full effect. Another reason why placement is so vital is so that you don’t accidentally end up injuring any wildlife or setting any fires from reflections.

The best rules to follow are:

  • don’t place the mirror in direct sunlight
  • don’t place mirrors that are too large or too high
  • let plants grow alongside or slightly overhang the mirror

Attract Wildlife

Nothing can help you escape better than a garden bursting with wildlife. Creating an atmosphere in which creatures can thrive will not only add more sound & movement to your garden but it will also help to keep pests at bay without the use of pesticides. One way in which you can incorporate a safe haven without decimating your garden design is by adding some rockery. Rockery stones can be added to shady corners of the garden to add some texture & depth but they’re also the perfect location for loving beetle larvae and amphibians; it’s also a low maintenance way of attracting specialised insects such as mason bees. The use of Rockery stone is ideal for those who want a ‘pristine’ garden but also value local wildlife because it creates a sector of the garden which can be a little more ‘random’ and ‘outgrown’ to provide an suitable environment for a multitude of species. Another way in which you can attract more wildlife in to your garden is by adding a birdbath or pond. Birds will take advantage of the opportunity to drink and bathe from your pond whereas frogs will use your pond as a vital breeding spot. If you’re serious about inviting some wildlife then make sure to add some sort of log or plank leading in to your pond; this will give hedgehogs that can’t swim the chance to visit, bate & hunt at your pond. Adding some rockery to your pond will add even more depth but also attract more wildlife so it’s worth considering.

Dual Functions

Nothing can save space better than dual functionality! We’ve already mentioned creating a raised bed which can work as a seating area & hanging basket that can double up as planters; what else can have more than one purpose? Well you could try adding a bench that has storing facilities to save room on sheds for a multi-purpose feature.

Value your privacy

If you have a small garden then chances are your house is quite close (if not connected) to your neighbours which usually doesn’t leave you with much privacy. The last thing you want is the next door neighbours children watching and shouting you whilst you try to read a book in peace which is why it’s time to do something about your privacy problem. Before putting anything in place consider which direction you’re getting your sunlight so you don’t block it out. Strategically placed arches and pergolas are a brilliant quick-fix to the issue.

Add some depth

Flat spaces can often look cramped and less appealing but when some depth and texture is added it can create a beautiful illusion of (not sure how to word yet). Include some stairs to add some depth or try (stepping stones + stairs)

Use Containers

Containers are the perfect solution for garden enthusiasts! Not only do they allow gardening whilst retaining a neat & organised aesthetic but they also enable you to garden all year round! Although they don’t provide the largest amount of growing space this does mean that they can be placed in the smallest of gardens; or even on a balcony or windowsill if space really is an issue. Containers are great for those in the process of revamping their garden too as there’s no need to uproot everything and veggies can continue to grow indoors until the revamp is complete.

Vary container sizes

If you’re trying to create an illusion as o the size of your garden but you want to go with the container approach then it’s vital to add containers of varied sizes. The reasoning behind this is that it will trick your perspective therefore creating an illusion that the garden is bigger because there’s nothing specific to compare it to. Another trick to this approach is to add the larger & brighter flowers to the front leaving space for smaller containers and smaller features further away from view.

Raised Beds

Traditional raised beds can free up loads of space in your garden however aren’t as popular anymore. However, raised beds can still help you to segregate your garden and leave specific areas just for gardening which helps to keep a layout of your garden and leave room for some more decorative items. Stone raised beds can look great too and become more of a feature rather than just a functional area. If you’re really struggling for space then why not create your own raised bed which can also be used as a seating area?

Follow these rules and your small garden will be transformed. We’d love to know your tips and tricks! Leave us a comment on social media and let us know your secrets to maximising a small garden.

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