Making the Most of a Small Garden

small space gardens

Small spaces can still be big on color and impact as seen in this garden designed by Debbie Gliksman of Urban Oasis Landscape Design. Tropicanna canna is the real attention-getter here.

The benefits of gardening in small areas are that it is likely to be cheaper and much easier to prevent your garden looking bare in this case as fewer plants and features are needed to fill the space. Pairing this with some thoughtful positioning can achieve the same aesthetic effect as a much larger garden.

small space gardens

This small space garden, designed by Debbie Gliksman of Urban Oasis Landscape Design provides interest and privacy to some backyard seating.  The stunning Tropicanna Black foliage really shows up against the tall wall.

Have a clear idea in your head of exactly what you want to use the space for. Do you want to add some outdoor furniture so you can lounge in the sun and eat outside? Do you want rows of flowerbeds where you can proudly display your gardening efforts? Or do you simply want to make the most of the space with as little effort as possible?

It is important to be aware of how the arrangement and shape of your garden will affect how large it looks. It is important to plan your garden first so that you can see what is really needed and what you can do without. Circular shapes are generally thought to make a space appear vaster because our eyes are drawn around the circle as opposed to being attracted to the corners of a square, so keep this in mind.

Make sure that you clear out your garden of any unnecessary or unwanted items before you start. Pull out any weeds, throw out any broken pieces of furniture or old junk and make sure your grass has been mowed. This gives you a clean canvas to start working on and gives you the best chance of fitting everything in.

Scarlet Flower Carpet groundcover rose

Flower Carpet Scarlet adds instant color and interest to this small patio planting


small space gardening

The combination of curved lines in the fence and the garden add a sense of depth to the space.

You may think that having a fence around your garden will make it appear smaller but this is not true. If you get the right kind of fencing it will frame your garden rather than boxing it in, so take some time evaluating the best fence height and colour to suit your garden. A great place to find a range of fences that could be suitable for your garden is Fencestore, where you can browse through many different types of quality fence.

small space gardening

Limiting your palette to 3-4 colours is a way to make your gardens appear larger

A great tip to follow when faced with a small garden is to keep your colour palette simple. Restrict yourself to three or four colours that will feature heavily in your choices, as featuring a lot of colours is likely to lend a very busy, overcrowded look to your garden. This more subdued approach keeps the area looking clean, simple and fresh.

small space gardening

Mixing plant heights helps to add more dimension to your small garden. Shown here is Flower Carpet Pink with ornamental grasses

When choosing the foliage for your garden, try and get a good mixture of heights. This will give the illusion that your space is bigger than it is whereas a row of plants at similar heights will only draw attention to the lack of space. To avoid waiting for everything to grow you can always transfer potted plants directly into the soil so that you get an instant result, as well as planting seeds alongside them.

adding color to gardens

Hanging baskets are an ideal way to add color to small space gardens

You may want to use potted plants but also look into trellises, shelves and hanging baskets. This will make it easier to fit more of your favourite flowers and plants into your garden whilst still ensuring you have space to move about. Just be sure that you don’t pile too many into all the corners and against your fences otherwise it will look too busy and messy.




Guest Blogger Bio

With a love for all things outdoorsy, Gemma Parkins finds great enjoyment in experimenting with different ideas on how to create things from nature.  From walks in the park she can pick up flowers for her decorating ideas, and from walking around the countryside with her family she can come up with ways to transform old shed buildings into fun, but useful, areas of space.  Finding inspiration in the smallest of things, Gemma is definitely an opportunist at heart.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply