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How to Make the Most of Small Gardens

Small Garden Ideas by F&H

Gardening within a limited space is a challenge faced by many gardeners since our ambitions often outreach our means, however, in relation to modern living this problem is particularly acute – especially for those of us in urban areas. So, here are some of our best small garden ideas:

Simplicity is key in a small space, so we would recommend limiting your hard landscaping to no more than two or three materials, whether that be wood, stone, metal or glass. Any more than that could produce a chaotic and muddled atmosphere.

For the same reasons you should avoid a wide variety of plants and we would recommend a small, dynamic selection that can cater to multiple levels within your space i.e. ground level creepers, mid-level shrubs and a selection of climbing plants whose colours and blooming periods are well co-ordinated. You should also consider the possibility of vertical planters and living walls, since these can maximize the amount of flora in your garden without occupying large amounts of space. Choose a complementary colour scheme for your plants of no more than two or three hues to avoid a busy and overwhelming feel in a small space.

Any regular readers of this blog know I’ve no love for lawns as, aside from being environmentally unfriendly due to their appetite for water and lack of biodiversity, they are also fairly pointless in a smaller garden – it would mean occupying valuable space with a sprinkler and lawn mower to keep them in good health. Go for artificial grass if you still want a lawn – it look and feels just as good, but requires very little maintenance apart from a brush now and again.

Storage can be a real issue in a small garden, but with some clever design you can integrate storage space you might need into the construction of your tables and chairs, effectively doubling the efficiency of the space they occupy, or by digging down and building your storage there. Alternatively, if you want to maximise your space when furniture is not in use, you could invest in some folding furniture which can be folded up and put away.

Another one of our great small garden ideas is for a family garden as play equipment can be concealed when not in use too – ever thought about a sunken trampoline, and not just sunken but with a lid which folds down covered with artificial turf so that it forms part of the larger lawn? Genius eh?

From a design perspective mirrors are a godsend as they can trick the mind’s eye into believing a space to be much larger than it actually is by providing depth to what would otherwise be a static surface. You can even fool people into thinking there is another garden beyond, with a wrought iron gate with mirror, for example. However, we would always recommend fixing them at an angle so that they do not reflect you as you approach, as this would shatter the illusion somewhat!

We hope our small garden ideas are helpful to you when planning your own ideal space.

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