How to make the most of a small garden

It can be very tempting when the garden is small to simply leave it, but even a small space outdoors can be made interesting. There is so much that can be done that it would be a shame to let the weeds take over.  With some clever design and a little flair, even a modest strip of grass can be made to look bigger and filled with interesting plants to create a beautiful space.

The purpose of the garden

When designing a small garden it is important to consider what the garden is going to be used for.  Are there children in the house who need a play area?  Will it be used for entertaining friends or family?  Will it just be a calm space used for relaxing in?  The answers to these questions will influence the type of plants and accessories used in the garden.  Those who want a play area for the children will not necessarily need an outdoor table and chairs, but these may still come in handy if the seasonal round of barbecues and alfresco dinner parties are on the agenda.  The main thing is not to expect the garden to be all things at once. Even with real forethought, it will take time to meet the needs of every member of the family.

Use all of the space

In a small garden every part of it counts, so it is important to think about the design in advance. Consider where the plants should go and the type of plants that are to be used.  In a larger garden it is possible to have different areas which spring into life at different times of the year but in a smaller area this is not always possible so the plants that are chosen will need to look great all year round and the gardener will need to make sure it is in the right place, as moving things later on will not be possible in a limited space.

Those who have an outdoor table and chairs can opt for space saving designs rather than bulky 6 piece sets.  There are some designs that allow chairs and tables to be fitted together when not in use, freeing up more space and keeping the area tidy.

HoneysuckleClimbing plants, such as honeysuckle, clematis, climbing roses, etc, along walls and fences serve several purposes. They can add the touch of colour required without taking up too much space in the garden. They can add other dimensions for the senses such as scent. They can also be used to hide imperfections.

Using pots can also add a little texture to the garden and when the pots are brightly coloured then the gardener does not necessarily have to opt for plants that flower. Try herbs that can be used in the kitchen such as Parsley, Sage, Chives, Thyme, Marjoram, Mint and Basil.

Make the garden look bigger

When choosing stones or paving in a small space it can often be better to use a smaller size.  The eye will see a large quantity of stone and this can trick the brain into believing that the garden is bigger than it is.  Choosing stone that has a light colour can be particularly beneficial as a darker colour can make the space seem smaller, particularly if natural light into the garden is limited.   

Whatever the size of your garden, some careful design and planning can turn it into a truly useful space!

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