In a small garden, boundary walls, fences or hedges may be the biggest element in view, so it’s really important to get them to look good. They don’t have to all be the same but try to provide visual links between them. You could have the same type of fence, for instance, and grow climbers up them in in coordinating colours. If you aren’t able to change the fences, whitewash them or clad them with battens or trellis. Check with your neighbours first to establish whose fence it is and ask permission before doing any work.
The most important rule with garden ornaments is to nestle them in with the planting. An ornament or water feature (great for wildlife!) plonked in the centre of an empty space is unlikely to look good. If it’s too small it will look lost and something too big will overwhelm the space.
A garden room is a great way to maximise and extend your space, whether you want a home office or a yoga studio. Think about ways to make your garden more than just an outdoor area to eat, drink and soak up the sunshine. House Beautiful has partnered with Crown Pavilions to launch a range of contemporary garden rooms that have all been thoughtfully designed to become a natural extension of your home and garden space.
But, if space is limited in your garden, consider zoning areas of your garden. Think about how you can make it into a relaxing sanctuary with cosy garden decor and tactile furnishings. For example, invest in an outdoor rug (Cuckooland sell a great selection of Fab Hab rugs made from recycled plastic) with chunky knit throws, lanterns and outdoor cushions for a warm, inviting and cosy feel.
Speaking of lighting, please don’t underestimate how important it is to create atmosphere in your garden. Whether it’s a string of fairy lights or lanterns dotted about to create a garden path (Lights4Fun do some great designs), the lights you choose will bring real character to your space – and it’s essential for dining alfresco well into the evening.
Vertical planting is key. Make use of fences and walls by planting upwards to maximise space and buy hanging baskets (these are great for front gardens too). In terms of paving, switch to gravel; it’s much more affordable. The most important thing to remember is that just because you have a small garden it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it and make the most of it. There are some great space-saving, foldable or stackable table and chair sets in high street shops that are perfect for compact spaces.
Kids love going out in the garden for some playtime so make sure you’ve created an area or zoned off a section where they can play with their outdoor toys. While you would need to have a large garden to install a slide or playhouse, for more restricted spaces, sand tables or mud kitchen play sets in a corner will work great, and it will entertain kids for hours.
Always consider the impact your garden design has on wildlife. For example, do your best to help bees by planting bee-friendly plants, speak to your neighbours about creating a hedgehog highway, and buy some bird feeders to hang on fences or from tree branches.