How to make the most of a small garden

Posted on Monday, June 25th, 2018

You might be very familiar with the mantra that “the best things come in small packages”, but you could struggle to buy into that belief when trying to be creative with a small garden.

However, you could be seriously overlooking the aesthetic potential of a small space. Consider the example of award-winning landscape gardener Jo Thompson – who, in 2015, made an impressively varied Chelsea garden that didn’t even outgrow a tennis court. So, what could you do yourself?

Prioritise with your garden’s purposes

Many of your attempts to overhaul your plot could be wasteful if, beforehand, you fail to think carefully about what this outdoor space should let your household do.

Consider, for example, whether you would want to use that garden for outdoor cooking, entertaining visitors or growing your own food. Good Housekeeping cites garden guru Neil Grant advising that you list all of the purposes your garden will be required to meet.

The only way is up… the walls

If you limit your focus to what is going on beneath your feet, you could be leaving your garden’s vertical dimension going to waste. If there aren’t already wires, pergolas and trellises attached to your garden’s walls or fences, you could change that and give climbing plants somewhere to grow.

In advice to The Telegraph, Thompson explained: “Rambling and climbing roses can be paired with clematis, carefully selected to flower before, after or while the roses are in bloom.”

Steal from the neighbouring gardens

No, wait, not literally! We’re not advocating theft; however, if there are particularly pleasing-looking trees peeking above the upper limit of your fence, you could incorporate that greenery into the scenery, to coin an inadvertently rhyming phrase.

Through allowing a clear view of those trees rather than concealing them, you could make your garden look as though it stretches further than it actually does.

Mirror, mirror, in the garden

By placing mirrors in your garden, you can have it appear more spacious or like people in that garden could easily step straight into another one. You might be able to find some suitable mirrors by rummaging around in your house.