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How To Make the Most Out of a Small Garden

Whether you have a petite urban backyard or a cosy courtyard, there are a number of things you can do to make the most out of your small garden space – all it takes is a clever design and some space-saving techniques. And lucky for you, we’re here to run through our top tips for making the most out of the limited space available. 

Here are 6 ways you can make the most out of a small garden:

  1. Utilise vertical space
  2. Multi-purpose outdoor furniture
  3. Choose compact plants
  4. Install outdoor lighting & mirrors
  5. Keep your garden tidy and clutter free
  6. Hire a professional garden designer

1. Utilise Vertical Space

One of the best ways to make the most of your small garden space is to utilise vertical space & add height. Adding things like wall-mounted planters and hanging baskets will not only allow you to add more stunning greenery to your garden, but it will also draw the eye upwards, creating depth and increasing the visual space. 

Here are some ways you can utilise vertical space in your garden:

  • Hanging planters: If you have a tall overhead structure, like a pergola, gazebo, or archway, try hanging planters from the beams or rafters. This will add pretty greenery and create a lovely cosy and intimate space.

  • Green walls: Create a flower wall or living screen by planting in vertical structures like pocket planters or modular panels. These structures are fantastic for small outdoor gardens and can be customised to fit any space.

  • Trellises and arbours: You can use trellises or arbours to support climbing plants such as clematis or climbing roses. These structures are great for not only adding height but they also create shade and privacy.

  • Ladder plant stand: Why not get creative and repurpose a wooden ladder or purchase a ladder plant stand to display potted plants at varying heights. This is a great way to showcase a variety of plants while saving floor space.

While vertical gardening is a great way to add beautiful plants to your garden without compromising space, it’s important to choose plants that are well-suited to this type of gardening.

How To Make the Most Out of a Small Garden
Remember to consider the sunlight and watering needs of each plant when designing your vertical garden.

2. Multi-Purpose Outdoor Furniture

Another way you can make the most of limited space is to opt for multipurpose outdoor furniture. By investing in furniture that has a number of different functions, you can limit the amount of furniture taking up space in your small garden. 

Some examples of popular multipurpose garden furniture include:

  • Outdoor sofas & ottoman with built-in storage
  • Convertible picnic tables and benches
  • Outdoor dining sets with built-in firepit
  • Compact and portable outdoor kitchen stations with a grill, counter space, and storage
  • Outdoor coffee tables with cooler compartments
  • Bar carts equipped with wheels 

3. Choose Compact Plants

Choosing plants that stay relatively small or have a narrow growth habit is another clever way of making the most out of a small garden. As compact plants take up less space compared to their larger counterparts, you can easily fit more plants in a smaller area. This means you can create a lush and vibrant garden without the risk of overcrowding or feeling cluttered.

How To Make the Most Out of a Small Garden
Another benefit of opting for smaller plants is that they generally need less maintenance, which is incredibly helpful for people with limited time to spend on gardening or those with little gardening experience.

Some ideal compact plants for a small garden include dwarf varieties, compact shrubs, and columnar trees. 

4. Install Outdoor Lighting & Mirrors

There are a number of different reasons why installing outdoor lighting can help you get the most out of your limited garden space: 

  • Illusion of space – Strategically placed garden lighting can create the illusion of a larger space as it can draw your vision outward, making the borders of the garden less defined and increasing the perceived space.

  • Create different lightning zones – By adding different types of outdoor lighting, like string lights, spotlights, and path lights, you can create distinct zones in your small garden. Each zone can serve a specific purpose, such as eating, lounging, or gardening, making the most efficient use of the available space.

  •  Safety and security – Illuminating pathways, steps, and potential hazards is great for improving the safety of your small garden as it allows you to navigate through the garden safely and comfortably. Also, a well-lit garden is much less attractive to criminals, enhancing security around your home.

Another way to enhance the illusion of more space in your small garden is to incorporate reflective surfaces like mirrors. When strategically placed, mirrors can not only improve the garden’s ambiance but they will also create the illusion of more space. For example, placing mirrors on walls or fences can give the impression that the garden extends beyond its actual boundaries, feeling more expansive and open. 

Mirrors will also reflect light into different areas of the garden, which is especially beneficial for shady areas or areas with limited natural sunlight, making the garden feel more roomy and vibrating.

5. Keep Your Garden Tidy and Clutter Free

It goes without saying that keeping your small garden free of mess and clutter will help it to look as spacious as possible. This is because keeping everything organised and in one place will ensure that every inch of your small space is utilised effectively. 

A clutter-free garden also allows for smoother movement and better functionality. Whether you’re gardening, entertaining friends and family, or simply enjoying the outdoors, a tidy space lets you do whatever you desire with ease.

6. Hire a Professional Garden Designer 

Last but certainly not least, choosing a professional garden designer can be hugely beneficial if you’re working with a small garden. 

They will know all about the various materials and features that work the best in small gardens, and can suggest the right paving materials, furniture, and decorative elements that complement the garden’s design, even if it is super limited on space. 

Professional garden designers are also highly skilled in space planning and can create a functional and well-thought-out layout for your small garden.

small wood-style garden designers surrey
Garden designers will maximise all of the available space, ensuring that each area is utilised effectively for various purposes.

Learn more about the benefits of hiring a professional garden designer here.

We hope that this article has given you clear guidance on how to make the most out of your small garden

To learn more about our garden design services at Raine Garden Design, get in touch at studio@rainegardendesign.co.uk or on 07702 042559.

Written by Kate Jones for Raine Garden Design.

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