A small garden can often feel more of an inconvenience rather than a tiny slice of luxury. This is often because enough hasn’t been done to unlock the full potential of the space. As a result, your garden can feel like wasted space. However, with just a little inventiveness and structural thinking, it’s very possible to turn your underused patch into a beautiful haven. Somewhere you can bolt to when the sun’s out for a little seclusion and relaxation. We’ve put together this simple guide that we hope will inspire you towards taking those first steps towards transforming your own underused outdoor space into the garden of your dreams.
Even a small patch of lawn can be troublesome to maintain. With space also already at a premium, the prospect of storing a lawn mower might seem to be not worth the hassle of having grass in the first place. You may well be thinking that artificial turf, or AstroTurf, will look cheap and obviously fake. Whilst it may be true that stand alone islands of faux lawn can look unsatisfactory, with just a few added elements to spruce it up, such as a small border and some potted ‘real’ plants, you’ll be amazed how quickly this patch of AstroTurf can transform into an eye catching and inviting piece of green. Best of all, all it requires of you is to roll it out and stick it down.
2. Hanging baskets and window boxes
When starting with a small garden, often, the only way is up – literally. Hanging baskets and window boxes are the simplest way of allowing your garden to flourish at various levels. They can also be turned towards a more practical use as these containers are ideal for growing strawberries, tomatoes and a variety of herbs.
3. Tiered and stacked planters
This is both a great design feature and a space saving innovation. They can be integrated with other elements of your garden such as seating or steps. Like hanging baskets and window boxes they can also be put to the practical use of producing food, as well as being a beautiful feature in your garden.
4. Create a focal point
A single, spectacular feature that draws the eye can really create the impression of, if not your garden being bigger, then at least of forming a consistent and complimentary whole. This feature can be anything, let your imagination run wild. Bear in mind that ponds and water features can also be created to sit effectively in very small spaces; the very nature of your space does not mean that water-based instalments are an impossibility.
Here’s that old, vertical thinking again. This time, however, no bulky containers are required. Instead we’re talking about cultivating plants that will attach themselves to, and then climb up, the exterior walls and fixtures of your home. When grown in obelisks or allowed to stream up walls and fences, then climbing plants can create an effect of cascading, vibrant colour. Climbing plants also, naturally, require little ground space. They really are a must-have when seeking to make the most of a small garden or balcony space.
Finally, there are a few other things you should bear in mind whilst curating your outdoor space. The first is how your garden/balcony is situated regarding the position of the sun at various times of the day. Any actions you can take – without making too many sacrifices with your privacy – in order to keep the sunlight hitting your space for as long as possible is definitely advisable. Another thing to consider is whether you want to make your small garden as inviting to the local wildlife as possible. If so, then install something like a bird table. This can make a great feature in its own right, but should also ensure that the birds feel welcome in your outdoor space.
When creating your outdoor space, we urge you to express yourself, catering your own personal preferences. It should be a reflection of you. This, in the end, is the best piece of advice we can give to make your outdoor space a garden suitable of your dreams.