How to make the most out of your small garden

Chloe Hines Chloe Hines
NewLook Brasschaat Keukens Country style gardens
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Gardening is a beautiful hobby and one of the few things in life that is incredibly versatile. It's true, no matter what type of home, amount of space, or time you have  - gardening can be quite successful with the right thoughts and design in mind.

Since most homeowners are graced with smaller space or even balcony/terrace space, we decided to provide a comprehensive guide on how to make the most out of your small garden.  From proper fencing techniques to vertical gardening, making a beautiful and functional garden is easier than you think!  As winter is approaching, keep these ideas in the back of your mind and make sure that come spring, you are prepared to organize a fully-functional garden for you and your family.

Suitable for both urban gardens and country gardens—our tips and techniques will aide you through a great decision-making process for providing everything from flowers to herbs for your family!

The Right Fence

Open-Plan Kitchen/Living Room, Ladbroke Walk, London Cue & Co of London Modern style gardens
Cue & Co of London

Open-Plan Kitchen/Living Room, Ladbroke Walk, London

Cue & Co of London

Choosing the right fence for your garden can be incredibly advantageous for several reasons.  The number one reason why most homeowners choose to fence-in their small garden is to provide a sense of privacy. Of course, finding a fence that provides optimal privacy and looks great can be a bit of a challenge.  To tackle this, we suggest sticking with natural materials—hardwood timbers and bamboo can be great! Make sure when using natural materials that you're properly sealing them against adverse weather conditions to make them last longer!

Another reason why fences can be great is that if you choose to utilize vertical planting and gardening, fences can allow for great drainage for most plants.  As seen in this example, some vertical gardening has been achieved and as an added extra, some great, minimal light fixtures have been attached as to provide some light in evening hours without being too obnoxious.

Height Difference

Differentiating heights with decor and structural items is a design technique that can be used anywhere in your home! Choosing light fixtures, lamps and artwork in a variety of heights adds a dense of drama to any space—and the garden is no exception. This technique works especially well in smaller gardens were legroom and walking space are harder to come by.  Vertical decorating can be great for both planting and storage opportunities. 

Make sure when using planters at different heights that you're using objects to aide in effective drainage. In this example, we would suggest using a plastic or eco-friendly lining material (hemp- or sisal-based are great options too), then topping that with small rocks and lastly, adding the potting soil and plants.  This is particularly important with natural woods and fibers as collected water can cause wood to rot, or grow unsightly mould.  

Vertical Gardening

Utilize vertical gardening techniques in both the interior and exterior of your home—we promise, it's one of the most beautiful design options!  If you're tight on garden space, then utilize wall space with either vertical planters or taller plants and trees, as seen here!

Vertical gardening works particularly well here because the space is incredibly high to begin with—so it was important for the homeowners to break up the space with taller trees and shrubs. Bamboo trees are a great option because if you ever decide to cut them, it only takes about five to six years for them to return to full-growth!  Choose plants and trees that aren't too think and bushy—like the ones seen here—as to allow for a light and airy feeling and they block minimal sunlight!

Small Stones

Using small stones and gravel in your small garden is an option when you want to create a path for walking, for decoration and even for drainage in your landscaping.  Here, the small stones work as all three—with function and style being optimized by the right colour of stones.

We suggest heading to a local store or quarry and checking out both size and colour options.  A professional should be able to tell you the best stones for your colour palette, size and use. Also, if your small garden is rather uneven and seems to collect water, small stones are a great way to solve this problem! Most homes aren't equipped with proper landscape and garden drainage systems and carving out the low areas and replacing it with stones is one of the best (and cheapest) options you have! 

Want to try decorating with larger stones—check out this example.

Bold Colours for Depth

A small garden doesn't necessarily have to mean a boring garden.  There are plenty of all-season decorative accessories and furnishings on the market that can add some bold colour into your garden area. When choosing furnishings and textiles consider your climate and environment.  Opt for materials are all-weather, waterproof and if possible, will last through extended periods of sunlight without fading.

One might assume that adding too many bold colours and decorations to a small space would make it seem even smaller and over-cluttered—but gardens are an exception! Gardens are one of those exposed spaces of your home where decorating rules go out the window!  An eclectic garden designed for living and functional planting is one of the biggest benefits of a garden—no matter what the size!  Think about incorporating bold colours with textiles, statues, figurines, and most definitely—a modern tile design for the flooring!

Storage Options

Whether or not you use you garden often—allowing for storage space is one of those priorities that will benefit almost every homeowner.  Even if your garden is a smaller area—think about under-furniture storage options and shelving—like seen here.  

Shelving is great for smaller spaces where too much furniture might not be an option.  Shelving is perfect for potted plants, wood, cooking utensils and gardening utensils.  For a perfect idea—combine shelving with hooks for hanging both gardening and cooking utensils, clothing and outdoor textiles!

For more storage ideas, specifically with brick surroundings, consider this idea!

Water for Reflection

Water, water and more water! Adding water to your small garden is only beneficial for several reasons and will provide something extra!  Water has reflective qualities that will bring natural light and beauty to your small garden.  Most homeowners assume that a water addition would have to be left out with minimal space—but we don't think so! Do research on water options that will fit within the space you have and work with it!

Water will attract wildlife, collect rainwater for watering plants, and also add a drainage if need be!  Also, adding a water addition to your small garden doesn't have to mean breaking the bank! There are plenty of DIY options for how to add a water design to your small garden!

In closing, we have a suggestion for homeowners with more urban, roof gardens—check out these designers for some more great small garden decorating techniques!

Do you have a small garden that you've decorated to perfection? Tell us how by commenting below!

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