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How to Maximise Space in a Small Garden

Outside space can often feel at a premium in a large city like London.

But a small garden doesn’t always need to restrict its use.

Try some of these great ideas to maximise the space in your small garden…

1. Be clever and create garden zones

Even if your garden is lacking square footage, you can increase the feeling of space by creating small zones for different uses.

Your property’s interior is divided up by its floor plan, so think of your garden in the same way – even if it does lack the square footage of your home’s interior.

Having distinct zones can help to make your garden feel less cluttered and more organised, boosting the feeling of space.

2. Use the correct sized furniture

Choosing the right furniture for the space you have is key to making a small garden feel larger.

Large furniture in a small space can be overwhelming, will draw the eye and become an unwanted focal point.

If your garden is tight on space, consider some clever furniture solutions, like seats and tables that fold away, so you can store them neatly when using the garden for other things.

3. Use colour to make your garden feel bigger

Certain colours can make a garden feel tight and enclosed, whereas others can increase the feeling of space.

Try painting your fence light blue to make your garden look bigger and create depth to your space.

In general, lighter fence colours work best when trying to create an illusion of space and these shades can also be a stunning contrast to green planting.

4. A ‘less is more’ approach to planting

Planting too much can make a small garden feel even smaller.

So, be strategic with both the location of your planting and the plants and trees you choose.

The best trees for small gardens are those that don’t overwhelm the space through their size.

Consider planting:

An olive tree

Olive trees grow to around two metres in 10 years, so they’re perfect for small garden spaces.

They’ll also do well in a pot, while their foliage remains all year.

A magnolia tree

If you’re looking to add colour without size, a magnolia is a perfect small garden option.

Magnolias will grow to around six metres tall in 20 years and do require full sun and moist soil.

But their oversized tulip style blossoms make for a stunning spring display.

An acer

Acers are hugely popular in small gardens because of their autumn colour.

Expect to see bright orange, red, or pink during the season.

Acers grow to around four metres over a 20-year period, too, so they won’t dominate your small garden space.

5. Think upwards with small garden design

One of the best ways to make a small garden look bigger is through designing with height in mind.

Consider tall, slim plants that take up more sky than ground space and pair these with climbers on fences or walls.

Building in raised beds can also be a great way of ensuring these plants get enough sun, while also adding some storage underneath.

Finally, add some hanging baskets and add upwards or downwards growing plants.

6. Mix up materials

Create interest to distract from your garden’s size by using different materials throughout the space.

Consider timber boards paired with patio slabs, or a brick retaining wall coupled with wooden trellis.

Having different points of interest in your garden will draw the eye and create a feeling of space.

7. Try decking or a patio in a corner

In small gardens, making the most of every inch of space is vital.

If you’re looking to add a small seating area, try doing this in a corner with a diagonal deck or patio.

Diagonal shapes can work as a space saving design and leave the remainder of your garden for other uses.

8. Think about adding texture

Boost your small garden by adding patterns and textures through soft furnishings.

Your garden may be small, but by adding lots of prints and textures, you can embrace its size by creating a cosy, characterful space to relax and unwind.

9. Don’t forget lighting

Lights are a great way to enhance your small garden and add some ambiance to the space after the sun goes down.

Up lights can also boost the feeling of space and create drama when reflecting off bedding plants and trees.

10. Use mirrors and light reflecting materials

One of the best ways to create a feeling of space inside your home is through mirrors – and this technique can work in your small garden, too.

A large feature mirror on a garden wall or fence can really help to reflect light across the garden, making it feel bigger than it really is.

This technique can also work well with your patio paving.

Lighter, natural stones will reflect light and bounce it around, adding a spacious illusion.

Further reading…

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