Small courtyards, urban back gardens and roof terraces need not be neglected areas of your home. Instead, by employing a few easy landscaping tricks you can turn an unloved area into an oasis of calm and tranquility that’s perfect for entertaining or escaping to at the end of a long day.
Create Your Perfect View
Any small outdoor space can be immeasurably improved simply by creating a view that you enjoy. By combining a clever choice of plants with outdoor furniture, garden lighting and structures such as a small pergola or water feature, you can transform even the tiniest of gardens into an area of visual treats.
If you have anything in your garden that is blocking your view, such as a solid wall or fence, consider removing or replacing it with something like a wrought iron fence, to open up your view and make your garden seem larger.
By using long straight lines you can create a perspective that makes your garden look longer than it actually is. You can achieve this by using tramlines in grass, flowerbeds, paths and fencing to build the prefect perspective. You can further alter the perspective of your garden by slightly slanting your lines at the far end to create a focal point.
Make The Most Of Nooks And Crannies
You will be forgiven for thinking that certain areas of your garden do not need much attention and are a waste of time in improving. Instead you could choose to make the most of these areas by adding colourful screening to hide unsightly areas such as bin storage, or shade loving plants such as ferns to cold damp corners, or creating a corner flower bed full of vibrantly coloured plants in a sunny spot. If you have the space, adding an intriguing garden sculpture can also help to turn an unloved area into a real focal point.
Trick the Eye
An easy way to make you garden seem twice the size is to use outdoor mirrors or reflective materials such as steel, aluminium and copper. This will not only make your garden seem much larger, but will also reflect light to darker corners. You can enhance the illusion by using carefully placed potted flowers, climbing plants or hanging baskets to cast interesting reflection.
In choosing where to position your mirror, be careful of placing it where the sun’s rays can cause a harsh glare for anyone using the garden or in your home.
Use Garden Zoning
Zoning in a small garden is a really effective trick to make it seem larger than it really is. Treating each corner of your garden as an individual zone (the cooking and entertaining zone, the storage zone, the private seating zone, the planting zone) linked together by walkways, you soon create an area that works together as a whole whilst making the most of all usable space.
Applying symmetry, where everything on one side is mirrored on the other, makes for an attractive and elegant small garden that allows you to include additional features as you see fit. For example a central path towards the focal point of a seating area, could have flower beds lining each side with a planting scheme mirrored on either side.
Try Something New
When it comes to landscaping small gardens are perhaps more difficult to design than larger gardens as every square foot counts. Which is why smaller garden often result in highly creative ideas to produce something that is both attractive and functional. So have a go. Measure your garden, see how much space you have, and start planning. Whether it’s a chic urban retreat, a kooky roof garden made with reclaimed materials, or smaller version of a cottage garden, the only limitation is your own imagination.
There are hundreds of ways to landscape your small garden and getting started can sometimes seem a bit daunting. If you need some advice on how to turn your small garden space into one that effortlessly combines usability with design, our professional team of landscape gardeners is on hand to help. Please feel free to contact Thames Valley Landscapes on 01628 629720 or send us an enquiry.