Making the Best of a Small Garden

Home & Garden Blog

Many people enjoy gardening but have only a snail garden. It takes imagination to make a small garden look good without being cluttered, but good planning can create a wonderful secret space full of greenery.

First of all, consider all the dimensions of the garden, vertical as well as horizontal. A small garden can be transformed by the addition of rambling and climbing plants using a wall of the house or a trellis for support. A single taller tree can add a point of focus and encourages your eyes to look up to the sky.

Secondly, work out a strong design with one or two key features. Don't be tempted to create a 'busy' plan with hundreds of tiny plants, pots and ornaments, that will just make the garden look very small and overfilled.

Use raised beds or low walls creatively to vary the levels of the garden and avoid the numbing effect of a flat lawn. Raised beds also reduce the amount of kneeling and stooping you have to do - good news for older gardeners or those with mobility issues. Use plants of different heights to set off different areas; house leeks or sedum for low areas, clumps of grasses, lilies or irises for accents, and climbing plants and small trees to reach higher.

Give your garden a strong focal point. That could be an arch, a water feature, or a curving path. The whole garden should be designed to set that focal point off properly, not distracting from it with too many additional elements.

A small pool or fountain can add greatly to the charm and interest of a garden, whether you decide on an ultra-modern Zen style fountain or a cobble-surrounded wildlife pond full of flag iris and marsh marigold. Be aware, though, that a shallow pond is likely to freeze in winter, so you'll need to dig deeper if you want to keep fish.

Disguise the boundaries to avoid the feeling of confinement. Walls can be hidden by climbing plants or used to hang containers and create a vertical garden. Avoid layouts with beds that follow the lines of the walls, and only emphasise the garden's lack of size; instead, use curves to enliven the design, or use screens, arches, or planting to create different areas within the garden and give a feeling of amplitude.

Container gardening has huge benefits for the small garden. Containers can be hung on the wall, put on shelves or racks, or simply moved around to suit the season or the use you want to make of the garden. Dwarf varieties of fruiting and ornamental trees can be bought that are well suited to container growing.

For the smallest gardens, think in terms of interior design rather than gardening, and make a 'room' that works. Break the rules, but do so imaginatively. For instance, most people say you shouldn't have a large shed in a small garden, but a garden that is half taken up by a small summer house with luxurious plantings both sides of the path leading to it can work beautifully for someone who needs an office for their business. Painting walls with bright colours or hanging mirrors on them can make the garden feel larger, and give it the feel of an additional room to the house.

Instead of seeing a garden's small size as a limitation, you could see it as an advantage. A small garden can be intimate in a way a larger garden never can; snug, secret, and sheltered, rather than confined.

Contact a company like Din San Nursery for more information and assistance. 


6 August 2017

Turning Your Home into Your Workplace

When I decided to become a freelance designer, I decided I would work from home. I was sick and tired of being in an office all day and to be honest, some of my workmates were pretty annoying. However, I did not consider that I might have to make some changes to my home in order to make it suitable. On the first day of my new life working from home, I realised I would need much more natural light, so I had new windows installed. I then realised that I would need a larger work table to work on my cut out designs. In the end, I made hundreds of changes and I learnt an awful lot about home improvement.