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How to get the most out of your small garden

Magazine

Even if you don't have much space to plant a small garden and realise any green-fingered ambitions, it doesn't mean you have to abandon your dream. Here are some tips for optimal utilisation of space.

The old saying ‘it’s not the size but what you do with it’ is as apt for small gardens as it is for anything else. Even if you are working with limited dimensions, if you use them intelligently and effectively a confined space can be transformed into something much grander.

There are plenty of ways to save storage room, for example, by investing in clever furniture functions such as compact garden chairs that stow away under a table or by using folding furniture. Placing flower pots or herb planters alongside a wall, in wooden boxes or old glass bottles is not only charming but also a clever way to preserve those precious square metres, and structure your garden without needing lots of space.

A small garden also works in your favour. They are easier to maintain and with some enchanting lighting and comfy furniture they can function as cosy outdoor living rooms.

Patio ideas and elegant flair

Tiling areas with wooden boards, natural stone slabs or even decorative flagstones can do more than just create an enchanting garden path. By using clever lines and covering the area with several natural elements your small garden will look more structured, as well as more elegant.

If you plant flower beds, lavishly decorate them with lamps and lanterns, or lay tiny vegetable patches in between for an easy way to create structured greenery with a clean and controlled look.

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Furniture for your outdoor living room

Furniture is one of the most important elements of a small garden. Why? Because it can make your tiny realm look much bigger than it actually is. Here’s how

  • White furniture looks less ‘heavy’ and does not dominate a small space in the way that dark furniture can.
  • Positioning stools and benches at the back of your garden creates the illusion of a bigger space.

Mirror mirror – illusion is everything

In town and city houses, space is somewhat rare. It’s therefore important to create the illusion of a bigger garden, but don’t worry – no magic is involved. Your own creativity is all you need to do the trick.

One easy solution are mirrored panels. Visually, they will double the amount of space in a small garden and illuminate darker corners. Covering fencing with long, slim mirrored sheets, alongside decorative grasses and climbing plants, will also achieve a modern look.

Style from around the world

Even in a small garden there is space to reflect your own personal style and global influences:

  • The British countryside: wooden benches among hanging and/or climbing plants transport you straight to your own British farmhouse. Trellises above and near any doors not only save space but also add a touch of countryside charm.
  • Mediterranean chic: terracotta tiles, pots and furniture mixed with metal decorations such as lanterns or foldable chairs and tables will bring a taste of Italy right to your garden and create a relaxed Roman feeling.
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Small garden? Then keep it simple

Adding simple but elegant and modern flourishes will enrich your small garden with a clean and focused atmosphere.

  • By arranging some planters around a doorway you can achieve a maximum impression on your guests, with minimum effort.
  • Choose outdoor furniture that folds and that can easily be put aside to open up more space when it’s not in use.
  • Hanging tables that can be raised are an interesting and creative alternative to garden furniture and will give your garden a unique quality.
  • Plant higher and slender plants such as bamboo or other slim grasses, climbers, evergreens or ferns to save space.

There is really are no limits on your creativity. To make it even easier to take care of the plants in your small garden, GARDENA’s Micro-Drip-System is a clever watering solution that, when connected to a GARDENA Watering Computer or Water Timer, can water your garden itself, giving you even more time to relax within it.

Remember

Light matters a lot and emphasises the cosiness of your small garden day and night. Be creative and a bit adventurous.

By using solar powered lights you will not only have a safe and long-lasting option, but also save energy and reduce your impact on the environment. If you like to enjoy long autumn nights, small outdoor wood-burning fire pits and bowls will heighten atmosphere as well as give out heat when it gets darker and chillier.