Designing small outdoor spaces

10 January 2019

Gardens naturally come in all shapes and sizes yet designing a smaller outdoor space can sometimes pose a challenge. The same elements usually still need to be included from a clients’ wish-list, maybe seating, a dining area, possibly a water feature or sculpture and a seasonal planting scheme. It is about being clever with the area, looking at it as a whole and how it is viewed from inside the house. With small gardens, everything is on show and there can be no room for error or wasted space.

Space saving ideas

There are many ways in which cleverly considered elements work, not only by serving a dual purpose but in offering space saving ideas. A bench can offer a neat storage solution inside. A swing can offer fun for your kids, but also an extra seat for informal gatherings. Raised borders also can give additional seating for guests, add cushions to encourage people to sit there. Carefully considered flower borders can be planted with veg, fruit and herbs also for culinary requirements.

Seating areas with small benches take us less space than dining chairs. Go vertical with planting, display small pots on a ladder or shelving frame. Steal views from your boundaries, to add an extra perspective and give a sense of extra space. Staining boundary fences a dark colour will also encourage this as well as really making the plants stand out. 

We will always off course, consider every inch of your garden. Whatever its size choice of materials and layout is so important. Even in a small town garden, such as mine, I have managed to include three areas to sit to enjoy the sun through the day. The one most used is the west facing corner of the garden. After work, being sheltered and private, it provides a snug oasis to enjoy the last of the sun. 

Privacy and screening is usually top of the priority list. Smaller gardens tend to be positioned in a higher populated area with neighbours in close proximity. You want to feel private without being hemmed in.. carefully positioned trees, attractive trellising, laser cut panels and pleached trees can all achieve this.

A stunning garden can be created from the tiniest of spaces, it is just about being clever with the design.

Please do check out some more inspirational ideas on my Pinterest page:

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