As part of our landscape design services in Cheltenham, we are often tasked with optimising a small garden. Many of our customers live in the heart of the town where the garden spaces tend to be on the small side. But they are keen to create a haven away from the hustle and bustle.
Whilst you may not be able to make your garden bigger, you can make the most out of the space you have. So, here are some landscaping design ideas to energise your small garden and capture the essence of outdoor living.
Designing your Small Landscape - Our Tips
Don’t let limited seating get in the way of summer entertaining. Built-in benches provide comfortable seating as you need it. Because they are custom-made to fit your garden, built-in benches make maximum use of every inch of space. They have a cleaner, neater appearance than multiple freestanding seats, plus they fit more people.
Built-in benches can be as simple or as elaborate as you want. Materials range from wood to synthetics to stone, whatever works best with your décor. Also, you don’t have to confine yourself to straight lines; curved benches can mask rigid boundaries and make spaces look bigger than they really are.
Some of the Cheltenham gardens we work on are tiny, especially those right in the centre of town. When you have run out of space for new garden beds, it may be time to try vertical gardening. Vertical gardening includes everything from hanging planters along a fence to growing a wall garden. Because a vertical landscape design gives you more growing space and provides upright accents, it'll make your garden look bigger. And not only that, their distinctive look offers the senses a dynamic experience of bounty and excitement.
If you don’t want to clutter your tidy garden with chairs that sit empty most of the time, consider folding furniture. With compact folding chairs you get comfort and style and the flexibility to set up chairs whenever and wherever you need them.
You won’t have to choose between a recliner and a dining chair if you have a reclining armchair with removable footrest. With a flick of the wrist you can convert it from a relaxing lounger to an upright dining chair. Also, both the chair and the footrest fold flat for storage when you don’t need them.
Whilst conventional garden design wisdom might dictate small flowers for small gardens, large plants in overflowing containers lend a feeling of abundance and spaciousness that belie the actual size of the garden.
Most people think of plant containers as round, like the classic clay flowerpots, but they don’t have to be. Rectangular trough-like containers provide horizontal accents that can make a space look longer or wider. They’re also a perfect fit for narrow surfaces like windowsills and deck railings. Old boots, coffee cans, and packing crates also make fun containers for your plants.
Consider layering your container plants. Layering adds depth, perspective, and complexity to a garden. Because with your eye moving from short plants in the front of the display to shrubs in the middle and trees and hedges behind, the garden appears to go on forever into the distance, like a forest
Carefully selected and well-placed accents can create optical illusions that will make your garden look bigger, more exciting, and more spacious.
For example, repetition is one key to fooling the eye. Therefore a consistent colour scheme, similar bright or light containers or statuary, and repeated plant forms contribute a sense of unity to the garden. And speaking of colour, if you paint your fence a dark tone it will appear to dissolve into the landscape, giving the illusion that your garden has no boundaries.
If a wall mirror can make a room look larger, why can’t it do the same for a garden? It can, and many clever gardeners have put it to the test. The sky’s the limit on the mirror frame. We’ve seen them in mullioned window frames, oak picture frames, and even oxen yokes! Your garden mirror can run the length of your fence or take up a small section of your shed wall. Either way, it will reflect the plants in front of it, making it look like you have twice as much greenery.
Small Garden Design Essentials
So, Flexibility, repetition, layered plantings, and dynamic accents are key to the success of any small garden. Combine these essentials with your imagination and gardening expertise and you are sure to create a garden of many delights. Find more ideas for your small space in our other blog 6 Innovative Ideas for Small Gardens.
Landscape Design Cheltenham
These ideas should give you some inspiration when it comes to designing your small garden. Sometimes it can help to have a professional opinion though. We provide gardening and landscape design services in and around the Cheltenham area. Our aim is to create beautiful outdoor spaces that suit our customers' individual needs and budgets and that they can enjoy for many years to come.