Cities aren’t known for their green credentials. More often than not, it’s left to country properties to be creative in their garden designs and incorporate water features and brilliant flower arrangements.
Small gardens are harder to work with because of the potential for light problems. You don’t want to add too many elements if most of the garden will remain in the shade. Still, it’s a common misconception that a small garden has to be nothing more than a plain stretch of lawn and bursts of the white clover weed!
Pick a focal point
Add interest to your garden by selecting an area to be your focal point. If a dining table and chairs takes your fancy, this will become an automatic focal point. If reading is more your thing, opt for a bench or maybe even a water feature. Your eye will be drawn to any large object in its view, so pick your favourite!
Invest in a path
Having a focal point helps to break up your area and make it appear larger. For some of us, a path is enough of an attention grabber and will provide this focal point by itself. Separating one side of your garden from the other will create a fluidity which brings your garden to life. It doesn’t matter if your path breaks the garden clean in half or whether it resides halfway down in a corner – if it’s in your view, it will be effective.
Follow tradition by investing in stepping-stones. The distance between the slabs makes them easier to place, as they don’t have to be set in a perfect line. The large size of the slabs will save you money as less stone will cover more ground than other paving options. You want to look for a flat stone with an 18 inch width and depth of 2 inches.
More recent inventions are the washed gravel, crushed stone and pebble trails. The materials will last indefinitely and they only require weeding every now and then. If you’re going to be moving a lawn mower across the path, avoid smooth pebbles and opt for gravel instead as this will be slippery!
Plant up, not along
When it comes to plants, choosing types which grow upwards will make the best use of your space. Sweet Peas and Black-eyed Susan are perfect for this, as are climbing varieties of Nasturtiums. When a plant spreads across your garden, it takes up room which is valuable in smaller properties. Trees have a habit of bringing shade but the ideal solution could be a flowering lattice, or trellis, secured to your fence. You can even cheat by hanging baskets filled with any flower of your choice.
Your space may be small, but you can still think big!