As urbanisation continues to increase, we’re being forced into smaller and smaller spaces. For those of us lucky enough to retain something outdoors on our deed, space is a premium. Whilst this presents challenges in a number of ways, it also demands creativity and with it: inspiring small garden design. Everything in proportion, everything in scale.
Size isn’t everything, so long as everything is in proportion. Using large features in a small space is a one-way ticket to making a small garden actually feel small. For example, if your space is only 20 sq. m then you don’t want to use paving slabs that are 2m wide. If you want to incorporate a number of elements, you’re going to have to be creative about their proportions; whether that just means keeping them small or doubling up on space. A lawn and a pond is possible in a small garden, if the pond sits within or overlaps the pond. The same goes for planting multiple beds, they should complement each other enough so that they can sit near one another. Getting your proportions right should make a garden feel more spacious, not less.
TOP TIP: Colour gradients can be used to influence the psychology of space. Using warmer colours nearer the home or the entrance to the garden, and using cooler gardens deeper into the outside space, creates a gradient that lends itself to feeling larger. The same goes for contrasts, for example using a dark border against a bright display.
Home gardens should be spaces that can be practically used, even more so when you’re limited on space. If your outdoor space is used most for entertaining, it needs to be scaled so that it’s large enough to relax in. This means limited flowerbeds and other elements that are unusable for practical needs. Similarly, if you want it to feel spacious enough to stroll in, the paths should be wide. If you’re chasing seclusion, create sheltered areas with pergolas.
TOP TIP: If you want to create paths in a small garden, make sure that they curve so that you can’t see the end from the beginning. Even if it’s just around a bend or a hedge, it creates the effect of a larger space.
The same advice applies to your choice of plants. Large trees will dominate miniature gardens, or plants with wide canopies can make it feel overlooked. Consider using hedges or screens to create divisions within the garden to create the sense of rooms. This can lend a multi-layered effect to the garden, changing a small space into a mini house of usable spaces.
Eden Restored is a team of passionate garden designers working throughout London, Kent and Surrey.
We deliver value-for-money on projects of any size, from inner-city courtyards to countryside cottages.
To discuss your ideas and how we can help throughout the entire process, get in touch.