You may not be blessed with a big outdoor space that you can turn around for different occasions, but that’s certainly not a reason not to be creative with what you have. The thing is, with a little research and design know-how, even the most petite of patios, the smallest of back lawn and the tiniest of balconies can be turned into an enjoyable place where you can unwind.
Adorn your small space with some inviting accessories, trick the eye with a clever use of lighting or a well-chosen colour scheme, or simply make a feature of foliage – there are numerous ways to make the best out of a small garden. We have scoured the archives, chatted with the experts, and sought out the most popular and inspirational ideas on how to make the most out of a small outdoor space. Time for some magic.
When choosing your plants and trees, it is important to consider the size of your available space – using light green, silver and grey foliage tends to make a space feel bolder and bigger, while darker green foliage is best used in larger gardens as a foil for coloured planting. And yes, go green – it is the only color that will stick around during the colder months. But you don’t have to stick to green in the form of grass only. Instead, you can plant a couple of trees if space allows it so that you can add some natural shade to your outdoor oasis. Visit a reputable local tree shop and pick some of your favorite native ones that will add a dose of charm to your home.
However, to make the most out of these green loveys, you need to take proper care of them. Hiring a tree surgeon arborist to inspect them and advise you on their proper care and possible health issues goes a long way. But why would you need to occasionally hire the services of a tree surgeon arborist you ask? Well, these people are qualified to carry out work such as tree maintenance including pruning, reducing, tree felling and removal of dangerous trees or trees in confined spaces. It is nothing complicated really, just a reasonable precaution that can save you headaches and money in the long run if any problems and natural disasters were to occur.
Furthermore, the colour of the paving and the way it is laid can provide a strong design direction for your entire outdoor space. What I mean by this is that a white or grey stone laid in a random pattern will evoke a French country look. Similarly, silver or black paving that’s laid in a fairly regular design will create the perfect backdrop for a modern and sleek design scheme. Golden or buff stone randomly arranged will give more of an English country feel.
A simple and clean minimalist scheme with just a few well-chosen and perfectly placed sculptures will add visual interest – an idea that can be easily scaled down to even the smallest of gardens. Also, a water feature will give a satisfying feeling for all of your senses, as the sound of running water is known to provide calmness and relaxation. And last but not least – aim for symmetry, but don’t exaggerate. It is always a great idea both sides of the garden to closely mirror each other—but not quite exactly. Symmetry creates a calming effect, but don’t go for such a tight symmetry that it feels formal or overworked. Instead, create identical setups on both sides of your garden or patio and then go back and adjust the details to be a touch off-kilter.