Big Ideas for a Small Garden
Transform your outdoor space with these big tips for a small garden that will inspire you to create the ultimate space for relaxation or entertainment.
Small gardens are it these days as many homeowners find themselves living in townhouse developments, cluster estates and the link. But there are plenty of savvy garden ideas for a small garden that will inspire you to create your own spot for weekend relaxation or time outdoors with family and friends. We offer some helpful tips and advice on what you can do to have the perfect garden for any occasion.
Create a Flow from Indoors
When you are working with a small garden, the trick is to blur the lines between indoors and outdoors. One easy way to do this is with window boxes. Placing a window box to hang from a window ledge or a hanging basket on either side of a window or door will let nature flow indoors and draw you outdoors. Fill window boxes and hanging baskets with colourful annuals blooming with colour that can be filled year after year.
Growing vegetables in a small garden can be accomplished if you make use of any available space and the plants can be just as colourful.
Hanging baskets on either side of the garden door trail gracefully to frame the door.
Add a few trailing plants to window boxes and hanging baskets to give the illusion of height as well as add a softening touch against brick or plaster walls, steel or aluminium doors and window frames.
Where there are steps on either side of the entrance to the garden, arranging planters on either side will also help blur the lines and create a flow between indoors and outdoors as well as bringing the soothing effect of greenery closer to the house.
Select the right furniture for your outdoor area. The size should be in proportion to the amount of space available.
Make the Most of the Space
It is not going to be to your advantage to fill up the space with bulky garden furniture. A more streamlined design will work wonders in a small garden and the sleeker the lines the less space it will appear to take up in a small garden. Even in a smaller garden it is wise to spend some time there to assess the area and determine which areas get the most sun or shade, where is the best position for a braai or outdoor kitchen and then around this, you can arrange either a seating or dining area.
If your garden is purely for relaxation, select furniture that complements the setting and perhaps adds a splash of colour.
By having pre-decided zones, you are better able to plan for whatever materials you might need, whether you plan to bring in shade structures or plant a tree to provide dappled shade. And on that topic, discuss larger shrub and tree requirements with an expert at your local garden centre as they will be able to offer the best advice on the type of shrubs or trees suitable for the size of the garden.
Choose furniture that fits in the garden and will not take up too much space. Sets, where chairs or benches can be pushed under the table when not in use, are great space-savers.
When shopping for outdoor furniture, look for pieces that are compact and take up minimal space. A bench seating arrangement can be tucked away under the table when not in use and opt for garden chairs that fit underneath the table.
Think out of the box when it comes to containers for plants. There are so many ways to upcycle items you may already have in your home.
A Casual Arrangement
After deciding what goes where you may find that there is very little space for bed or borders, but that can easily be overcome with an arrangement of hanging baskets on a wall or fence, a vertical garden mounted where it becomes an eye-catching feature, or simply a casual arrangement of pots and planters filled with your favourites.
Window boxes can be filled with colourful annuals and won't intrude on the amount of space available in a small garden.
Keep annuals for window boxes and hanging baskets and choose drought-tolerant perennials or foliage plants for pots and containers. Choosing water-wise plants for containers is a must if you don't want to spend all your free time watering pots, plants, and baskets, or incorporate moisture-absorbing additives to the soil that will help to keep the soil moist for longer.
Use lacy or delicate foliage plants to soften the edges of sharp or hard landscaping materials.
The nice thing about having plants in containers is that they can be located wherever they are needed. Soften the edges of a paved patio or entertainment area, disguise a concrete or brick wall, or use plants to cleverly disguise unattractive elements in the garden.
It's all About Organics
Whereas synthetic materials are hard and sharp, organics are soft and natural, and every garden should have some organic materials as part of the landscaping. Think wooden trellises, a wooden deck or pathway, or even a garden bench. And let's not forget about organic fabrics for furniture and decor accessories.
The only way to truly enjoy a small garden is to make it as comfortable and cosy as you need it to be - whatever you do with the space.