Small Garden, Big Ideas

Monday, 06 March 2017

When you think of gardens you often think of large spaces, winding paths, focal points, places to laze on sunny days (well, we can but dream!) but you don’t have to have a large outdoor space in the country to be able to garden. Urban gardening in limited areas is on the increase and we have some quick tips on what to do with a small garden…

Small front garden

Small front garden

Get a Designer

Naturally, we would always recommend employing a garden designer as they will have a plethora of tips and horticultural knowledge to make your space usable and flourish. You may think that just because you have a  small space you don’t need professional help but it’s quite the opposite. You could very well end up spending more money on your outdoor space by doing it yourself if you don’t use the correct plants, growing medium, support systems, design tricks etc.

Consider Your Spaces

Clients are always amazed and what we can magic up in what was previously a small piece of wasteland or an unloved corner. Look at what spaces you may have such as:

  • A small backyard
  • A small overgrown front garden
  • A balcony
  • A windowsill
  • A roof top
  • A shed roof
  • A suitable wall space

From vertical gardening to modern courtyard gardens, we can make a BIG difference to a SMALL space.

Design for a small garden

Our design for a small garden

What to Grow

What plants to choose for your city garden depends on a lot of things including aspect (what sunlight you get), soil type (if you indeed have any), what space we have to work with, the climate, structural considerations (especially if it’s a roof top) to name but a few. Some good plants to consider include:

  • Herbs (as long as you get some sunshine, herbs will grow really well in many locations, especially in urban areas which are often warmer)
  • Salads (they can grow well on windowsills, vertical gardens etc)
  • Blueberries (small shrubs which can give lots of lovely fruit and gorgeous foliage colour in autumn)
  • Ferns and hostas (if you have a shadier corner)
  • Lavender (as it’s a small garden you are likely to be able to enjoy its gorgeous scent!)
  • Alpines (you can get a wonderful range and are very low maintenance
  • Large leafed plants such as fatsia japonica (sometimes large plants with lovely glossy leaves work well in small gardens)
A garden trompe l'oeil can make a garden look bigger

A garden trompe l’oeil can make a garden look bigger

What Else to Consider

As with all gardens you need to consider other areas such as:

  • Who will be using the garden?
  • Will you/can you include seating in your urban garden? How many for? What style? Can it stay out all year if you have limited storage space for it?
  • What style do you prefer? Formal? Informal? Contemporary? Traditional? A themed garden such as Japanese?
  • How often do you want to maintain your garden?
  • How will you water your garden?
  • Do you want to incorporate a focal point such as a water feature or sculpture? Mirrors can work really well in small gardens as a trompe l’oeil, fooling the eye into thinking the garden is larger.
  • What budget do you have to spend on your garden?

If you want more advice on transforming your own small outdoor space into a stunning garden then please get in touch.

All at Vialii

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