With smaller spaces, there is a greater focus on the detail and so it’s really important to have a strong plan that is thought through before starting. Follow these simple rules and make your small garden appear bigger.

Lose those boundaries  Paint fences a light colour, such as Swedish or Castle Grey, Soft Sage Green or Elderflower to open up the space and provide a great foil against which to plant. If possible, build raised beds inside the fence or walling and use the height to get instant impact from planting densely.

Proportion  The proportion of lawn or paving to planting is important.  Consider the size of planters, pots and outdoor furniture to the proportion of the overall space.

Shape  A circle will give the illusion of the space being wider. Two circles, will give the perception of distance. A lazy ‘S’ will make the garden longer and provide flow and movement.  If you prefer more angular shapes then try two interlocking squares of lawn,  offset to one another or on the angle.

Focal Point  By introducing a focal point in the distance, this provides something to fix on, making the space seem bigger.

Materials  Use light-reflective materials and colours that reflect light.

Planting  Be bold with your planting, keeping it predominantly evergreen.  Using big-leafed plants with architectural shapes along with other sizes and textures of flower and leaf.

Planters & Pots  Leave space for pots and planters, either collected together in a display or used separately to create interest. These can make a great contribution to the overall styling and feel of the garden.

Lighting  Simple up-lighting in borders creates atmosphere and highlights textures and colours.
All these tips can be applied to roof gardens too, providing you check the structural load.  Replacing raised beds with rectangular planters that fit together around the inside of the boundaries. Replace grass with artificial grass and paving with wood.  You don’t have to be stuck with the white wood ridged decking boards, for a little extra cost you can have beautiful cedar, larch wood or even a low maintenance composite decking board that comes in a variety of colours and textures.

You don’t have to have acres to have a beautiful and functional garden.

Image: Delphine Poggianti/stock.adobe.com

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