With many new properties being developed and many of them with smaller gardens, people are feeling stuck with ideas of what to do in their outdoor spaces.
With a home being a place to make your own and decorate to suit you, why leave the garden as standard? If you’ve got a small garden, and you’re looking for some inspiration to make it your own, this is the article for you. We’ve scoured the internet for some of the best looking small gardens to bring you some ideas to help you on the right tracks.
To help you create your dream garden, see the headings we’ll be covering below!
Planning Your Garden
Before getting started with your garden, it’s important to start with a planning stage. This is the best way to make sure your plan is going to work for you and that you’re going to get the garden that you want for your home.
To effectively plan your garden renovation, first, start by thinking about what you’d like to include. To help you, a few things that you may want to include are:
A patio is a fantastic way of giving yourself some dedicated seating space so you can easily enjoy your garden without treading over the grass every time. With many different types of garden patio ideas available, you’ll be able to choose the right style for you.
Common patios include:
Slabbed Patio – You’ll find that the patio is made up of slabs of stone or concrete, allowing for an even surface. These are often quite affordable, yet can look fantastic in a garden if installed correctly.
Gravel Patio – A gravel patio is a patch of the garden that’s gravelled over to allow for seating to be placed upon it. Gravel allows for much easier maintenance of the patio that slabs, but still offers a great look and feel for the garden when done correctly.
A great alternative to a patio, this wooden flooring gives you a great seating area for your garden. Decking is usually a raised area of wooden planks that allow for water to pass through the gaps, providing you with a raised surface that’s level for you to sit comfortably on.
There are many different types of decking available, but all look very similar. The design is to look like wooden planks, so if you’re looking for authentic decking then wood is the way to go. However, if you’re looking for something low maintenance, there are plenty of plastic alternatives that are designed to look just like wood.
Seating is important in the garden, and there are many different types out there. The type of seating that you go for can transform the layout of your garden, so it’s important to make sure you factor this in from the very beginning.
A few common types of seating in a garden are:
Patio Set – A patio set is a set of table and chairs that are designed to live outside, allowing you to sit comfortably in your home.
Bench – A bench that you see in the garden can add some great seating along a wall or a fence, without taking up too much room in your garden.
Picnic Bench – Different from a park bench style, this is a type of seating with seats on both sides and a table in the middle. This will need some space to ensure you’re not struggling to get in and out of the seat, as well as making the garden look cramped.
Do you plan on having any structures? Even a small garden can incorporate a shed quite nicely, so it definitely needs factoring in! Although a shed is a common thought for a structure in the garden, there are several that you may want to consider when planning your garden.
A few structures you may have in the garden are:
Shed – The common one, the go-to. A shed is a fantastic space for storing garden things such as a lawnmower, gardening equipment and other tools that don’t live in the house. There are lots of styles of sheds out there, so it’s important to make sure you get the right one for your garden. If you get the right one, you’ll maximise the space of your garden whilst providing ample storage for all of your gardening needs.
Outhouse – An outhouse is a structural building that is often only one room in size, but allows you to add an extra room to your home. These are often used as a gym or as a home office without taking a room out of the house up, therefore allowing you to get the most out of your garden space.
Pergola – A pergola is a wooden frame that provides some shade, without taking up any floor space in your garden. It’s a great way to put a cover over your patio or seating area without taking up any of the views of your garden, and it’s fantastic for plants that climb upwards!
Dedicated Grass Space
When your garden is pure grass, it’s often difficult to plan where you’re going to place structures or other things. By planning where you’re definitely going to be keeping grass space, you’ll be able to keep this area free from renovations.
Often incorporated as part of a patio, but lots of people forget to factor in where a path will go in their garden which can lead to complications down the line during the renovation. With several types of paths to choose from, it’s important to choose one that matches your style of garden and patio. A few types of paths are:
Slabs – Paths in a garden can be made out of slabs, similarly to a patio, allowing you to provide a walkway around the house or to and from the patio.
Gravel – Paths can also be made out of gravel, allowing you to easily continue a gravel patio on into a path where you’d like it to go.
Your garden doesn’t have to be strictly functional, and decorative features are a fantastic way of making it your own. It’s important to factor these into a small garden to ensure you don’t take up too much room!
There are many decorative features to consider, such as:
Plants – The very pinnacle of a garden, plants are a fantastic way of adding some colour or flair to your garden. With thousands of different designs and styles to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice!
Wall/Fence Decorations – The best way to add some design to your garden without taking up and space, adding something to the fences is a great way to lighten up the garden. From a plant frame to hanging baskets, there are plenty of different designs to choose from.
Lights – Lighting is a fantastic way of brightening up a garden, especially at night. Lights can be used in several ways, such as lighting up a pathway, adding some lighting to seating areas or simply to encompass the perimeter of the garden. However you choose, lights look fantastic in a garden.
Fence Paint – An easy way to make the walls of your garden look just the way you’d like them to, fence paint helps you to get the most out of your fences. Not only does fence paint/fence stain help to protect your fence from weather conditions, but it also helps you to add a splash of colour to your fence!
Once you’ve got an idea of what you’d like, it’s time to put that plan into action and make it happen. There is an infinite number of possibilities to get the right design for your garden, so making sure it’s
right for you is the number one concern.
Different Small Garden Ideas
Once you’ve got an idea of what you’d like in your garden, it’s important to make sure you’ve got a plan for the design of the garden. Below talks through a range of different garden ideas to give you some inspiration and help you to find the right idea for you, helping you to make that idea into a reality. Please see below!
Grass Focused Garden
A grass focused garden helps you to keep your small garden quite green as well as adding some key bits into your garden. By keeping your garden focused on keeping grass as your primary focus, you’ll keep a large part of your garden green and open to allow you to sit comfortably without feeling spread out.
Typically, in a grass focused garden, you’ll have a seating area such as a patio, and a shed. Often these can be kept in the same vicinity to leave as much grass as possible, without the risk of not having seating spaces for your garden. After all, you’ll want to enjoy the greenery!
Seating Focused Garden
The grass is great in the garden, and it looks lovely when you look outside. However, it’s not very functional, and in a small garden, it can be a hindrance over a help sometimes. To get around this, by focusing on having seating as the main priority this will allow you to keep plenty of room for you to enjoy the garden, whilst keeping some greenery to enjoy too.
Typically, a seating focused garden will have a larger patio that will stem across the garden, leaving a small portion of grass either at one side or both sides of the patio. If done correctly, this can make the patio look and feel like a floating island in a sea of grass, giving a modern look and feel to the garden.
A popular way of achieving this is by using decking to allow a raised seating area above the grass, placing a clear divider between the grass and the seating area. This helps to make the greenery stand out, even though it’s much smaller.
Plant Focused Garden
A plant-focused garden removes the majority, if not all of the grass, leaving behind a seating area and some gaps. These gaps can be filled with large plants, such as bushes and tall plants, to add a clear seating area and surround you with nature.
For many, a small garden that has a lot of plants provides a calming environment, allowing you to sit comfortably and enjoy the nature around you. This is a fantastic way of getting stuck into your garden and although you’ll remove a chunk of the land that you can access, by doing this you’ll make your seating areas much more appealing and enjoyable.
When you’re looking at a small garden, it’s sometimes difficult to imagine it split into two areas. However, this is a fantastic way of giving you the best of both green grass and comfortable seating areas.
A border, shrub or even a built-up planter can provide you with a clear blockade between both the seating area and the grass itself, allowing you to enjoy a cosy seating area without the risk of damaging your grass.
It sounds peculiar, but hear us out! A multi-story garden isn’t like your home, but it does have stairs. You can have a raised area for seating and then a few steps down to the garden or even a raised area for your grass away from the seating area.
A multi-storey garden helps to give your garden some character and definition, without removing any of the floor space. It’s very versatile which means you can easily add lighting into the raised areas to incorporate this into your garden design. It’s a fantastic way to provide a modern look and feel to your garden.
With many different styles of garden to choose from, choosing the right one for you isn’t always the easiest task. However, it is a fantastic choice to be faced with, and with so much flexibility, you only need to focus on making the garden perfect for you.
On top of having different styles, there are themes to consider too. Do you like the idea of a modern look and feel of your garden, or do you have something else in mind? We’ve included some information on the different types of themes for your garden below!
When it comes to renovating your garden, thinking of the larger picture can help keep you focused on the end goal. If you’re looking to achieve a certain goal, such as make your garden look modern, you’ll be able to keep yourself on the right tracks throughout the project.
With many themes to suit many different types of people, we’ve included some of the most popular ones to help you get an idea of what you can do.
A modern garden is an increasingly popular theme of the garden. Sharp, block style planters and low-level lighting along with pointy plants are a fantastic way of giving your garden a modern look and feel to it, without a large cost.
A modern garden is generally suited to adults without children, as it often makes the garden a perfect place for relaxing rather than for kicking a football around. It is possible to merge the two, but for a smaller garden if you’re looking for a modern look and feel then you’ll need to make the most of the space you’ve got.
To make this happen, you may wish to use a pergola as a structure to give you a good seating area, as well as a modern patio underneath. To decorate the garden, modern, square style planters are the best way to go to get the modern look and feel.
A family garden is one that’s designed to suit the whole family. A common misbelief is that a small garden isn’t possible for a family, but that simply isn’t true. It’s all about where things go that makes the difference!
To achieve this, consider a section of the garden for the ‘adults’ in the family. A shed or at least some garden storage is needed, and a flowerbed can be set next to the shed. It’ll take up little extra room but give you somewhere to keep your flowers growing. Next to this, you can place a small patio for seating, leaving plenty of grass space for the kids to play on!
Vegetable Patch Garden
By dedicating a few patches to growing plants that will turn into food, you’ll not only have a beautiful looking garden but some tasty meals out of it too! A vegetable patch garden is great as you can get the whole family involved, as well as reusing the vegetable patch for a flowerbed if you ever decide to have a mix-up. It’s that easy!
Water Feature Garden
In a small garden, many people think that a water feature is completely out of the picture. This, however, isn’t always the case! There are many compact and small water features that don’t take up much room in your garden, allowing you to get that desired water feature for your home.
A great water feature is a simple bed of water. Similar to a long, rectangular planter that’s in the ground, you’ll take up little room and instead of having plants in there, you’ll have water to fill the gap. This is a fantastic way of making your garden look modern and fancy without taking up and extra space that it doesn’t need to.
Many people use this opportunity for some small fish to live in the water, giving a very unique dynamic to the garden. Some plants to grow around the water can really subdue it in and make your garden a fantastic place to sit and enjoy.
Plant Focused Garden
A lot of people enjoy the outdoors due to the nice bright colours and a large amount of greenery that surrounds them, and that’s a fantastic style of garden. To make your garden a place to sit and enjoy the plants in, the best thing to do is to create a section of the garden that’s built up with lots of plants, such as tall bushes and small trees. These should surround a patio and perhaps a pergola, allowing you to nestle into the centre of nature and enjoy your garden.
This is a great way of giving you somewhere comfortable to sit, as well as keeping a green section of the garden open to enjoy. You don’t need to miss out on the open space by doing this, but by keeping the big plants focused to where you’ll be sitting and enjoying the garden, you can keep the rest of the garden open and free to enjoy.
With many, many different gardens out there, it’s very difficult to take one and use that as inspiration for your garden. Your garden is your outdoor space and your place to enjoy the outdoors and relax, so it’s definitely worth the effort to renovate and make into your own.
With many different characteristics of a garden, we’ve discussed how you can make sure you’re including the fundamentals of what your garden needs to include. This could be the patio, outdoor structure, seating areas and decorative features. No matter what you go for, as long as it suits you then you’re onto a great garden.
We’ve also discussed a range of different garden themes, helping you to get the best style for you. Perhaps you’ll go for a theme that matches your home, or you’ll make the garden into something a little different. No matter what you do, as long as you make the most out of your small garden and make it work for you, that’s what matters.
We hope you’ve found the above a useful and informative guide, and we wish you the best of luck renovating your dream garden!