We’re not all blessed with acres of outdoor space – and even the most exclusive properties can only boast a courtyard garden or patio. Yet often our desires don’t match reality – largely the principle reason behind small gardens gaining a reputation for awkwardness and frustration.
However small gardens don’t need to be frustrating, awkward or disappointing. They can be transformed into magical spaces created to suit you perfectly. One requirement of many small garden designs is to create the illusion of greater space than is actually present. In this blog we explore a few key tips for creating the illusion of space – and they’re easier to implement and less expensive than you may think.
Pale and interesting
Painting fences, walls and even planters and furniture in pale hues (for example creams, whites, light greys, greens and blues) brightens a space, instantly opening it out and creating a light, airy feel. Darker colours have the opposite effect – absorbing light and closing in a space.
Clean and tidy
Cluttered gardens always look smaller – whilst a space of the same size boasting large swathes of lawn and sweeping borders will appear larger. This is an excellent tactic to employ in a garden of any size – but it’s especially important where smaller gardens are concerned as space is at a premium. Keeping ornaments, pots, furniture, toys and any other objects which could clutter your garden to a minimum (or hiding them in a shed or garage when they’re not in use) will open up the space considerably.
Choosing large-leafed plants over smaller options may appear to be illogical – but exclusively using plants with small flowers and foliage can add to the ‘small’ feel of a garden – whilst opting for species with large, fat leaves (like Fatsia, Hostas and Gunneras) make a space appear wider. Control is key with large plants, however – as if they are not properly maintained they could begin to take up too much space. Keeping them in pots and raised beds can help to slow down growth, lessening the amount of pruning and cutting back needed.
The classic space-giving tactic – the mirror – offers the illusion of double, quadruple or even 100% more square footage simply by inclusion. Mirrors can be as tall and wide as the walls surrounding your garden, or small and decorative – even introducing small mirrors around the garden will reflect light and offer another dimension.
For more expert garden design tips and tricks click here.
About the author, David Andersen: David believes that every garden can ‘uplift the spirit and nurture the soul’. David strives to create an overall relaxing, entertaining and engaging atmosphere in every garden he designs and builds.