Having a limited outdoor space does not mean you should be limited to what you can do with it. Although small gardens may require a little more thought in terms of design and layout, they come with plenty of advantages.
Whether you’ve got a small courtyard, terrace, balcony or roof garden, modest spaces can often force you to be a little more inventive and creative. In addition to this, a smaller garden can mean less maintenance and therefore more time spent enjoying it!
Here are a few ideas to transform even the tiniest plot and create the illusion of a bigger garden:
Divide your garden into ‘zones’
Splitting up your garden into different zones dedicated to individual purposes can help generate the illusion of extra space. Whether you enjoy lounging in the sun, entertaining friends or playing outside with your children, your garden is essentially an ‘outdoor room’ that can be specifically designed to suit your needs.
By implementing certain elements such as an outdoor bar or kitchen area, a reading nook or play area, you can create enough space to include seating, plants, shade/shelter and even any structural features.
Introducing various levels through a raised bed or sunken terrace will add interest and perspective, whilst ledges and steps will not only help open up the space but act as additional seating or an extra spot for plants.
Take advantage of your patio area
Don’t let a small patio area stop you from creating the ultimate outdoor living space. Invest in a compact seating solution such as a half-sized table or bistro set that can sit neatly against a wall, allowing you to comfortably dine al-fresco without encroaching on limited space.
To ensure your patio can be used all year round, add a canopy or awning. More versatile than gazebos and parasols, most patio awnings are made to measure so will fit all types of spaces perfectly. By opting for a motorised awning, you can play with shade and shelter at just the touch of a button, while incorporating lighting and heating will ensure a pleasant environment all year round.
Create an ‘outdoor room’ with a pergola
Opting for a pergola with a retracting or rotating louvered roof is ideal for a small garden as it makes the space multifunctional – it can be left open throughout the warmer months and fully closed during the winter, whilst acting as a safe and secure storage space for any garden furniture. The addition of side screens, LED lighting and infra-red heating will allow you to make the most of your indoor/outdoor living space at all times of the day (or night) and in any weather.
If you already have a veranda or pergola that needs a bit of a re-vamp, high-performance external blinds can be mounted to the top and sides to effectively shield from the elements and create a cosy and pleasant environment all year round.
To summarise, make a small garden feel bigger by treating it as a true extension of your home. Accessible and interlinked ‘zones’ combined with the use of outdoor shading systems such as a pergola means you can successfully create the perfect indoor/outdoor living space that also makes both areas look and feel bigger.