Look round any new property and you will find a tasteful kitchen, magnolia walls and a garden smaller than your downstairs shower room, complete with a patio consisting of four paving slabs and a lawn hurriedly laid down the day before you move in. The average new build today is around 925 sqft, which is apparently not even half the size of those built in the 1920s.
As Brits we are now having to shrink down to live in the space we can afford and that does mean making the most of a small outside area. Once you’ve popped your washing line out, plonked in a shed and a seating area you might not feel like there’s much room for anything else but you’d be surprised what you can do with a small garden space.
First, choose your plant life wisely. You don’t want to pick out something that’s going to overtake the area, so refrain from lavender bushes or Summersweet. However, if you do want a large shrub in your outdoor space – and the insect life that comes with it – you could feature a buddleia bush.
Take a look at these lovely buddleia deals and include a fragrant, butterfly-attracting bush in the end corner, which can be enjoyed by all. Just be sure to keep an eye on its growth over time and if needs be prune it in the early spring so you can enjoy its flower once the true summer weather rolls around.
Don’t just look at ground space when it comes to a small garden, because walls, fences and windows can all be utilised to home your plant life. Opt for climbing plants that can curl around trellis or fit window boxes to feature bright, fun seasonal bulbs.
The colours you choose can make a real difference too, bright fun colours of Marigolds, Pansies, Chinese Lanterns and double flowered Scabious all work beautifully together and draw the eye away from a small patio area. It also brings some life to your garden!
If you can, refrain from laying a lawn unless you really need to for children or pets. A grass area in a small space can really exemplify just how little room you have, whereas paving slabs in the same colour, across the area brings everything together and can make the area look larger.
Larger paving slabs can also help create the illusion of a larger space and allow you to place plenty of seating out in the garden, when you have guests round, to make the most of the space.
While not a conventional decorative piece, some people also hang mirrors out in the garden to reflect light and other areas of the outdoor space, which can trick the eye into thinking it looks bigger.
If you think a mirror in the garden is a good idea then take some advice from Melissa Will, aka The Empress of Dirt, who uses shower door mirrors in her outdoor space, she also recommends considering the lighting in your garden to avoid any glare, as well as wildlife flight paths to ensure your mirrors don’t disrupt them.
It’s so easy to make use of a small space, just think carefully about how to make yours appear larger and then get the BBQ out!