Here is your how to guide on getting the most out of a small space. This includes space saving techniques we use in the industry to get the most out of your small garden.
When considering the tips below, in all cases, aim to keep your garden free of clutter, keep as much floor space available to move around as possible, utilise your vertical space – walls for example, simplify your theme by choosing one style throughout, and remember, less is best!
Our top 5 tips for small-space garden layout:
1. Utilise vertical free space – blank walls can be used for climbing plants on wires, vertical garden systems or hanging garden art to add a touch of décor to limited space.
Remember when compiling your small garden ideas to consider whether the orientation of your green space as this will impact what plants you select and how much water is required.
Also make sure you understand how the plant will train to the wall.
- Climbing plants use either tendrils or suckers – plants with suckers will attach itself to a surface but it can also damage rendered walls, so it is important to consider if this is the right option. Plants with tendrils need a support structure to climb like mesh, lattice or wires. For modern sleek appearance tension wire trellis can be installed in horizontal runs, vertical runs, or diamond runs.
- Vertical gardens have been on trend for a while now so there are many ready to go systems available to buy. Check out the overall sizing, quality and irrigation allowances for a few before deciding which to buy.
- Hanging garden art can be a quick solution to many problems that doesn’t take up too much space. This may be decorative screens to hide an unsightly wall, metal art or mirrors create the illusion of more space.
2. Bright , light , fresh colour palette – many small garden ideas incorporate bright colours which can liven up a space, especially in a heavy residential area. Colours apply to everything in the space not just the walls or the flooring. If you are stuck, you can start by planning where you would like your lush greenery and then looking at how to make that pop.
Warm colours bring a space in closer and feel intimate while cool colours help a space to appear lighter and brighter. Fences can be made to recede by painting them in a darker cool colour, a simple and effective trick, and compliments foliage beautifully. On the other end, painting a wall white brings the inside feel outside and everything around it can stand out. Complimented with white furniture you can make a space look very sleek. If you already have a good colour scheme for your hardscaping you can add fun by using themed colour pops in your furniture, furniture accessories, pots, candles, lanterns, and umbrellas. Again, less is best when designing small spaces so choose a theme and stay with that throughout.
3. Tips on Plant selection – particularly important in a small space is to ensure root systems are not going to cause damage to your home, or take up precious space by growing too large. Your local nursery staff will be able to help compliment your small garden ideas with appropriate plants.
Adding a tree might seem the contradictory to this but if your small space can accommodate it, then underprune it and the height from the tree will add privacy as well as drawing the eye vertically. Ornamental deciduous trees are good for letting in the winter light, so the house is not shaded all year around. Some species are also a provide a stunning focal point for your space.
Plant selection is key if you would like to attract wildlife to your space even if it is just bees and insects that get to pit stop. Some birds like certain types of growth habit so if you know your local birds then ask at the nursery which plants they are attracted to so they come to visit and delight you.
The theme of your space is influenced by plant selection. Tropical plants give a very feel to a space compared to Mediterranean plants, and also have very different soil, water and light requirements so choosing a planting theme and sticking with it is a good idea.
Plants can be used to create depth by layering their forms. It is great to try to have at least one plant flowering during each season to brighten up your day.
4. Tips on choosing outdoor furniture – you will notice when looking through small garden ideas that the furniture selected compliments the space by not being bulky or having to many pieces. Furniture with open style framing for example allows the floor to be seen below each piece and gives that feeling of a larger space.
- Compact options that can be folded away or modular gives you flexibility for multitasking. Foldable bistro seating, and tables, for example.
- Built in bench seats can be added to raised garden beds to double as seating, or can be built to with in built storage space for outdoor cushions etc.
- Benchseats can also be combined with a dining table rather than placing this in the centre of the space.
- Large floor cushions are great occasional pieces for when friends with children visit.
- Outdoor rugs are a great tool to add another texture or warmth or help zone a small space without formal screening.
- Shelving and hooks utilise wall space and, can help clear the floor for storage.
- Pots can be especially useful for very constricted spaces rather than garden beds as they give flexibility to be moved to suit the season, to be layered and grouped for interest as well as providing some height to green your space. Possibilities are endless!
5. Add dynamic components – some of the best and most attractive small garden ideas. Dynamic features are those that create movement and sound. They can be used to trick the eye, break up a space, or lead the eye away from unsightly objects or views that can’t be changed. For example sunken terraces creating levels and zones within a space, raised beds and ledges, steps, trailing plants, an open framed tree, sound and water.
- Raised beds and ledges open the floor space, create extra seating, provide height to the garden and allow a place for plants to cascade over walls.
- Steps can be used to change the flow of the space and direct people.
- Water features are great to create a focal point for a space and they add sound and movement which changes the feel of a space dramatically.
- Kinetic sculptures add movement and don’t forget the good old wind chimes.
- Choosing trees for small spaces can take some research but is worth every minute – as they can create shelter, screening, cooling, sound, movement all in one feature. Choose a tree that is suitable in size, root systems and one with an open structure – not too dense so that you still receive filtered light and keep your feeling of space.
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- Luke's team provided excellent service and project coordination. All the inhouse trades where great to work with and the external ones that they brought in were also great quality. The work was top notch, the areas where materials were stored where probably left tidier than when they arrived and the garden looks great. I would highly recommend!Leuan, Mount Hawthorn
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Our front yard in Karrinyup was completely transformed in March 2015. In just one week, the team completed the job of removing what was there, replaced the topsoil, installed the reticulation and mulched with native plants. Four months on we are still so impressed with the job and delighted that we used Luke’s Landscaping. Highly recommended!