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Small Gardens, Big Ideas

Posted by Bridgman on

When it comes to gardens, big is by no means better. Whether you've got a patio, balcony or small garden, you can create a stylish outdoor space that you love. All it takes is a little planning and great dig dollop of inspiration. Sadly, we can't design your garden for you, but we can help to get your imagination going. Here are some great ideas for making the most of what you've got:

  BAMBOO SHELTER Bring a little Tuscan flavour to your balcony with a rustic bamboo and metal frame shelter. It brings shade during the summer and protection if things get a little windy. What's more, it makes a great trellis for climbing plants. Finish the look with vintage metal chairs. Bello.   ADD A WATER FEATURE Make your garden a place of peace and relaxation by putting in a water feature. They make great focal points and help create a tranquil environment. Try a wall fountain to bring the zen-like sound of cascading water without taking up space.   BUILT-IN BENCHES Freestanding furniture can take up a lot of room so why not incorporate some fixed seating into your design. That way you can maximise space and you won't be tripping over numerous chairs. Brighten things up with some Moroccan-style coloured cushions, after all, not all gardens need to be green.   DINING OUTDOORS There's nothing like a bit of alfresco-dining on a warm summer's eve. However, think carefully about the type of furniture you buy. There's no point having a large dining set taking up all the room. Try adding an elegant table cloth to turn outdoor dining into a special occasion.   GO MINIMALIST Sometimes less is more, especially for those of us who just want to enjoy our gardens, and not spend hours maintaining it. Use understated colours, strong landscaping lines and restrict yourself with the type of plants, and you'll have a stylish, ultra-modern garden in no time.   STONE LANDSCAPING Paving slabs or bricks are a great way to create a meandering path or an up-to-date patio. Small bricks or slabs are easy to handle, relatively inexpensive and can be used to create straight paths or curves. However, if you're looking for a more expensive look, use large slabs to pave a small area as that will give you fewer joins.   LESS IS MORE In small spaces, you don’t want to have too many different kinds of plants, or lots of different kinds of landscaping materials, otherwise your garden will look cluttered and erratic. Our top tip for a small space: keep your plants in pots, so they can be easily moved around when needed.   RUSTIC DECOR A gorgeous Moroccan-themed garden is not only easy to create and simple to maintain; it also looks fabulous, even in the smallest of spaces. Keep your wall colours light and your furniture dark, then add splashes of colour with throws, cushions and rugs.   STYLE ON SO MANY LEVELS Changes in height can make a small space seem bigger and more interesting. If your garden slopes then work it into your plan for a more natural effect. If you want to create a more contemporary look, go for raised terraces as these can give dynamic shapes for a more modern design.   HIDDEN DELIGHTS Create hidden areas by dividing your garden into sections. By doing so, you'll give the impression that your garden is bigger because you can’t see everything in one go. Even in a small space, something like an arch, or perhaps a trellis, will help create a separate garden area.   FANCY A DIP? That's right, you could even fit in a swimming pool, especially if your garden is long and thin. Split-level decking around the pool, makes everything appear neat and tidy. Plus, it makes for a perfect drying-off spot after a few lengths.   RAISED DECKING Small gardens really lend themselves well to intricate design features, such as decking, that can otherwise get lost in larger spaces. Turn your relaxation area into a feature, by raising it up. Go for an understated colour in order to give a wonderful contrast from the colourful garden.   THE SKY'S THE LIMIT When floor space is scare, make the most of different heights to fit a lot more into your garden. Use trellises for climbing vines and flowering plants, or look for plants and trees that are naturally tall. Think about hanging baskets or window boxes, after all, plants don't always have to be on the ground.   ADD A FIRE PIT Warmth, light and ambience, fire pits can bring so much to a garden. They also come in so many shapes and sizes that there's bound to be one that will work in every garden, no matter how small. They make great focal points which you can use as a starting point for the rest of your design.   EXTRA ROOM Long, thin gardens can look great when divided into sections. When doing so, just think of it like rooms in your house. One to eat in, one to relax in with a cup of tea, one to store your tools, and so on...   COMPLETELY DECKED OUT What do you really want from a garden? If the answer is a place to relax without getting your hands dirty, then decking is a popular choice. Not only does it look good, without a lot of effort, but the right fixtures and fittings can make it as comfy as your living room.   TOTALLY TROPICAL Just because you live in the UK, doesn't mean your garden has to. Fill your garden with lush tropical plants, add a stone walkway - perhaps a water feature too - and before you know it, it's like you're living in the tropics (minus the creepy-crawlies, thank goodness).   A LITTLE PLANNING GOES A LONG WAY When choosing the layout of your garden, take into account which areas get the sun, and when. Remember, don't take up valuable floor space with plants when you can grow them up. With a little imagination, you can get flowers up high in containers like baskets, window boxes and wall mangers. These draw the eye upwards, making the area feel more used.   PETITE CITY BALCONY Even the smallest balcony can be quickly turned into a private oasis. Vintage-style furniture sets fit comfortably into most small spaces, allowing you a stylish place to relax, whilst still being easy to move around. Add in different throws and cushions to keep things fresh.   GO BOHEMIAN Anything goes when we're talking about bohemian style. Use bright colours to bring a lot of positive energy into the garden. Nip down to your local charity shop for throws and old furniture that you can customise yourself. If space allows, why not put in a hammock, or swing chair too?   CREATE YOUR OWN SHELTER A common problem with small gardens is that you get other people looking in from surrounding buildings. Installing arches and pergolas, and then covering them with gorgeous climbing plants, will help create a secluded seating area, away from prying eyes.   So what do you think? It goes to show that the only restrictive thing about having a small outside space is your imagination. Share the inspiration with your friends on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Do you have a favourite garden design? Let us know in the comments below!    


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