Limited Space & Small Garden Design:
Creating perfect gardens what ever the space available

Limited Space & Small Garden Design

Do you have a small garden? Compared with the rest of the country, London homes typically have less outdoor space in relation to their property, whether they have a small back garden, a small courtyard or a small roof terrace. However, small gardens definitely do not have to mean compromised gardens.

Designing for a small garden is an exciting challenge, a chance to be really creative, to find innovative, clever ways to transform a space so that it is multifunctional as well as enjoyable.

Hampstead Garden Design: Small gardens that work

As with all landscape design, when we design for a small outside space, we begin by thinking about what you, the client, wants to get from your garden.

We then consider the most effective way of laying out the garden, making sure that every millimeter counts. We design the space to maximise it’s potential whilst still ensuring that we create a space which is beautiful, relaxed, practical, and just right for your needs. Hampstead Garden Design are often contacted by clients who have a small courtyard, small back garden or a small roof garden and want us to help them to redesign the area to make the most of their outdoor space.

The starting point, as with all garden design, is to explore what would like to include in your garden.

Are you a keen gardener who would like beautiful borders and flower beds?

Would you like to relax and entertain family and friends? Do you have room for free standing dining furniture or would space saving built-in furniture provide a more effective alternative?

Do you need space for storing garden equipment, furniture cushions or even the rubbish bins? Again, built-in solutions can be a good way of incorporating storage into a small space.

Do you need to incorporate an area of lawn? It is worth considering removing a lawn from the design, as this can open up the garden and really maximise the potential of the space.

Small garden designs need to successfully incorporate as many as possible of your needs, whilst still being beautiful, practical and manageable and not breaking the budget.

Small garden design: The small family garden case study

Often clients decide that it is time to redesign a small garden when they find that their original needs have changed. Perhaps their children have grown up and the trampoline, goal posts and basketball hoop have been long since been abandoned. Maybe the garden shrubs and borders have become overgrown and the initial enthusiasm for growing vegetables has waned, so that the vegetable patch sits bare throughout the year. Maybe the patched-up fences and old shed are no longer serviceable. Whatever the trigger, sometimes we realise that our needs have changed and that it is time to rethink how we use the garden.

This was the case with our clients in Kentish Town, North London who came to us for advice and help in redesigning their small, family garden.

The Small Garden design challenges:

Our clients had outgrown the design of their small, family garden and wanted a space which was less a football pitch and more a space for relaxing and entertaining.

Our clients’ garden in Kentish Town was actually a reasonably sized, small family garden. However the lack of interest in the original garden immediately drew the eye to the back wall, which in turn made the garden feel smaller.
The existing garden included:

An unadventurous rectangle of lawn.

An imposing wall on the rear boundary which drew the eye directly to the end of the garden.

Overgrown shrubs and trees.

A planting scheme which was lacking in colour and seasonal interest.

The lack of attractive features and focal points, the overgrown planting scheme and the imposing brick wall at the back, all combined to give the impression that the garden was an uninviting space which its owners had outgrown.

The Small Garden design solutions:

One successful way of designing a small garden is to divide the space into a number of different zones. Done well, this actually increases the feeling of space as you develop separate areas within the garden, each of which create interest. You might include a seating area, a playing area, a dining area and planting beds.

Using a strong geometric design, we created a sunny patio area and new planting beds. Not only did this hide the uninteresting brick wall, it also created a destination in the garden and a reason to explore the back of the space.

The existing exotic tree ferns and palms were kept, and new shrubs and perennials added to create a colourful urban retreat which can be enjoyed throughout the year.

Tips for creating wonderful small gardens

Go for the best quality finishes you can afford. With a smaller area, the extra investment may not be so much more than if you were to choose less expensive materials.

Water features can reflect light, give a feeling of space and added movement will create interest.

Create screens using solid structures or plants; this will help to increase the feeling of space by adding new dimensions and will create hidden areas which can only be seen from certain angles or positions.

Use all the planes of the space, vertical as well as horizontal. Walls give you the opportunity to growing climbing plants or even install ‘green walls’, which are becoming increasingly popular. Consider installing structures on any walling, such as space saving benches or shelves for positioning planters and pots.

Use multifunctional and movable furniture such as benches which contain hidden storage, foldaway tables and storage units which create attractive screens.

Consider moveable planters on wheels which can help you to change the space or create more space when you need to.

Use different heights in the garden to your advantage – lower levels for intimate spaces or for shade loving plants, higher levels to make the most of the sunlight and for sun loving plants.

Do you have a small garden that needs a redesign?

If you’re not sure where to begin, why not call in Hampstead Garden Designs. We have years of experience of creating beautiful, practical, hard wearing small gardens that will give you years of pleasure. Take the first step into your new small garden.