If your garden is small in size, you can still have a space full of colour and character using these clever design tricks to make a big difference. These are my top tips for tiny gardens…

Keep it in check

The first task is to consider cutting back. When we buy our homes, the garden can seem like a huge space. But three years on it can feel a lot smaller – especially if you have not been keeping it in check.

So, don’t be afraid to really prune back trees and shrubs. It will give you more space whilst also letting extra light in, meaning your garden will feel airier and brighter.


Optical illusion


Next, consider dynamic design tactics that act as optical illusions to give the impression that the garden is bigger than it is. Because our eyes automatically follow the clearest line of sight, a path running straight down the centre of the garden will make it appear thinner.

However, a curved or zigzag path will help make it look wider and more substantial.

When you are laying paving, don’t lay the pattern flat against the path.

Instead, lay the point of the diamond touching the house – this will create an attractive pattern and the illusion the paving is wider than it is.

It is a simple but effective method used by garden designers. Borrowed landscape is another trick – making use of what is in the spaces to the side or behind your garden, thereby giving the appearance it is bigger.

Do this with half-fencing with trellis on top, enabling you to see through into what’s happening behind your garden. It will make you feel it belongs to your garden and have a big impact. This is obviously not a good idea if you are backing on to someone’s house. But it will work wonders if it is another garden, fields or even a park or road, if it’s not too busy.

If you can’t do that, try PVC garden mirrors from DIY stores. These are an increasingly popular feature. Cleverly positioned to reflect other aspects of your garden, they instantly make it feel bigger.

If you’re worried about birds flying into them, you can pick up silhouettes of birds of prey to stick on them (these are a must if you’ve got large conservatory windows).

Colours can also help. It’s the same principle as interior design – the brighter and lighter the colours, the less claustrophobic a small garden feels. There are so many different shades available that staining your fence panels a dull brown is no longer the only option.


Creative colour


Be creative and use some bright colours. Choice of plants is also crucial. A variety of shapes and heights will create interest. Tall trees are fine, providing they have not got a lot of lower branches.

A variety such as pencil cherry, which is a tall, thin tree, is perfect to give height without being invasive and the Kilmarnock willow – a miniature weeping willow – will also do the job and look great. By following some of these simple principles you can make a big difference to a small space.

Let me know how you’ve adapted your small space on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

For more tips on gardening in a small space, read this:

Or check out my Pinterest board for more ideas: