With the promise of a long, hot summer, it is no wonder that we want to create more space in the garden to enjoy the summer sunshine. If space is limited, you need these great hints and tips to create more garden space.
#1 Choose easy to store furniture
No matter what furniture you choose, style or material, make sure it can be easily stored away to give you more room in your garden for other activities.
For example, if you invested in an expensive piece of garden furniture, you don’t want your children using it as part of their outside tennis or football matches!
From cubed dining sets to loungers on wheels, there are all kinds of easy to store options. Rattan garden furniture is easy to store, for example, because it is lightweight, easy to move and yet robust. And none of this compromises on style either.
#2 ‘Lines of beauty’
In art theory, there is a concept known as lines of beauty. Straight lines, such as pathways, have their place but are considered formal and to the eye, absolute.
A serpent line – a pathway in the smaller garden that gently curves and weaves – distracts the eye. It is a peaceful shape, and one that invites the eye – and you! – to meander gently along its path.
This ‘line of beauty’ is used in all kinds of artistic applications, from paintings to sculptures. The gentler the curves, the more pleasant we find it. And in the smaller garden, an off-set or curvy path gives it interest as well as an illusion of more space.
#3 Clever planting
You want space in the garden to entertain, for the kids to play, to lounge around enjoying the sun and to dine al fresco too, complete with BBQing area.
That’s a lot to fit into a large garden but when your borders are closer than you would like, making the most of the space can seem impossible.
Thus, we stick to the three borders and large lawn, assuming that this expanse of lush green grass is ideal for everyone and everything you want to do.
With clever planting, you can create an interesting landscape that is both garden and playground. And this means repeating elements.
On your next trip to the plant nursery, just as you would repeat key elements in an interior room, do the same in the garden.
Choose two main colours, using a third as a surprising accent or choose the same plant, but different subspecies such as the variegated leaf Hosta and the large, bold leaf Hosta.
Pull one border wider into the garden or create a curved edge, similar to that we talked of for paths.
#4 Plant vertical or in tiered pots
When you don’t want to claim any more soil for the border or have a small courtyard garden, planting in pots is the solution to bringing colour and wildlife into your garden.
Introduce more, however, by planting vertically;
- A garden wall is easily created. Use a tiered ladder shelving unit or fix lengths of rail onto a wall and use pots with hooks (you can buy systems online) and plant a green, garden wall.
- Used tiered pots or strawberry containers where you can pack more in and add colour and lush greenery to your small garden.
#5 Add a focal point
We assume that a focal point is only needed in a large garden but it is just as important in a smaller garden too.
Keep it subtle with a water feature, for example, well-placed in the far corner, allowing the eye to roam across the rest of the garden. Or make the al fresco dining area and your rattan garden furniture the focal point of the summer garden.
We know that mirrors in a small room make a big difference and they can in the small garden too.
Hang wall mirrors or lean them against a wall, allowing plants to cover the edge but not obscure it completely. Use indoor glass mirrors with care, especially if you have children running around.
#7 Soften the boundary
When a fence or wall signifies the smallness of your garden you either embrace this or try to soften its impact. From vertical garden walls to growing climbing plants up the fence boundary, there are many ways of softening the impact of such a fixed feature.
Clever planting, great use of colour and employing some lesser known tricks like the ‘line of beauty’ pathway can instantly transform a small garden. Try it and see!
Rattan Direct is an online retailer specialising in the highest quality rattan garden furniture from sustainable sources.