We all know good things come in small packages and a small outdoor space is better than nothing, right? But for those of us not blessed in the garden department figuring out how best to use and decorate a postage stamp size patio, balcony or terrace often has us wishing for just a tad more space. But even the smallest spaces should be celebrated and with our top tiny garden ideas you’ll be able to make yours shine this season…
1. Choose Compact Seating
One of the core aspects of any garden space is the ability to enjoy it so your first port of call should be fit-for-purpose garden furniture. Have a think about what you want to be able to do in the space. Do you want to be able to eat meals out there, or do you just want a spot to enjoy a cup of tea in the mornings? This will help you decide what type of furniture to invest in. Bistro furniture sets are fantastic space saving dining options and some can even be folded away when not in use. If you just want a place for drinks and nibbles, a two person coffee table set is even more compact. Or have the best of both worlds and find a folding dining table to store away outside of meal times, giving you more space when you don’t need it.
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2. Perfect Pots & Planters
If you have a small traditional garden it’s unlikely you’ll have much space for grass or flowerbeds, but if you’re working with a balcony, courtyard or terrace garden this chance quickly drops to zero, so you’ll need to get a little more creative to introduce greenery. Pots and planters were made for small outdoor spaces. Grouped together and filled with shrubs, flowers and even small trees, they will make even the greyest concrete jungle look like a tropical paradise.
Be careful to not overdo it with too many pots though, as it will quickly make the space look cluttered and overgrown. Focus on varying the height of the plants rather than the quantity to create a layered look that doesn’t detract from floor space. If you dream of a vegetable patch or herb garden but can’t afford to get rid of anymore outdoor living space, why not create a mini version in a window planter? It’s an often overlooked part of the garden and it will add even more greenery to the area.
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3. Take Your Greenery Vertical
If floor space in your garden or balcony won’t even allow for a few pots and planters, or you want to keep the patio as uncluttered as possible, one of the best tiny garden ideas is growing up. The walls we mean. Vertical gardens are on the rise and these can take the form of living walls which give the effect of plants growing straight out of the brick or concrete. Other options for taking your plants vertical is utilising plant stands or shelving to display pots, or climbing plants that will grow up walls and fences. Perfect for creating a living wall with none of the installation or maintenance.
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4. Keep it Bright & Breezy
Whichever colours you choose for your small outdoor space, try to keep them bright to help reflect the light around the area. Bright white is a top choice for small gardens or courtyards where you’re able to paint the walls and it will make every meal feel like an escape to the Mediterranean. Pops of colour will draw the eye and will help distract from the dark metal frames of balconies and fences if you can’t change the colour.
5. Make Your Garden Work for You
We’ve already mentioned above the benefits of folding furniture. A key thing to remember with small outdoor spaces, is that they don’t need to cater for every occasion all the time. Look for furniture that can live inside but be used outside when the occasion calls for it. Drinks trolleys (or side tables turned into drinks trolleys) can be rolled out when you have guests. Bean bags or loungers can come out when you want to sit in the sun or just curl up with a good book. These additional elements will work in turn with foldable garden furniture for you to match your outdoor space with your needs at the time.
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6. Don’t Miss Out on Barbecues
One of the best garden pastimes is of course the barbecue. Free standing barbecues however take up vital outdoor space those of us stuck with balconies or small gardens can’t afford to give up. Does that mean we should forego one of the best bits of summer? Absolutely not, just change the barbecue! Table top or portable barbecues are a must-have for any household as they make the cooking a fun shared activity and you can also take them on your next holiday. As with any cooking equipment check the suitability of where you’re cooking, making sure you aren’t cooking on or near combustible materials and check the local fire regulations before you light it.
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7. Keep it Cosy
Outdoor lighting is always important but as as it’s unlikely you’ll be having big garden parties in your tiny outdoor space you can take a different approach to lighting the area. Make sure to keep the space cosy and intimate with a select few lighting sources rather than bright outdoor lights. Festoons or fairy lights are great for suspending above the space or around the walls, then lanterns and hurricanes can be used on tables for added illumination that’s still warm and cosy.
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8. Remember it’s an Extension of Your Interior
The key thing to remember for small gardens, or any gardens for that matter is that they are an extension of your interior spaces. They should be decorated with as much thought and care as you would your other rooms, so add comfort and personality wherever you can. For small gardens and balconies making these areas an extension of your living area will make it feel like one big room. Add outdoor cushions, throws and other decorative accessories, or even carry on the theme of your living room and you’ll soon forget it’s lacking in the space department.