on April 1st 2013.
Increasingly the size of gardens is shrinking, especially inner city ones. This does not mean, however, that you can't create a beautiful and usable outdoor space.
Design is important to ensure the space is used as efficiently and effectively as possible. Whether you're going for a courtyard feel, an outdoor 'room', a plant paradise or a vegetable plot, all can be achieved in a small space. Simplicity is often the key to a successful urban garden as more complex designs can feel too busy or that too many ideas have been crammed in.
Light colours are useful to brighten up small gardens that are hemmed in by houses. Plants and flowers can be used to do this but also using colourful materials for patios and boundaries will give your garden a lift.
When considering the planting scheme for the garden, scale is very important. Large trees and shrubs should be avoided as they can quickly outgrow their space in the garden and dominate it. Obelisks and arches, with climbers growing up them, can bring height to the garden without taking up a lot of space. Using scented plants can be very effective as their fragrances aren't blown away as easily.
Pergolas are very useful in smaller gardens to provide privacy from overlooking houses. Climbers can be grown up through them to make them look prettier, whilst still allowing some light to pass through to the area underneath.
With a small garden the boundaries are more integral to the look and feel of it than in larger gardens. Screening or decorative fence panels can be used to make the boundaries part of the design. Growing climbers up fencing covers them without taking up as much space as large shrubs. The boundaries also allow you to grow vertically, giving more room to plant. Hanging baskets, wall pots and wall planters can all be used to take advantage of this space.