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If you have a small garden you can still think big. Learn to love your outdoor space with our top tips on making the most of a small garden.

How do you want to use your outdoor space?

The crucial question for anyone to ask when planning a garden redesign is: how do you want to use your outdoor space? If you have a small garden, being selective is even more important. Do you need space for the kids to play, or are you longing for a somewhere peaceful to relax after work? Are you a keen gardener, perhaps you’d like to try growing some veg, or is low maintenance the key? Being honest with yourself about how you will use your outdoor space helps ensure you make good choices with the garden design.

Decking or lawn? Tread carefully when choosing the right surface

Getting the right surface is essential for any garden and with smaller gardens there are important considerations. Maintaining a small lawn can be a lot of work – think of those tricky edges and tight corners– and don’t forget you will need somewhere to store the mower.

It’s no wonder then that many people choose decking for a small garden. It brings a contemporary look and feel to any outdoor space. Remember that traditional decking gets very slippery when wet. Non slip decking means you can make the most of your garden all year round – whether that’s getting the children outside to play between the showers on a Spring morning, or enjoying a romantic autumnal evening by the firepit.

Decking tiles are quick and easy to install and this recent blog from our Managing Director Mike Nicholson explains why Gripsure non slip decking tiles are a great option when space is limited. Because they don’t need a subframe, they are light enough for the average roof terrace or balcony. Look how Gripsure decking tiles were used to create this beautiful, tranquil roof terrace in Marlborough.

Vertical planting: the sky’s the limit

You can create a really interesting garden in a very small space. Vertical planting has really taken off and is a fantastic way of finding extra green space in your garden. For ideas and inspiration, look at these beautiful vertical planting projects on houzz. There are some great living wall kits available – take a look at Easiwall. If you’re on a budget, or like the idea of creating something unique you can recycle bottles, tins or even old guttering to create space for edible or decorative plants up walls and fences.

Use pots and planters for seasonal interest

Using pots and planters gives you the opportunity to enjoy a good range of plants all year round and is a good strategy when having flower beds is not practical. To keep the garden looking bright and fresh, simply move the plants into the most prominent position when they are at their best. Just make sure you keep them well watered, especially in dry weather. The RHS has some excellent advice on planting up containers.

Create the illusion of space

Hopefully we have persuaded you that small is beautiful when it comes to gardens. But if you want to make your outdoor space look bigger there are a few tricks.

Clever lighting can accentuate your garden’s best features and add a sense of depth to a small outdoor space. Be ruthless about what you grow – having large clusters of a select number of plants is more effective than cramming in lots of small plants. Light coloured plants and furniture can make a small space seem larger.

False perspective is an age-old garden design trick. Use larger pots nearer your house and smaller ones at the back of the garden. Give the sense that there is more garden out of view – perhaps using a curved path that finishes behind a shrub to trick the eye.

Decking can also make your garden look bigger. Placing the boards at right angles to the house, you will draw the eye to the garden beyond making it look longer. Laying them parallel to the wall will make your garden look wider. Gripsure decking is now available from Homebase, so check out their website or your local store.

With a bit of careful thought the smallest garden can have a big impact.