How to design a small garden for your home

garden design

Anyone who has more than a small garden to play with is very lucky. Not all of us are blessed with rolling acres of land and very often we have a postage stamp of a space. Here we show you some things to consider when planning the perfect small garden.

how to create the perfect small garden

Design tips for small gardens

Make it secluded

Very often small gardens in urban settings have little privacy, being overlooked from all angles by neighbours. Raise the boundary level by adding in pleached trees. They will add an extra metre at least to your fence line without reducing the footprint of your garden.

Unify your boundaries

Nothing is worse than a mishmash of garden fences, often the Achilles heel of any design. Who owns which fence, “It blew down last summer”, or fence panels are all out of line and a bit of a jumble. These are things I hear and encounter all the time. No matter how beautiful your garden looks, if your boundaries are tatty it will let the whole look down. If you can’t afford to replace fence panels, consider cladding them with rolls of willow cane or paint the panels the same colour. This will calm things down and create unity.

Creating harmony

Try and link the outside with the inside of your home, especially if the garden has year-round visibility, i.e. through bifold doors. Consider using similar flooring outside if the same manufacturer makes products for exterior use. Alternatively pick up on an accent colour, which works wonders for pulling the interior and exterior spaces together. It will make the space feel larger, like an extension of the inside, and create that all important flow and unity.


Pull all the attention to the centre of the space. Make a bigger splash in the middle of the garden to create an eye-catching centre stage. Be wary of pushing everything around the perimeter. Consider a planting bed, specimen tree, water feature, the choices are endless, but refocus, refocus, refocus to the centre.

Add drama with contrast

Mix up materials: contrast metal and stone, matte and shiny surfaces, soft and hard. It’s up to you. Where those contrasts happen, a sensual drama takes place. Include shiny planters with matte leaves. Add contrast wherever you can for a wham-bam effect.

Scale it up

How to design a small garden for your home

Large planters near the home create scale

There is always room to supersize something. Use large items as statement pieces to get the conversation going with a showstopper – something sculptural always adds impact. Play with scale, try a large planter with a small plant, or a large standard tree planted near the house. Both play with perspective to create a stunning effect.

Green and lush

Your biggest surface area is likely to be the boundaries. Pick a good sturdy evergreen to fill your fences or walls. Add greenery in abundance to make it feel more like a garden and to blur the edges and create the illusion of larger space. You’ll be amazed what you can get away with.

If you need help to transform your small garden into a piece of paradise, book your free garden design consultation today by contacting Katrina and Matt on 01702 597587 or email us at