Maximising the Space in a Small Garden

Gardens are getting smaller – and that’s official. Figures show that pressure on space, particularly in towns and cities, means that the average British garden has shrunk by as much as 5m² in the past 30 years.

However, there are plenty of tricks of the trade which you can use to disguise the lack of room in your garden – and leading gardening supplies company Madingley Mulch, who deliver to customers in Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Hertfordshire, are ideally placed to pass them on.  Here are our top five tips for maximising your space if you have a small garden.

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall (or Fence)

You can use strategically-placed mirrors to create the illusion of extra space and make your garden seem bigger than it really is. The mirror doesn’t have to be on a wall; it can be on a fence or freestanding. A mirror can make a footpath appear twice as long, or a flower bed twice as lush. Just make sure you position it correctly – you don’t want two different views of the same rubbish tip or dustbin!

Keep Everything Tidy

Make sure you keep on top of the weeds because unwanted plants and overgrown flowerbeds will simply make the garden look crowded, unkempt and messy. It’s also important to make sure you prune your plants regularly to maximise their growth and ensure they stay healthy.

If you want to suppress weeds, then mulches are an excellent idea; they effectively suffocate any unwanted plants at source, and help the soil retain moisture in summer and protect plant roots in winter. As leading garden mulch suppliers, we offer a range of premium mulches and soil conditioners, including our exclusive mixtures, Tony’s Tonic and Denise’s Delight – rich blends of Black Fen soil, well-rotted horse manure, wood shavings, humus and plant nutrients.

Create a Courtyard

A courtyard-type space or patio that’s not crammed full of plants will make sure you get maximum use out of your garden. Hard landscaping like this with no lawns or large flowerbeds does away with lawn mowing and lowers the amount of maintenance work you need to do.

By highlighting and accentuating your garden’s best features with the right type of lighting, you’ll enjoy your garden as much at night time as you do during the day. When combined with comfortable garden furniture, warm, inviting lighting can provide the perfect ambience for evening al fresco dining, as well as providing security and safety.

We offer a range of different paving materials, including slabs and cement. Our Indian Sandstone and Premier Riven paving slabs come in a range of colours and textures to allow you to give your artistic side full rein as you can mix and match them to provide some interesting effects. We are also more than happy to advise on all paving enquiries.

Think Upwards

It may seem extravagant, but split-level decking or layered stepping stones can give you more space in your garden if you don’t have much room at ground level. These levels will offer somewhere to sit and relax or add potted plants to.

You could also consider trailing plants, such as wisteria or clematis, which could be attached to a trellis, or grown up a fence or wall, or the side of the garden shed. You can also buy specially-shaped pots or pouches which can be nailed to fences and walls too.

Small is Beautiful

There are many different types of plants you can grow to make your garden look attractive, however much you are constrained for space. Evergreens such as box plants will give you colour all year round and can also be cut or trained into interesting shapes. If you’re willing to put in a little extra work, you can plant seasonally and enjoy different, vibrant colour schemes from season to season.

Don’t get something which will grow too big and dominate all the other plants in the garden or deprive them of sunlight and moisture. If you want to go large, try potted plants which will not compete with anything else. It’s also worth experimenting with plants which will grow to different heights.

Striking varieties of lavender will perform well throughout the year and won’t take up too much space; while winter-flowering bulbs like crocus and tulip will provide an additional point of interest in the colder months, and the brighter the better.   

Madingley Mulch delivers top-quality garden supplies, including bulk bags of compost, soil conditioners, garden mulch and paving slabs, to customers in Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Hertfordshire. Click here to view our full range of products.

We can deliver in a range of ways, including bulk bags, small bags, pallet delivery, loose loads or weighbridge collections. We also offer a weekly delivery service to many towns and villages in the region, including Saffron Walden, Newmarket, Ely, Huntingdon and Royston. Please see our delivery page for more details.


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