Top 5 small garden improvements

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A small garden doesn’t mean it can’t be stylish and functional. Working with what you’ve got, these easy improvements will make a big difference and help you maximise the usable space. Here’s how…The small garden can be a perfect haven of peace and tranquillity, the space you can retreat to at the end of a busy week to enjoy the summer sun. With nature in abundance all around you, the stress of modern life will simply slip away. But we can often be lulled into thinking that the small garden can be nothing more than what it currently is. These improvements will add style and function, with more than a hint of the practical about them too.


When designing an interior room, homeowners are often asked ‘how will you use it?’ and this is not a bad place to start for the garden either. In most cases, the top activity will be ‘sitting, relaxing, eating and enjoy the outdoors’. So, if the majority of your time will be spent sitting and enjoying the space, it makes sense to spend time, effort and money on fantastic garden furniture. Versatility is key so garden dining sets will offer not only a dining table and chairs but reclining options for lazing time in the garden.


In some ways, sticking with straight lines is ideal – you can’t go wrong with a straight line – but if you want to ring the changes without going overboard then circles are the perfect option. From a small round lawn (use grass or opt for artificial grass if you want to keep maintenance to a minimum) to curvy flower borders, there are many options. The great thing about sweeping curves and circles is that they carry the eye effortlessly, allowing it to roam over the garden picking out details and features.


Plants, from blooming flowers to evergreen shrubs, are critical for adding detail to a small garden. Even better, you can change them every year if you like, creating different effects and patterns with colours and choice of plants. However, even in a small garden, this can be an expensive option year after year. What you need are perennial plants. This may sound like advanced gardening but is actually simple and effective.Perennial plants are ones that recur time and time again. In other words, you plant it, it blooms, dies back over winter and comes back again, and again etc. Some perennial plants when they come back the following spring, multiply or come back thicker. This is great news for you because you simply divide and plant up the ‘new’ plant in a different area of the garden. Free plants! For an initial modest outlay, you can plant up a garden that’ll look great year on year.


We often assume with small spaces that anything tall will dwarf it and be too overbearing, effectively closing down the space. But the opposite is true, especially in a garden. A tree or even two in a corner or as a centrepiece will do many things;

  • Choose a fruit tree for scented blooms before the fruit comes in and enjoy fruit in your garden from summer to early autumn. Anything from a cherry tree to an apple tree will work.
  • As well as a key feature, a tree improves drainage too
  • A tree is an inexpensive addition to a small garden, especially when you consider how long they last!

There is nothing wrong with a little formality in the small garden and pathway edging or adding edging to flower borders help to define the space. Much like an artist frames their pictures, adding the formality of framing to a small garden helps to define the space. Lay a gravel path, for example, but add pretty edging to separate it from the border or lawn. On the other hand, if you don’t want anything too formal, consider ground covering plants to soften to edges and to add small pockets of colours.

The small garden is, in fact, a beautiful space; easy to maintain but with maximum enjoyment. What’s not to love about a small outdoor space?? Let me know your tips for updating your small garden in the comments below 🙂


Thanks to Rattan Direct for inspiring this post! Rattan Direct love gardens of all shapes and sizes, which is why they stock a brilliant range of garden furniture for the small garden. Follow them on Twitter for their latest deals.

This blog post is an advertisement feature that has been written in collaboration with a sponsor. The pink links in this post indicate a sponsored link 🙂

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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