Even if your only outside space is the wall by your front door, a tiny terrace or a balcony, you can make it look much larger with the clever use of outdoor mirrors. Just check that they are suitable for outdoors before purchasing. If not they may crack in extremes of temperature. But how fun is this garden gate illusion?
Mirrors that look like windows or doors will add interest to a bare wall and reflect any plant life on to that space so that you will feel surrounded by foliage; and, it will appear that your little space leads onto somewhere else. They will also bring more light into a dark garden.
Read on to find out how best to plant and furnish a weeny garden here
Maybe your garden is no larger than a parking space. Perhaps you only have a balcony or a roof terrace. Possibly, you have no private outdoor space at all. None of this should stop you from being able to barbecue once in a while.
How clever is this balcony barbecue? It fastens on to a balcony railing. Just check that your lease or freehold allows you to barbecue on your balcony before purchasing; and, that the part of your balcony that you are fixing it too can stand extreme heat.
There are even barbecues built to sit on a table top, again perfect for balconies and roof terraces. When it starts to get a bit nippy, this one doubles up as an outdoor heater too.
If you're worried about other people 'borrowing' your barbecue from your communal garden or want a reusable one that you can take down to the country park or beach, a portable barbecue is what you need. They can be stowed away under your stairs when not in use and bought outside when you're in for a grilling.
Get some ideas for planting and furnishing a little garden here
If my kids want to jump on a trampoline, they have to go to someone else's garden. I'm not having one of those ugly things taking over our little lawn. But, now you can sink them into the grass, things are starting to look up for little ones with garden-loving parents everywhere.
Capital Play's in-ground trampoline, is much less of an eye sore because it doesn't require an enclosure; and, it's so much safer to play on too as there are no great heights to fall off of.
Apparently they are easy to self-install, but I'm not sure if their definition of easy is the same as mine - there is digging involved for a start - so for now my kids can keep springing off elsewhere. They cost from £775 from www.capitalplay.co.uk
If you've a little courtyard garden or even just a balcony, there is no reason why you still can't sit out in it. Although finding compact furniture can be a challenge. This little cuboid set, however, is perfect as it neatly tucks inside itself when not in use.
The set features two footstools, which can be used as additional seating, a couple of chairs, including cushions and they all fold away to be stowed under the glass-topped table. The rattan furniture is woven on to a powder-coated aluminium frame that can be left out in all weathers, handy if you have no where to store it during the winter.
House plants are having a revival and terrariums are particularly on trend at the moment. This is great, if you're green fingered, but have no garden. You can use them to create your own little mini indoor landscape. I've just returned from West Elm's Spring Summer launch and they have a particularly lovely selection of terrariums on offer, the glass in the ones shown above is moulded around their tree stump stands so that each one is unique.
This vase shaped receptacle with a rounded concrete base will make a lovely table centre piece and whatever you choose to plant within should last a lot longer than cut flowers.
This little brass terrarium will look lovely on a window sill and for extra wow factor go for three in a row. Fill the base with soil, conceal this with gravel, then add a hardy cactus or other succulent.
If you've scarce table-top space, opt for a hanging terrarium instead. This little bauble can be suspended from a ceiling beam or from a wall. And, unlike many other options, it comes with the plants and base layers that you need to create a terrarium garden.
Whilst this has to be the smallest little mini glazed garden you will ever find. This tiny orb of real moss is so small it's been made into a necklace.
Discover more ways to bring plants into your home
Have you created a fab terrarium? Share your ideas in the comments below
An ugly vibrant green and yellow hosepipe is the first thing you see when you step out into my garden. And, often, it's found snaking it's way over the patio and across the lawn, because no one could be bothered to tidy it away on its stand - which is non too pretty either.
Now Swedish brand, Garden Glory has designed this stylish hose pipe, available in assorted colours, together with a cool reindeer wall mount. It's not cheap though, £89.95 for the hose, £44.95 for the nozzle and the wall mount is £249.95, but then it should last - a long time!
Small gardens, particularly in built-up areas, tend to be overlooked on two or three sides by other properties. This means you often have little privacy and too much shade. Award-winning garden designer Kate Gould reveals how to make the most of a teeny outdoor space.
'Adjacent trees and overgrown shrubs can have invasive roots that in time render even the best laid paving uneven, so defining the extent of hard landscaping in the garden in relation to the surrounding planting is very important. Some shrubs with extremely fleshy and juicy fruit can permanently stain natural stone and Laurel, in particular, with its blue-black fruit causes violent purple marks on paving.
'An area of loose aggregate or dense shrub planting under something like this would be worth considering. Silver Birch are amazing options and have merit in small gardens, retained in planters of similar size, helping to create a natural barrier and enhancing your privacy.
Choosing furniture and creating attractive storage outside can contribute hugely towards making your garden a truly unique space and one that lends itself to use all year round. Although a high maintenance piece, in small gardens mirrored surfaces are hugely beneficial in bouncing light round the garden and making the space feel far larger than it actually is.
'Terraces with outdoor sofas and generous dining tables look fabulous when they are dressed with cushions, lit with candles and filled with friends and family.'
Kate Gould is an award winning garden designer with more than a decade’s hands-on experience transforming gardens of all sizes. A regular exhibitor at the Chelsea Flower Show, Kate’s work can be viewed at www.kategouldgardens.com
Just because your garden is small, it doesn't mean it can't be beautiful, interesting and even different, if that's the feel you're after. You can achieve any look you want, as long as you plan carefully.
Kate Gould is an award-winning garden designer with more than a decade’s hands-on experience transforming gardens of all sizes. A regular exhibitor at the Chelsea Flower Show, here she passes on her tips for designing small gardens.
Most small gardens, and particularly town gardens, have to be practical, as well as visually appealing. The garden pictured here for instance, had to accommodate four children and a large dog, so base plants were kept to a minimum and seating maximised.
Often the only private area you can relax in, it may serve as a ‘room outside’ as well as a garden and, therefore, needs to work extra hard to provide year round interest.
This ‘all season interest’ encompasses both the hard landscaping, which realises the design and the soft landscaping, which should always be designed with plants that span the seasons. Nandina domestica and Heuchera provide the all year round effect here.
The hard landscaping often needs to be a material that can tolerate the shade, although it is asking a lot of a stone or wood not to naturally turn green with algae in areas of low light. The power of nature can only be defied so far, but with careful selection of products the ongoing maintenance of the scheme can be minimised. Think low maintenance, rather than no maintenance and a happy balance will be achieved.
To find out more about Kate’s work and how to contact her visit found at www.kategouldgardens.com
Kate Gould is an award winning garden designer who specialises in transforming gardens of all sizes. Here she tells us how important it is to prepare even the tiniest garden for Winter.
When I think of a winter garden I think of evergreen structure and seed heads dusted with frost backed by a clear crystal blue sky. But, our winters are now so unpredictable in the UK that we cannot guarantee those crisp cold sunny mornings that warrant planting a garden solely for its winter seed heads.
Over the years many plants with winter structure have crept into the planting palette, but my garden errs on the damp side in places and plants that should look good during the winter in a ‘crispy dead’ sort of way look ‘soggy dead’ instead. So, this year I've hardened my heart. I'm going to cut it all down before the cold really sets in, feed it and mulch it with well rotted manure to prepare it for next summer.
I will miss the golden buff Miscanthus and Hydrangea and I will leave some of the berried plants for the birds. It will look ever so bare over the winter, but I can cope with that if I know the garden is getting ready for next year under its blanket of ‘black gold’.
Normally I leave everything standing to protect the crowns of the plants and don’t cut it down until the middle of January, but a 5cm mulch of organic matter will give the same effect and if I can get it on the ground while the soil is still warm then all the better.
This practice is also useful if you have a garden with plants that are generous with their seeds (Verbena, Lythrum, Althaea and Papaver to name a few). A thick mulch helps quash unwanted seedlings next year.
The same goes for tender plants or those with fleshy stems; Zantadeschia Aethiopica, Gunnera and Rheum especially benefit from a mulch and a layer of straw and manure to keep the worst of the winter wet away from them as well as keeping the surrounding soil from freezing too hard. As with all mulch, keep it away from the stems of the plant to avoid rotting them.
If you garden in a Mediterranean way with gravel and scree then adding more gravel to the garden gives the same effect as an organic mulch. It won't feed the plants, but most of these plants are happy on a lean diet and don’t require the boost.
There are also some tough pruning jobs to tackle in my garden and a fifteen year old Amelanchier ‘Obelisk’ that has looked decidedly unwell for most of this year will probably have to be removed. It was rocked heavily by a gust of wind in the spring and is really beginning to lean over. This will leave a gap but that isn’t a problem per se; the only problem is deciding what new plant to put there to replace it.
My well-crafted scheme has slowly diluted itself over the years and would benefit from lifting, dividing and re-planting. This year I am going to be ruthless and tackle it head on; no lame excuses (well that’s the plan anyway!).
Other jobs that you might like to tackle before and during the winter:
· Tie in climbing plants to make sure they are secure and the wind doesn’t damage them, this is especially important for climbing roses.
· Rake up fallen leaves and compost to provide an organic mulch next year. Leafmould is a great soil improver. Discover how to make it at RHS.
· Clean your pots. It isn’t the most pleasurable of jobs but will help to keeps pests and diseases at bay next year.
· Plan for next year, whether it’s a landscaping project, vegetable garden or simply a new herbaceous planting plan inspired by a seed catalogue.
· Provide food for birds in your garden and keep doing so until the weather warms up. You can find out more at RSPB.