As someone with 3 kids, I know full well just how great gardens are for families. They provide outdoor space that can be used for everything from letting your children (and dogs) blow off some steam, to somewhere in the summer for entertaining guests with a BBQ or evening drinks. The problem is when you live in the city and only have a few square metres of space; it can feel too cramped and restricted to do much.
These tips should help you make the most of whatever sized garden you have!
Clear Any Debris
Before you attempt to make any changes to your garden, it’s best to clear any kind of debris taking up valuable space. This could be anything from broken off branches to rubbish or fallen fruit. In major cases you may need to fell the odd tree, especially if it poses a danger. It’s best to leave trees as they are when possible but sometimes it can be a necessity. Ensure you have the correct equipment to safely do so and invest in Hiab parts to get any forestry machinery used working at its best possible performance.
It can be tempting to completely strip back your garden, removing any plants from the boundaries. However, this will likely take away a lot of the character and make it look dull. Instead, plant any shrubs, flowers and other greenery in a strategic manner. Place the largest plants at the back and work down to smaller ones at the front, leaving no gaps at the sides. Walls and fences can be covered in vines and other climbing plants, leaving no space untouched.
Maximise vertical space, especially in the corners of any garden surrounded by fences or hedges, by stacking plants in containers at different levels. It may require a little DIY construction, but you can always use empty wooden or plastic crates to place certain plant pots higher up. Hanging baskets should be placed above these where possible to use the top level vertical space or hanging shoe pocket storage systems which attach to fences fairly easily. Some tree fruits like apples can be trained into specific contours to hug walls or hedges. While most fruits prefer a wall that catches enough sunlight, other fruits will do well on shadier walls, for example, some varieties of gooseberry, the red and white currant. Visit www.scottishwildflowers.org to get perennial flowers to underplant your fruit and make the most out of the remaining space.
Gravel or Patio Ideas
In many instances it’s a real shame to patio or gravel over any area of a garden, yet it does provide a low maintenance option. It’s not the most child-friendly option either, unless you keep a small space of grass, but it does allow you to use space effectively. This way you can design the layout from the ground up, choose where to place plant pots and have room to install a table and chairs if desired.
For entertaining on those summer evenings or simply eating al fresco as a family, you’ll need to add some furniture. A lot of garden chairs can be wooden and fairly immobile, taking up a lot of space unnecessarily. Instead, opt for fold up chairs and tables that will still provide some level of comfort with the bonus of being folded away to reclaim garden space for all sorts of activities.
Whatever the shape and size of your garden, hopefully you can maximise the space available with some of the above tips.
Have you renovated your garden recently? Do you have any tips in addition to these? I’d love to hear!
See other gardening posts on the blog