How to design a family-friendly garden in a small space?
Gardening is good for your health, it’s great for the environment, and it makes for a fun project the whole family can embrace. Whether you choose a herb or vegetable garden to cut down on your grocery bill, or you want to decorate with bright and fragrant florals, your outdoor space needs to be as inviting as indoors, to get the full benefit of backyard barbecues, afternoons spent digging in the dirt, or even just reading a book in your favorite lounge chair. If your back garden is a tight squeeze, that can feel impossible. But it doesn’t have to be! These design tips can help your garden space feel homey and inviting for the whole family, no matter how sparse the space.
Clear out clutter
Like inside the house, your garden needs to be clutter-free. That doesn’t just mean picking up after yourself. Invest in the right lawn care equipment, whether that means a decent lawnmower, the best chainsaw for cutting firewood, or a high-quality strimmer for keeping those hedges and the edges of the lawn neat. You don’t have to break the bank, but investing in the right tools will make opening up your outdoor space a lot easier. Decluttering the debris from your garden also helps with compost: firewood ash is great for growing a healthy garden!
Go for brightness
The key to making your outdoors feel more inviting? Go for bright, warm colors! That means choosing red, orange and yellow flowers, to keep the place bright and fresh. Choosing bright-colored furniture also keeps the place playful and inviting for the kids, and gives them their own space in your outdoor paradise. Get the whole family involved in choosing the flowers, the color, and style you’re looking for, but stick to a design everyone can agree on.
Use double-duty furniture
Speaking of the kids. Just like inside, the best option for a busy family is furniture that doubles as storage. That keeps the level of outdoor toys and activities to a minimum. Choosing stones, or raised beds wide enough to sit on is another great way to give yourself plenty of functional space, without compromising on your garden space. Choosing furniture that can be easily folded up and tucked away is another option to allow the garden to grow uninterrupted, and still give you time and space to enjoy it.
Use the design principles you already use to maximize light and space
You know that lighting up your space and adding mirrors is a great way to keep you space feeling open and bright indoors. Those same principles will work wonders outside the house too. Using a great DIY mirror hung on a trellis or against the house adds vintage charm while also reflecting the green space you do have. Getting the right lighting is also essential, especially if you’re dealing with big shadows from tall trees or an enclosed space.
Another option for your garden furniture is to hang it up. Using hanging lanterns, or a hammock seat, instead of chairs or in-ground lights. Hanging a trellis, and choosing vine plants can help keep your space looking lush and gorgeous, as well as saving you space overall.
… but keep the trees small
Big trees look stately and impressive in a bigger yard, but in a smaller space, they tend to crowd everything out, including sunlight. Choose slimmer, daintier trees like a pompom tree, and give yourself height with tall foxgloves, wild irises, and honeysuckle, for the height you’re looking for.
Give yourself garden zones
It can be hard to break up a small garden space. This is where geometric patterns come in. Stick with square or diagonal lines. Even if you’re just planting a hedge or border, or switch up the ground covering, something that breaks your line of sight will give you an illusion of space. It also helps to give your kids a space of their own in your garden, whether that’s a Wendy house, sandbox, or even a bright picnic table. Other great ways to break your patio and garden up is with raised beds, or a raised patio, which will not only give you more physical space, but also depth and levels that can take your garden to new heights – literally and figuratively!
Choose smaller pots
If your garden is overtaken by a stone patio, or your green space feels too minimal, planting pots can help you make more space for green plants, without losing your all-important patio space. Planting clusters of small pots is a great way to get bursts of brightness into even the drabbest of garden spaces. Choose larger pots to plant mixtures of wildflowers for bright and vibrant colors wherever you feel the space needs it most. As a bonus, potted plants are a great way to get the kids started in gardening, and you can even use the smaller pots to create an outdoor herb garden, even if the actual green space is minimal!
Remember the rule of three
Finally, when it comes to keeping your garden looking lush, minimalist design principles work just as well inside as they do outside. Stick to a rule of three when it comes to designing your outside space. Stick to three or fewer landscape materials, and choose what matches the house. For example, if you’ve got a wooden lattice under your steps, pair it with a wooden lattice for a fence. Choose a brick walkway for your brick house, and the simple sandstone patio and vibrant grass will stand out even more, without looking cluttered.
Everyone wants a gorgeous green space to call their own. It’s great for relaxing, for getting fresh air, and depending on what you’re planting, it can even save you money and help the environment. Carving your own personal oasis out of a tiny back garden isn’t as impossible as you’d think. By following these design principles, you’ll be able to maximize the potential of your garden and grow a gorgeous space for your family.