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How To Make A Small Garden Look Bigger


Having a small garden isn’t something that most of us desire. And, if you’ve found yourself searching for how to make a small garden look bigger, your outdoor space is likely causing you a bit of stress. However, a small garden isn’t as horrible to work with as you probably imagine. There are so many tips and tricks all small garden owners should take note of to help make your outdoor space work for you. Here’s how to make a small garden look bigger with ten top tips!

Try Vertical Planting

vertical herb garden

If you still want to work your green fingers but are worried about space in a small garden, you should consider vertical planting. Vertical gardening is pretty self-explanatory and involves growing upwards rather than horizontally. You can grow your vertical garden up a wall, a fence, a trellis or a tower of pots – anything really!

Planting vertically frees up ground space, helps extend the grassy part of your garden and removes the need for planted borders around your garden’s edge. Then, you can make good use of this freed-up space in your small garden.

There are so many ways you could go about trying vertical planting, but some of our team’s favourites include:

  • Hanging planters
  • A garden tower
  • Vertical hydroponic gardening
  • A gutter garden
  • A hanging pallet garden
  • A vertical bottle garden
  • Trellis planter holder
  • A photo frame hanging garden

Read More: Everything You Need To Know About Vertical Gardening

Zone Your Space

Zoning is incredibly beneficial for a garden since it allows you to make the most of every inch, which is particularly necessary for small gardens. Garden zoning involves treating the designated sections of your garden like different ‘rooms’, similar to how you do inside your house. This way, you can equip each zone of your garden for a particular activity, such as playing, relaxing or socialising. In addition, by adding different furniture, flooring and levels to each site, you can create the illusion of extra space, reduce clutter across your garden and ensure you use your outdoor area to its total capacity.

Choose Your Furniture Carefully

two compact garden chairs and a table in a small garden

With the question of how to make a small garden look bigger, furniture plays a more significant part than you might realise. After all, you don’t want to overwhelm your garden with bulky pieces of furniture and make the space feel claustrophobic. Choosing small, compact pieces of furniture is best to help answer how to make a garden look bigger, particularly pieces that have built-in storage or extra amenities. For example, a compact two-seater bench would squeeze into a smaller garden without much issue, and you can get models with a table built-in to save even more space. So, choose small, cohesive pieces of furniture to ensure you can get the most use from your garden without taking the attention away from nature. Use a wooden garden bench to compliment the natural tones of your garden while creating a contemporary seating area that will withstand the British weather.

Play With Lighting

How you illuminate your garden plays a part in its perceived size. Garden lighting helps you highlight the best features of your outdoor space, disguise any bits you want to keep hidden and make your garden look larger than it actually is. There are so many different lighting options you can choose, but if you’re looking for a small garden, we’d recommend string or festoon lights. However, there are so many other lighting options, including:

  • LED lights
  • Wall lights
  • Stake lights
  • Hanging pendant lights
  • Spotlights
  • Large Fire pit
  • Solar lights

Read More: How To Introduce Lighting To Your Garden

Use Mirrors

a garden bar in a small garden with a mirror

Mirrors should be your secret weapon if you’re wondering how to make a small garden look bigger. A mirror is one of the best ways of creating the illusion of room no matter the space, inside or outside of the house. This is because mirrors, like all reflective surfaces, bounce light around and make the area appear more substantial. So, adding a large feature mirror to your garden will definitely help make your garden look larger. Or you may consider hanging mirrors along the whole length of a boundary to provide a perceived double in size. But, you’ll have to ensure no one walks into those mirrors!

Remove Bulky Bushes

Large bushes and shrubs can take up a lot of space. So, why not consider removing them? Taking out any bulky shrubs and bushes we commonly find around the boundaries of our garden spaces can free up more space than you probably realise. Instead, replace them with grass seed or ornamental grasses and incorporate some unique upcycled planters full of colourful flowers to help increase curb appeal. On the other hand, you could also put up a light-coloured fence for security without intruding on the space.

Blur Your Garden’s Boundaries

planters used to blend boundaries in a small garden

A simple answer to how to make a small garden look bigger is blurring the boundaries between where your garden ends, and surrounding spaces begin. There are plenty of ways to make the boundaries of your garden feel non-existent. However, one of the easiest is to blend your planting. By informally planting trees, shrubs, hedges and flowers at varying heights, it will become unclear where the boundary of your garden ends.

For maximum effect, you should start with shorter plantings closer to the space you regularly use in your garden. From there, gradually increase the heights right up to your boundary.  

Read More: Trees For Small Gardens

Disguise Your Garden’s Walls

By making some clever paint choices, you can help your garden’s walls and fences merge into the background. This way, there’s no visible ‘end’ to your garden. One of the best ways of doing this is by painting your wall or fence a natural green. So, any roaming eyes will be less likely to notice the boundary among the trees, shrubs, grass and plants.

But disguising your garden’s walls isn’t the only benefit that paint can bring. Painting your garden wall or fence the right colour can make your garden look more prominent and enhance the space. But what colour fence paint makes garden look bigger? Here are some of our favourites:

  • Light blue
  • Cream
  • Off-white
  • Blush pink
  • Light grey
  • Plum
  • Earthy yellow

Paint A Mural For Colour

One of our favourite garden design ideas is painting a large mural across a wall or fence in your garden to add a lovely pop of colour and help make it appear bigger. Similar to the effect of mirrors, lighter and brighter colours are more reflective than darker shades, so a colourful mural will help bounce light around your garden. Although you could bring someone in to create a mural for you, you can definitely paint one yourself if you have a creative flair. For an entirely cohesive, clean space, you could design a mural that acts as an extension of the flowers in your garden through colours, textures or images.

Have Fun With Proportions

Proportions are essential when it comes to making a small garden look bigger. For example, if your garden is full of large flowers or spreading climbers, adding large pots or giant sheds will only intrude on the space even more, making your garden look and feel much smaller. However, suppose you add a small, narrow shed into a garden full of tall plants and large structures. In that case, it will seem like a larger outbuilding situated further away than it actually is due to the contrasting sizes. So, play around with proportions in your outdoor space and see if you can find your own unique ways to make it feel bigger.

Understanding How To Make A Small Garden Look Bigger

Owning a small garden can seem daunting. Although it’s easy to keep a space for socialising and leave the rest alone, don’t! With some of our tips on how to make a small garden look bigger, you can make the most of your outdoor space with little sacrifice.

Are you struggling with the opposite of how to make a small garden look bigger? Find out how to make your big garden feel more intimate

Anna Sharples

Anna is the marketing and office manager for Garden Benches - a premium supplier of high-quality wooden benches and other outdoor furniture.

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