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6 Solutions for Maximizing Space and Style in a Small Garden


The dream of a sprawling, luscious garden is often just that — a dream — as more Americans than ever live in built-up urban areas and apartments. Urban and apartment living may require you to sacrifice a backyard, but it shouldn’t necessarily mean giving up on alfresco living all together.

Whether you’re renting or living in your forever home, you want a stylish and functional garden space or balcony that provides a connection with the outdoors as well as somewhere inviting to relax and entertain. Lyndall Keating from Garden Society, one of Australia’s leading garden designers and horticulturists, shares her tips for maximizing and styling a small garden or outdoor space.

1. Vertical Gardens

Establishing a green wall or vertical garden will provide a powerful punch of greenery without compromising too much valuable space. They can be easy to maintain with the right plant selection.

2. Pot Clustering

Depending on the size of the balcony or patio, pot clustering can soften hard surfaces and develop different plant palettes. Potted plants grouped together in varying height can also offer some screening for privacy, which is so often required in urban areas.

3. Furniture, Lighting, And Privacy Screens

Functional furniture, stylish privacy screens, and clever lighting can turn even the smallest of outdoor spaces into an outdoor oasis. Keep things in proportion and try not to clutter the space you have. If you really only have room for a four-seater table, don’t try and squeeze in a six-seater; it will only make the space feel smaller than it is.

Lighting is essential if you plan on using your outdoor area at night. There are many types of outdoor lights: spotlights, hanging lights, in-ground lights, wall lights, fairy lights, etc. The right type and amount of lighting you need will depend on the size of your space.

4. Create an illusion.

When designing a small outdoor space, choose furniture that gives the illusion of more space. Selecting a thinner frame in seating or smaller grill can have a big impact. Mirrors can also be used outdoors to make a space feel bigger and reflect a lovely outlook or view.

5. Which Plants to Choose and How to Choose Them

When selecting plants for balconies and smaller outdoor spaces, how and where you plant them is just as important as the size and style when it comes to space conservation and visual effect. Using stunning succulents in layered pots or in a lush vertical garden will make a statement in a small space. Mixed herb bowls or potted citrus offer an attractive and edible element to an area where a vegetable garden probably isn’t possible.

6. Finish with accessories.

Add an outdoor rug, cushions, and accessories like candles and lanterns to make your outdoor space mirror the interior of your home and you’ll feel much more inclined to spend time out there.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Homes to Love

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