Planning a Small Garden


DIY and how-to

Garden path with stone border, lush greenery and wooden bench, creating a peaceful outdoor setting.

Planning a Small Garden

Trees and shrubs form the backbone of a small garden while vertical lines will give the impression of spaciousness. Choose trees and shrubs which display attractive foliage all the year round, like the Camellia, which has glossy leaves as well as its beautiful Winter flowers.

Underplanted standards give the small garden vertical lines and abundant choice of variety and colour. Many of the Euonymus family have variegated leaves. The ‘Lollipops’ have bare stems topped by balls of foliage.

The following annuals recommended for underplanting are Violas, Pansies, Lobelias, Toerenias, Bellis Perennis daisies, Alyssum, Primulas and Virginia Stocks. Other dwarf form annuals are ‘Pixie’ Impatiens, ‘Surfinia’ and ‘Million Bells’ Petunias, ‘Tinkerbell’ Nicotiana, ‘Tahiti’ Antirrhinums and ‘Matador’ Asters.

Standard Roses underplanted with ground cover or miniature Roses provide striking vertical compositions in a small garden and climbers like Clematis hybrids and Cobea Scandens with its attractive foliage and beautiful flowers provide colour and height.

Evergreen perennials have an important role in every small garden. Good edging plants include those with grassy foliage like Acorus, Mondo Grass, Carex and Liriope. Acorus will grow in water and some are suited to pebble gardens. Echeverias can be used for compact, low-growing edging. Dwarf perennials include Agapanthus, Tulips and Day Lilies which could be interplanted with annuals for maximum effect.

Small gardens could even include vegetables and herbs planted either in pots or mixed with the other plants in the garden. Beautiful colours and leaf forms can be provided by many lettuces and the ‘Bright Lights’ Swiss Chard.

Above all, it is essential to choose plants that will look good for the largest part of the year and to bear in mind that warm red and orange colours will make a garden look smaller, while pink, mauve, white, blue plants and those with soft grey foliage will give the impression of spaciousness.

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