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Small Urban Garden Design

key points for small urban garden design

Why small urban garden design should be of interest to Londoners,  Gardens in London are 26% smaller than the national average and the smallest of any region in Great Britain. The average garden size for a house in London is 140 square meters, just over half the size of a tennis court. So with that in mind, you probably need to consider the following steps… and if you don’t, consider yourself lucky, either way this is our guide to small urban garden design!

Small Urban garden design

Designing a garden with minimal space

 Assess your space

Designing a small urban garden requires thoughtful planning to maximise the available space and create a beautiful and functional outdoor oasis. Start by evaluating the available area in your urban garden. Take note of its dimensions, sunlight exposure, microclimates, and any existing structures or features.

Define your goals

Determine the purpose and goals for your garden. Do you want a space for relaxation, entertaining, growing edibles, or simply enhancing the aesthetics of your urban environment? Clarifying your objectives will guide the design process.

Plan the layout

Create an efficient and well-organised layout to optimise the use of space. Consider zoning different areas for seating, planting beds, vertical structures, and functional elements such as composting or rainwater harvesting systems.

Vertical gardening

Utilise vertical space to maximise planting areas. Install trellises, living walls, or vertical planters to add greenery without occupying precious floor space. Consider using espaliered trees to grow along a single plane only. These technique also create visual interest and can help with privacy and noise reduction.

Choose suitable plants

Select plants that will thrive in the specific conditions of your urban garden, such as limited sunlight, wind exposure, or pollution. Opt for compact or dwarf varieties and consider plants with multi-seasonal interest to maximise the impact.

Incorporate containers

Use containers for planting to add flexibility and mobility. Choose containers of different sizes, shapes, and materials to create visual diversity. Group containers strategically to create focal points or define different garden areas.

Enhance with color and texture

Incorporate a variety of colours, textures, and foliage shapes to add visual interest to your garden. Consider using a limited colour palette or contrasting colours to create a harmonious and vibrant atmosphere.


Integrate seating and relaxation areas

Create inviting seating areas or cozy nooks within your small urban garden. Whether it’s a bistro set, a built-in bench, or a hammock, provide comfortable spots for relaxation, reading, or enjoying the outdoors.

Lighting and ambiance

Install appropriate lighting to extend the usability of your urban garden into the evening. Use soft ambient lighting, pathway lights, or string lights to create a cozy and magical atmosphere.

Water features and accessories

Add a small water feature, such as a fountain or a birdbath, to create a soothing and tranquil ambiance. Consider incorporating other accessories like sculptures, wind chimes, or outdoor artwork to personalize your space.

Sustainable practices

Implement eco-friendly practices in your urban garden. Use organic fertilizers, conserve water through efficient irrigation systems, and consider composting for nutrient-rich soil.

Maintenance considerations

Plan for ease of maintenance of your restricted space. Choose plants that require minimal care, install irrigation systems, and consider using low-maintenance materials for pathways or surfaces.

Remember, a small urban garden can still be a delightful and inviting space. Thoughtful design, strategic plant choices, and creative use of space will help you transform your urban garden into a charming green retreat, making the most of every single square foot.


Visit our Gardens for Home pages and explore more of our designs

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