Sandstone is natural stone imported mostly from India. It comes in a variety of colours and sizes. The lighter colours are effective in brightening up small, shady gardens and courtyards. Colours and rivens vary with sandstone but catalogues don't show this. So it is well worth visiting a local builders merchant to see the colours for yourself.
Indian Sandstone Paving used in a small garden in North Somerset
Designing and landscaping a small garden Ideas for small gardens
On this page tips and gardening ideas for small gardens
Landscape gardeners landscaping quotes for small gardens North Somerset, Somerset, Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Gloucester, Bristol, Weston super mare, Bath, Yeovil, Taunton, Wells, Highbridge, Burnham on sea, Portishead, Clevedon, Nailsea, Yatton, Wells, Yeovil, Cheddar and Bridgwater area Contact Mike
Small garden landscaping should be, simple, interesting and practical.
The best small gardens landscaping ideas and designs are the simple ones.
Just as in a small room, too much clutter makes a garden physically and visually smaller. Physically smaller because you are taking up too much of the valuable moving about, Visually because too many plants, pots, garden furniture and garden features actually make a small garden look smaller.
Be careful with small garden designers and landscape gardeners who want to pack a small garden with expensive features. Do you really need to pay a garden designer? A good landscape gardener will run through your ideas with you, without hijacking and changing them. You have to live with your garden long after the garden designer has been paid and gone.
Make a list of your favourite colours: List the plants that bring back those good childhood memories. Consider a garden or water feature that you have seen before and feel would fit into your garden plan. Are you going to entertain friends in your garden or is sitting in your garden for your own relaxation the main aim. Do you have children? Because water features and young kids are not a good mix. Is the garden overlooked? Or do you want privacy? Tall trees and fences cut out light. Once you have listed your favourite colours, plants,garden features and thought about space for entertaining or just relaxing, begin to think about the shape and materials that work best in a small garden. A courtyard style garden works perfectly in a square garden . Plan curved borders if you have a long and thin garden and have some kind of hedge, low wall or fence toward the end. This type of garden is ideal if you are a vegetable patch or fruit gardener. Also a divide, blurring the boundaries so you can't tell where your garden ends makes a small garden look longer and more interesting
Fixing trellis for colourful climbers and vegetables to grow up your walls and fences looks good and will save valuable floor space in a small garden.
Wasted space in this overgrown, unused small garden in Weston super mare
As we concreted the edging in, we realised we were going to get a reasonably sized parking area.
Small unused garden now with space to park two cars
Block paving works well in small areas and gardens
This small, muddy and unused area was dug out, filled with hardcore, compacted and block paved to create a Block paving parking area in North Somerset If you click the pics to enlarge them you will see that by cutting back the undergrowth the small unused space gave us a surprisingly spacious parking area. patios and block paving
One of the biggest mistakes made when planning and designing small gardens (and large gardens) is underestimate the space needed to entertain. Mark out an area the size of the table you will be using and then place 4 or 5 chairs around the area you have marked out. Now move the chairs back about 18" (people spread out and move back when the wine is poured). And that's the paved area you will need. If you don't want your guests toppling off the edge of your patio or knocking the BBQ over. Also, using small paving stones or cobbles has the effect of making the space seem larger.
Planting large trees or tall hedges may overwhelm the garden and cast too much shade which makes growing plants difficult. Your best bet will be climbers on trellis as these will provide privacy, and at the same time allow light into your garden, soften boundaries and provide year round interest.
Start off your small garden design by including a focal point
A focal point is some kind of feature that will attract the eye to a point in your garden.
Creating a focal point in small gardens adds interest and structure but can be difficult if you don't want to sacrifice your entire garden space to one large plant, tree or garden feature. A well chosen focal point doesn't have to be large, but something that catches the eye.
So what can be used to create a Focal Point?
Pretty much anything that stands out. This can include large boulders, an unusual plant, an architectural plant, a group of plants, an ornamental bird bath, a statue, a small water feature or even bamboo planted in a container. Remember the idea behind a focal point is to attract the eye.
You don't have to have a focal point, but if you think it might work for your small garden it's best to factor one in from the beginning.
Positioning the Focal Point is important.
Placing the feature just off centre works better than placing it centrally. If you have a small, circular garden, it will work better positioned towards the rear of the circle. The smaller or shorter your garden, the smaller or shorter your focal point can be.
Getting the balance right in a small garden As a general rule, small gardens need to have balance. The width of garden borders should be about 1/3 of the length of the flower borders. But when using irregular shapes with curving lines, the borders will look more interesting and the width itself becomes less important.
Obviously, the smaller the garden space the less plants you can have in it. Especially if you have a large planting areas included in your plan. A small garden, like a small room in your home, will look cluttered if there is too much diversity of planting and colour.
Choosing plants for a small garden Choosing plants for a small garden is difficult, but cutting down the list of plants to the ones you have always wanted makes it easier. Three or four of a few varieties works best because too many different plant varieties can be overwhelming in a small garden and often look amature. So start with 2-3 colors and 2-3 different types of plants, position them in the space you plan to plant them and see how it looks. You can always add more. Pre-existing plants, not counting large trees, can be dug out and saved for replanting. It'seasier to remove them than to try to design around them.
Choose plants that will be happy in your garden. If it's shady, choose plants that will tolerate shade. These are normally the hedgerow types. Plants that are suffering from too little sun will attract all kinds of problems. It is also importnat to choose plants that will grow in the type of soil that you have in your garden.
Another thing to consider is if you have large trees. If you do, choose plants that will be happy growing over and competing with tree roots.
Soggy soil is probably the most difficult to grow plants in but there are a few robust plants listed on my pond page.
Ultimately your garden soil and shade will decide your style of garden and the plants that will survive. So whether it is cottage, woodland, Summer bedding, butterfly, wildlife, a sensory garden or a bog garden, try to include some variety in foliage colour. I am concious that all this may seem complicated but it's not. Knowing your type of soil is important and will save you money but remember, half the fun of gardening is experimenting and trying out plants. So if you can't be bothered or don't have the time for the technical aspect, just go for it anyway. Some plants will die, some will thrive. Just make a note of their names for next time.
The colours you have in your garden say a lot about you! Less is best in a small garden. Try to stick to three or four of your favourite plant colours, especially in the first year of planting. You can always add more colour next season. As well as colour, mix in a variety of textures and variegated, colored or lacy foliage to give the garden depth. If you inclue spring bulbs in your planting plan they will extend the season in a small garden.
How many plants?
How many of each you plant will depend on the size of the flower borders and the spread of the plant. If you want your garden to look mature and full its first year, you can plant closely or buy larger plants. Better and cheaper to be patient and allow your garden to fill in slowly.
Rough Spacing planting guidelines 6- 12" spread - 2 plants per sq. ft.
12 - 24" spread - 1 plant per sq. ft.
Larger than 24" spread - 1 plant per 2 sq. feet Once again these are only guidelines, experiment and have fun with spacing your plants.
Dobies have been awarded the "Best Buy" Seed Supplier by Which? Gardening with "an impressive 91% of seed producing healthy seedlings and seed prices are amongst the lowest that you can find. flower seeds and veg seeds, flower bulbs, fruit trees and bushes, bedding plants & plug plants plus gardeners tools.
I have also listed the other landscape gardeners suppliers I use for tools, equipment, garden sheds and buildings in the gardeners online shop
Dobies, awarded best seed supplier for the second year