1 – Pull the eye in from the boundaries.
The main reason a garden feels small, aside from the obvious, is that you are more than
likely staring down the garden straight into boundary fences or walls. This is a visual stop
that makes us feel enclosed. One easy solution is to divert the eye in another direction, so
that your eye has to travel further before reaching a boundary. Putting the geometry of
your garden on a 45 degree angle or adding curves to the garden are both great ways of
2 – Changing heights.
Similarly to number 1, the boundaries are our main enemy. They are likely the tallest thing
in your garden right now if you have a small garden. Adding height elsewhere in the
garden can pull attention away from the boundaries. Some options would be ornamental
trees, a pergola or an archway or even just some taller growing shrubs and perennials.
Just make sure whatever you add is in proportion with the rest of the garden and that the
size of tree is appropriate to the location. You could put any trees in a large pot.
3 – Plant along the boundaries.
Anything we can do to trick our eye’s into thinking the boundaries aren’t there is the key.
Planting along the boundaries is a great way of doing this and it doesn’t have to be a huge
bed. If you’re really tight on space it could be as narrow as 600mm. Plant things that are
going to grow tall to cover the fence, without taking up too much space. Ornamental
grasses are perfect for this.
4 – Paint the boundaries.
You may be noticing a trend here. If you have the option, something as simple as painting
the boundary fence can make a huge difference. Rather than staring at a light brown fence
that jumps out at you and makes it very clear that’s the end of the garden, why not paint it
a dark green, or for a more contemporary look a mid Grey. This will mean the boundary
doesn’t stand out as much and if combined with planting in front (tip number 3) can really
blur the edges of your garden.
5 – Steer line of sight.
The longer the eye takes to reach the rear or boundary of the garden the better. We want
the viewer to be taken on a journey before they reach the boundary. This could be done in
a number of ways. One would be by creating a focal point within the garden such as a
sculpture, bird bath or even a stand out plant. Another could be framing certain views by
blocking out others, through planting or even new walls or trellis. If the garden allows don’t
be afraid to completely block views to other parts of the garden from certain areas, that are
then revealed by changing position.
I hope this helps some people get the most out of their small spaces. Let me know if this
has helped you or if you have any further questions.