Define your spaces
Set clear spaces for sitting, dining, relaxing and growing the flower beds: otherwise the areas may bleed into each other and you won't feel the benefits. If you use paving slabs in your design, remember to treat them regularly to avoid weeds taking over and disrupting your carefully constructed space. For a well-maintained garden, pointers and flame weeding devices could become your new best friends.
Build in storage
When you introduce furniture into a small city garden, you need to think efficiently. Find items that double as both lifestyle items and storage space. That could be a rustic barrel with a hinged lid to serve as both a table and trunk, or a shiny truck-bed storage box that can store your tools and provide sturdy, industrial-chic seating.
Even with a carefully planned space, a small city garden can still become restrictive when you have guests over or bring in the materials ahead of planting season. By using plant pots and furniture with casters on the base, or integrating decorative and functional items like antique sack barrows, you can move items aside when you need to and put them back with ease.
Transport your senses
Even with a well-defined garden layout, you can blend boundaries to create a playful environment – just think beyond colour and space. Experiment with scented flowers and plants to give your space a fresh feel, or consider adding in a water feature to introduce a relaxing, natural sound that will carry you away from the daily hustle and bustle. A thin rill is a serene feature that can divide your garden into different areas without taking up too much space.
Bring walls to life
The great thing about garden plants is that when floor space is limited, they can still grow upwards and really make a statement. One classic example is trellis walls supporting ornamental climbers such as clematis, wisteria or honeysuckle, but there are plenty more options. Vertical gardens use shelving or hanging fabrics to allow plants to root into the structure, meaning you’re not limited to climbers. You can use this technique to layer colours, grow a herb garden or add pleasant scents to create a relaxing atmosphere.
You can also add depth and layers to your garden by bringing in sculptures. It could be a neo-classical marble, a flowing example of metal modernism or antique industrial style to add interest and a talking point to your outdoor space. Whatever you choose, it can provide continuity, structure and colour throughout the year, even in winter.
For more inspirational urban gardening ideas for a small city garden, visit our outdoor living blog. It’s packed with tips on how to create, evolve and enjoy your garden: no matter how much space you have, or how you want to enjoy your outdoor area.