Engel & Völkers MMC Lisbon > Blog > Useful tips for skilfully staging your urban garden

Useful tips for skilfully staging your urban garden

Are you the lucky owner of an urban garden? This can be a real windfall in urban areas with high levels of paved surfaces. Even though it is rather small in terms of area, it offers you the chance to design precious open-air square metres entirely according to your preferences!

We will help you with the challenge of realising your own green retreat in an urban setting.

 Lisbon
- Find out in the new blog which planning tricks you can use to realise your dreams even in the smallest of urban gardens.

Shaping a small space around your personal preferences

You could say that the less space there is, the more difficult it is to use it wisely. But what is much more effective when it comes to creating a dream garden in miniature is a change of perspective: Every metre is precious and deserves to be devoted to your own personal priorities.

This is precisely where you, as the planner, are called upon from the outset. What kind of garden would you really enjoy on a day-to-day basis, what kind of garden would enrich your leisure time and noticeably increase your quality of life? This is precisely what you should stage your urban garden for. 

Take your inspiration from the pioneers of this art of self-realisation. A garden consisting only of a pool is certainly one of the most extreme examples. But that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. And as the owner and user of the pool, you would have a satisfied smile on your face every day for having taken this courageous step. 

Perhaps you would like to create a home office space in the form of a stylish modular garden cube after your recent experience of working from home. Or set up a small studio in it to use the Zen atmosphere for creative work.

The impact that the shape of the urban garden has on planning

You should always plan the new design or redesign of your small garden carefully and then go about implementing it in a structured way. Once you know whether there is one main priority of use or many different horticultural aspirations that need to be harmoniously combined, there are useful guides to help you achieve success with your project.

Our tip: Have a look at what architects, the professionals of interior design, have to say. Urban gardens are mostly rectangular or square. Similar to a room in your apartment. In older, established residential areas, we often encounter very long, narrow gardens. Similar to a hallway. Principles of interior design can also be helpful for small gardens.

Break away from the idea of wanting to leave the already limited space as "open" as possible in order to maintain a sense of spaciousness. This will only restrict you unnecessarily. Instead, let yourself be inspired.

Use space smartly

Different levels are recommended in order to maintain distinct areas of use. This can be done using steps or an elevated patio deck. Or you can do the opposite: Excavating and lowering an area that is used for a lounge seating group or as a children's play area, for example, creates visual depth. 

Gardening methods such as small hedges, walls, windbreaks or trellises can be used to make individual areas of the garden recede visually. This adds a degree of positive tension, which makes the eye of the beholder unconsciously want to explore the garden. It avoids boring monotony. This also makes it easy to separate the relaxation areas from the usable areas. 

Another design principle inspired by landscape planners is the creation of visual vanishing points. You may want to add a sculpture at the back of the garden or a gently rippling water feature. Let an organically curved path lead you there, this opens up the view and creates a sense of spaciousness.

Laying out the rooms across the diagonal is another great design trick. Small square gardens in particular can be visually stretched and enlarged in this way.

Choose favourite plants and evergreens

Since the limited size makes it rather difficult to combine many different types of plants, it can be nice to surround yourself with favourite flowers and solitary plants with eye-catching potential. To achieve an appealing, pleasant appearance all year round, it is important to include evergreens. An advantage of deciduous trees: When these shed their leaves in autumn, the rays of the warming winter sun can better penetrate your urban garden.

Our conclusion is that by using all kinds of gardening and planning tricks, it is possible to turn even a small garden into your own personal favourite retreat. 

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Engel & Völkers
MMC Lisbon
  • Avenida da Liberdade 196, 7º Andar 1250-147
    1250-147 Lisbon
    Portugal

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