10 Ideas for small, low maintenance gardens
Whether you have a small garden, a patio or a small balcony, you may find it challenging to create an outdoor space with seating, greenery and storage. But rest assured, even with a small space, it is certainly achievable. With a little creativity, and some inspiration, you will be well on your way towards an outdoor space that makes sense for you! Read on for 10 ideas for small, low maintenance gardens to help you on your way towards a family-friendly, convenient and affordable outdoor space, full of personality and that makes sense for your lifestyle.
1) Opt for a low maintenance lawn
Opting for a low maintenance lawn for your garden may be a better alternative than conventional grass in your outdoor space.
There are a number of reasons why a low maintenance lawn might be the best solution for your small space; for example
- You have too much shade from surrounding walls and other structures to grow a regular lawn
- You don’t have enough grass to justify the expenses of buying and running a lawnmower
- Your space is awkwardly shaped
There are two different paths you can go down with low maintenance lawns. You can go with artificial grass (a.k.a. artificial turf), or you can use alternative plants to install a low maintenance natural lawn that is far less hassle than conventional grass.
Artificial grass is hassle-free, looks great in the garden and is super comfortable underfoot.
We supply a variety of artificial turf for a range of looks and applications to provide you the perfect lawn. Our artificial lawns can be cut to fit any space, no matter the shape or size of your garden.
If you have a very small space such as a balcony, adding artificial grass is a great way to brighten it up and add a little luxury. Imagine stepping out of your kitchen onto a soft, green balcony to enjoy your morning coffee, how lush!
2) Low-maintenance alternatives to real grass
If you’d prefer to have a natural lawn, we recommend going for hardier plants such as chamomile, thyme, clover or moss.
A moss bed is one of the best low-maintenance lawn options out there. It’s especially good if your garden is in the shade or is north facing, as moss loves places that are damp, shady and low in foot traffic. You can find some good moss lawn products here.
These beautifully soft, low growing, evergreen lawns produce a beautiful smell year-round. These are perfect for small gardens as they require no mowing and very little maintenance. You can purchase chamomile for your lawn here.
This lawn alternative is perfect if you have a very small garden or are wanting to fill some pots or planted sections with colour. Creeping thyme is low growing; however it does require full sun, so we only recommend it for south facing gardens. This evergreen plant also produces a beautiful array of purple flowers in the summer months; a neat way to add colour to your garden! You can purchase some here.
2) Go vertical with wall storage
In a small garden, nifty storage is key to making the most of the space you have, as well as enjoying the great outdoors. Easy and cheap ways to make use of your small garden include adding wall hangings, converting an old ladder to hold planters, or using vertically mounted pallet for your herbs.
3) Create zones
Zoning is a great way to maximise your space and increase functionality.
Start by sketching out a plan of your garden, breaking it up into sections. For example, you could dedicate one zone to entertaining, and another to growing vegetables, separated by an in-built seating area. Play around on paper until you have the best combination of zones for your needs.
A smart way to zone is by raising your plant beds. Use raised beds to create mini partitions to separate your zones, and incorporate extra storage underneath for tools, kids’ toys and anything else you need to tidy away.
Raised beds can be made with a number of different materials. We recommend using our Premium Panelling this durable composite panelling creates a seamless finish to complement your garden or decking.
4) Plant the right low-maintenance flowers in pots and hangers
Do you want a low maintenance garden without giving up on flowers? It can be done with a clever use of pots. For small gardens, try planting in stackable pots or hanging pots. Hanging pots can be hung from fences, walls or balcony railings to save a little space.
Planting in pots also limits a plant’s growth, meaning it’s less likely to overgrow your small space.
There are many different types of plants available depending on how sunny or shady your conditions are. The following list of hardy, low-maintenance plants look great and are easy to grow.
5) Install an artificial plant wall to add charm and privacy
Creating a space that feels cosy and relaxing can be a challenge in a small space, especially if you have tall bricked walls or bland fencing that you are sharing with a neighbour.
Whatever your situation, get yourself some artificial plant walls.
These flexible plant walls come in tiles that can be easily installed on many different surfaces, enabling you to brighten up your small garden using vertical elevations.
We offer a variety of different styles, from flowery, colourful designs to simpler ferns.
Another awesome thing about artificial plant walls is that they can be installed inside. So if you’re struggling for outdoor space, or have no garden at all, you can bring the outdoors in by installing some artificial plant wall tiles inside your home. Complete the look by adding free-standing artificial plants or indoor hanging baskets.
6) Update your decking with composite
Select composite decking: Premium in colour Teak
One way to nicely zone a seating area or play area is with composite decking. Elevating your garden and creating different levels is a neat way to make your garden feel bigger. With a long lifespan and an eco-friendly profile, this is a perfect replacement for battered old decking, or can be used to cover up an ugly patch of untended garden. You can find out more about why composite decking is perfect for a low-maintenance garden here.
7) Invest in quality, waterproof outdoor furniture with storage
Depending on the size of your garden, you may be able to find furniture that is right for your space. Furniture that offers storage or that folds up could be the best option for your small garden and an efficient way to use your space for different purposes.
If you’re up for more of a DIY project, use old pallets or reclaimed wood to build bespoke furniture. The advantage of this is you can build it to fit your space exactly - plus you’re reusing waste materials. Check out this DIY foldable garden table tutorial that could be a fun weekend project.
8) Hide distracting items
Image credit: Garden Trading
Providing storing options to hide your bins, store your garden tools or keep your logs dry is a must for small gardens. Use spaces in your garden that can’t be used for anything else - such as a corner that’s too shady for plants.
9) Create a foldaway bar
Many of us love socialising and having friends or family around on a sunny day. With a lack of space in your garden, make the most of what you have by creating a foldaway bar. When not in use, it will take up hardly any space; and then when friends pop over, voila! Instant bar.
10) Grow a vertical vegetable garden
Growing vegetables gives you a steady supply of free, organic, delicious and healthy food. It can also be a rewarding hobby.
With a small garden, this may seem like a daunting task, especially with the amount of space these plants can take up. Making clever use of vertical space is a good solution. Opt for plants that can be trained to grow upwards on a vertical frame.
However you want to manage your garden, we hope this blog has inspired you to make best use of your small garden while keeping it low-maintenance and adapted to your lifestyle.
Whilst you transform your garden, make sure to check out our catalogue for garden upgrades that are family and pet friendly, low-maintenance and perfect for all garden sizes. You can find our full collection ranging from artificial grass, composite decking and artificial plant walls to get you started!
Have you created an exceptional small garden using our products? Tag us in your photos #selectgardenupgrade.