Summer seems to be over, the flowers and vegetable gardens are quickly loosing their vibrancy and we seem to be spending more time indoors than enjoying our outside spaces. But, just because the weather is turning cooler, doesn’t mean we should hibernate inside. We should still be getting outside, as a family, and enjoying our gardens.
This time of year can be great for gardeners. It gives us a chance to start from scratch in the garden, pull everything out and redesign your space, no matter how small. So wrap up warm, evaluate your space and get things ready for next Spring.
Even if you only have a small back garden, you can still create a wonderful space for your whole family to enjoy. With careful planning, a small space can be just as rewarding as a large garden.
If you have children, you are going to want to create a space for them to play. Keep garden toys simple, such as sticking to a small play house, or climbing frame. Other garden toys can be kept in storage and bought out when needed.
You will also want somewhere to sit and eat or relax with friends. Position a garden furniture set in the corner of the garden to minimise the risk of your garden looking crowed. If you’re a sun lover, choose the sunny spot, if you thrive in shade (like me) choose a cosy shady corner instead.
Plant in pots and grow up, up, up! Beautiful potted plants and shrubs can be repositioned around the garden, they take up less space and minimise the amount of weeding that you’ll find yourself needing to do. Growing plants vertically is also a great space saving idea, that creates a huge impact. You can train various plants up walls and fences. Climbers such as climbing Roses, Jasmin, Ivy, Honeysuckle and Clematis don’t take up much ground room and can be grown in pots.
Small gardens can often appear dark and dingy, as everything feels closed in. Try painting walls, patios and decking white to instantly brighten a space. Hanging mirrors on walls will bounce the light around, giving you more natural light in all areas of the garden.
Invite wildlife into your small garden by placing a birdfeeder and drinking station in your garden. If you have climbing plants, place it near where these plants are growing. Birds love hiding and resting in climbers, so having feeders nearby will attract birds to feed. Bird feeders and water stations are especially important in winter as wildlife struggles to find food over the cold months.
You could also create a small pond. Any small bowl works well (or you could upcycle a baby bath!), collect some water from a friend’s pond, and maybe a few pond snails and a little amount of pond plants and you’ll be amazed at how much wildlife will gather in such a small pond.
If you would like to see more small garden ideas and inspirations check out the hashtag #FamilyFriendlyGarden on social media.
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