Having a smaller outside space doesn’t mean that you can’t still have the garden of your dreams.
With a few simple perspective tricks and tips, you can give your garden the illusion of depth to deceive the eye into believing a space is larger than it is.
With careful thought and good garden design, we will help you make your small garden look and feel bigger. Just follow this handy guide and you’ll be on your way to having a bigger garden without actually having to add any more square footage.
Be safe and smart
Always be careful when undertaking any form of gardening or DIY project. If you find yourself using any power tools or new pieces of equipment or furniture, please always read the instruction manuals and advice attached. You can also read our DIY Safety Tips guide.
If you are unsure about anything, please reach out to a certified expert.
Clear up and tidy
First thing you need to do is reduce the clutter in your garden space. A small garden will feel even tinier if it is filled with bulky furniture and lots of pots.
You may want to think about garden storage options, or invest in a garden shed or building to house all of your bits and pieces. If you’re feeling a bit stumped on how to organise it all, check out our ‘Best storage solutions for your shed’ article.
Next tip is a fairly simple but effective one, and that is to think upwards. By that we mean make full use of your vertical space.
Choose slender plants and focus on height; your garden may not be large in terms of square footage but the sky’s the limit if you think vertically.
Use garden canes, plant supports and tree stakes to strengthen your taller growing plants. Choose climbers rather than shrubs- climbing roses, ivy and star jasmine are all great options. You can also check out ‘How to build a vertical garden’ to find out more about how to really maximise your space.
Create boundaries & soften borders
Frame your garden with shrubs around the edges to help obscure the boundaries, therefore making the space look bigger. Plant some beautiful bedding plants near the entryways to give your garden a more inviting and aesthetic appearance, allowing people to focus less on the area’s small size.
Walls and fences have quite a hard appearance, so soften up your borders by planting climbing plants to provide the illusion that your garden is transcending its boundaries.
Trick the eye
You can create a perspective illusion with paving stones, especially when they’re on flat planes of grass or gravel. Simply reduce the distance between the pavers that are farther out in your garden to trick the eye into believing a greater impression of distance.
You can also make smaller gardens feel longer by adding a curved or zigzag path, as this will force the eye to move side to side rather than straight up the middle to the end of the garden. Check out our how to lay and maintain block paving guide.
Carefully placed plantings will also help to accentuate the snaking of the path which will boost the illusion even further.
Use colour to your advantage
Finally, you can also use colour to change the perception of your garden space. Use warmer coloured plants near the house and cooler ones towards the end of the garden to trick the brain into thinking the garden space is longer than it really is. This works because brighter, hot-coloured plants tend to seem larger in volume and advance towards us. Cooler and darker toned plants, however, appear to recede and therefore give more depth to the garden.
Add volume and texture
Just as landscape painters create the illusion of depth in paintings by reducing the foliage detail in the distance, you can do the same trick in your own garden. Simply incorporate plants with finer foliage at the rear of the garden and add bolder, large leafed plants nearer the front. If you really wanted to be sneaky, you could add a large weatherproof mirror against a shady wall to create the illusion of a larger space, as the mirror will reflect the sunlight in other directions.
Now that you’ve got the big garden of your dreams, make sure you upload a picture of it to social media and tag us @homebase_uk