If you live in the countryside, and have done for your whole life, there’s a decent chance that you might take the fact of a large back garden as a given, and so take it for granted.
On the other hand, if you live in the heart of a crowded city, the odds are significantly lower that you’re going to take any kind of garden space, whatsoever, for granted.
People sometimes turn their noses up at small gardens, and treat them as though they are nothing much more than glorified places to leave clothes out to dry, or maybe to scatter a bit of birdseed around and watch out for the pigeons.
In fact, though, a small garden can be a great boon to your life in various ways, ranging from the fact that it can serve as a fully functional vegetable garden or allotment of sorts, to the fact that you can still barbecue in a small garden, or in any case, sit out there and get a bit of fresh air.
Here are a few suggestions on how to make the most of a small garden.
- Get the right tools for the job
In order to maintain a small garden, you have to have the right tools and equipment for the job.
Assuming that the small garden in question actually has a lawn, the first step will be to get a lawnmower that is appropriate for a garden of its size. Generally, you’ll find that small gardens are better off with an electric mower – and that this generally won’t be a problem, as an extension cable will likely cover the full range you need covered.
Small gardens may also be in more crowded environments – with neighbours nearby on each side – and for that reason as well, electric lawnmowers are likely to be preferable, as they don’t pollute the air, and aren’t likely to leave any unpleasant aromas that the neighbours might take issue with.
Ultimately, you need to get a blueprint mapped out in your own mind, of what you want to use the space in your small garden for. And once you have some idea, kit it out appropriately.
A composter might be a very good idea – but maybe not if you aren’t actually planning to grow any vegetables in your garden.
- Clear as much space as you can, and consider what you are going to dedicate the space to
In order to make the most of a small garden space, the first step is really to do whatever you can to capitalise on the space that is available to you, so that it’s not going to be half-lost to clutter, weeds, or disorder, in general.
In a large garden, it perhaps doesn’t really matter so much if certain elements of the garden are a bit overgrown, or if things aren’t perfectly pruned back and maintained. But the less space you have in your garden, the more important it is to actually get all these particular issues dialled in, so that you have absolutely as much “working area” available to you as possible.
In addition to clearing your garden, you need to develop a clear sense of what it is you want to dedicate your garden space too. Do you intend to grow herbs, and maybe a few vegetables there? Do you mainly want to liven the place up with aromatic flowers? Or, are you most interested in creating a little paradise for any visiting creatures that may stop by – be they hedgehogs, squirrels, or birds?
Specific approaches to your garden will require specific layouts, accessories, and overall structures. When space is at a premium, you should try and be as specific as you can, and as focused as you can, with the overall purpose of your garden.
- Look into space-restricted gardening techniques
There are all sorts of ways to run a fruitful and worthwhile garden, using virtually no space at all. People who live in high-rise apartments have, for some time now, been refining the art of “square foot gardening,” as well as techniques such as vertical gardening, and growing assorted herbs and vegetables in pots, on balconies and window sills.
If you have a bit of garden space available to you, but it’s small enough that you feel worried, or disheartened, that nothing can really be done with it, then you should really have a look at some of the ingenious techniques that have been devised for gardening in space-restricted environments.
A good place to start is by looking at some of the different rack, and hanging-garden setups that exist out there – which specifically focus on allowing you to turn a wall into an attractive natural feature that serves a highly practical function, as well.
- Find simple opportunities to make use of the garden, that don’t require much space
Even if you don’t feel that your garden can be productively used as a space for growing vegetables, or prize-winning bouquets of flowers, or else if you just don’t feel like using your garden for this purpose, there are various things that you could use a small garden for that could be absolutely positive and worthwhile, all the same.
None of these uses have to be especially complex or ambitious. How about just having a comfortable garden chair and coffee table on standby, and sitting out there each morning with your first tea or coffee of the day, and taking a quiet moment to breathe in the cool air, and collect your thoughts before heading out into the world to tackle whatever is on your to-do list?
Or, how about trying your hand at trimming and keeping a small bonsai tree? Or, just arranging a few rocks and pebbles in order to create a visually appealing scene that you can appreciate from the kitchen window?
There are a lot of things that you can do to turn even the tiniest garden space into a small source of pleasure in your everyday life. Many of these strategies will be specific to you, and your particular circumstances. So get creative, and make things happen.