Maintenance: One to two hours a month
Type of design: Cottage garden, although not a rustic cottage garden
Seating area: Sits four
Features: A greenhouse, pathways and planting
Notes: “I want the seating area to be hidden from view from the house, so sink the patio. The seating area needs to be close to the patio doors. The sun is more on the back right of the garden, so install a greenhouse there with a seating area next to it.”
When designing a narrow garden, we look at ways we can make the garden look wider, as long, narrow gardens accelerate your attention towards the back. We designed the garden around four zones: a main patio area, a lawn area, a veg patch and a seating area at the back of the garden.
The main zone, which changes the perceived proportion, is the lawn area, which is as wide as the periphery allows. A paved pathway frames the lawn to further emphasise its width and provides access to other areas of the garden.
We weren’t tempted to hide the fences with tall shrubs as we knew this would take up too much space. Instead, we used climbers. We used small shrubs towards the front of the garden and selected taller plants for the back of the lawn section.
Small gardens can feel very especially small if not lit properly, with brighter spotlights at the back of the garden and softer lighting towards the front. Warm white is the only colour we recommend for such gardens as bright white would be too imposing.
Keeping the lighting design simple is key. We placed a spotlight so it up-lights specific plants. We mainly lit evergreen shrubs so there’s always something to look at, rather than lighting herbaceous plants that die back in the winter.
(click to enlarge)