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Small Garden Inspiration/Ideas

Hi all,
We recently bought our first home and we are finding it hard to come up with ways to make the garden look nice. I park my car out the back of my house so I walk through it everyday and at the moment it is making me feel a bit sad as it is so uninspiring and dull!

We don't have a huge budget so can't do anything too fancy. We are quite hands on so could have a go at making things ourselves. We will be keeping the patio/slabs where they are as it is too much work to get rid of these. Ideally I would like to do something to make the garage wall & window area look nicer and was thinking of putting a small water feature in the corner to drown out the noise of cars etc. I also have been donated some Hostas and a Forysthia from my nan which are in pots waiting to be planted either in the ground or nicer/bigger plant pots.

I have attached a few photos from different angles so if anyone has any ideas that would be great.

Thank you for your help!!


  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 10,823
    Hi Harriet  :) Is it a sunny garden or does it just get sun in certain areas at certain time of day ?
    Are you planning on keeping the grass ?
  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,054
    Which way does the garden face? I assume that's a rotary washing line and you'll need to leave a clear area around that? Anybody likely to be kicking a ball around?

    For a very quick fix, I'd concentrate on getting some climbers up those fences, and perhaps the garage wall, to soften things. And then, as you don't have much ground you can plant in, lots of pots ...

  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,427
    The forsythia would be happier in the ground than in a pot. It can get to be a big shrub if left to its own devices, so in a small garden it would be best to prune it each year, as soon as you can after the flowers finish.  The hostas will be OK in pots, and could go on a shady part of the patio.
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,050
    For something cheap and cheerful:
    1. Dispose of rotary dryer and replace with retractable line from garage to house. That way you won't be looking at the washing from through the patio doors. 
    2. Dig up the smaller bit of grass and replace with lots of colourful plants - select according to soil, position etc.
    3. You may wish to keep the bigger bit of grass if you have children/dog but if not, option would be to dig it up as well. 
    4. Remove the line of slabs closest to the fence on the left ie next to the big bit of grass - and plant climbing plants to go along the fence. Again, select plants for position, what you like etc. 

    None of the above will cost much - you can source some of the plants from friends, neighbours etc and keep your money to spend on the climbers. As you are relatively new gardeners I would buy for instance, a climbing rose, from a garden centre as they will be able to give you one to one advice and perhaps advise alternatives. 

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Hi all,
    Thank you for your very useful replies, it is very much appreciated!

    The garden is pretty much south facing, although the small area in front of the garage usually only gets sun in the morning. 

    I like the idea of climbers, I think that will make it look really pretty. 

    Do you think the whole patch of grass in front of the garage could become plants/flowers? I'm not sure if it would look silly!

    Thank you!
  • FfoxgloveFfoxglove UkPosts: 534
    I like the idea of the grass patches being 'borders' u could build raised beds with sleepers there if u wanted to protect the pathways and for aneater look then plant up with roses and perennials. Could be lush.

    My garden is tiny BTW with raised beds and as my husband likes to say more plants than the garden centre in it! 
  • FfoxgloveFfoxglove UkPosts: 534
    This is my tiny space this evening 
  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 10,823
    I think getting rid of the grass in front of the garage is a good idea.  You could maybe put in a paving stone or a couple of stepping stones if you ever need to get to the window. That will give you much more room to play with. You can put trellis on the walls where the hanging baskets are at the moment (if you want to) and plant climbers. I agree with hogweed in lifting the slabs along the fence if you can afford to loose them, and plant more climbers to soften the fence . The hostas would look good in pots and may be slightly less susceptible to attack from slugs and snails. 
  • Ffoxglove said:
    This is my tiny space this evening 
    Wow your garden is beautiful! I love all the different plants you have and how they are different levels with some taller. I also like the idea of the raised beds. Thank you!
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