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Redesign of garden

My garden is tiny, just four-metres squared. I've got a very small lawn area (at my partner's insistence). I'm hoping to make the lawn smaller, and circular, to make the garden look bigger, and plant shrubs and herbaceous perennials around it. Has anyone else done this? Would you recommend it?

Kate web team



  • SFordSFord Posts: 224

    Hi kate

    My garden is slightly bigger.  Rather than a circular lawn I have a stone pavior circle with wide beds around it (so plants can 'flop' onto the circle). 

    Just off the circle is a very small patio area in the same coloured stone, enough for a garden bench and at about 45 degrees across the circle is a small deck which is slightly raised to create height interest.  We have a huge cornish palm growing up through the decking which we sit around.  These two seating areas ensure that we can sit in early morning and evening sun throughout the summer.

    I have found that the wide beds of plants around the circle (be it grass or stone) do give depth to the garden.  Have also added a bird bath to the middle of one bed with perennials growing up around it.

    Hope whatever you decide to do looks great

  • My garden is sightly bigger too, and again I have got a paved circle in the middle of the flower garden.    I decided to dispense with a lawn altogether, although the front garden has one.    I have a patio area, and no children, so grass seemed a waste of good soil to me.     I have four beds around the circle, two of which have obelisks of clematis in them.   

    The only drawback with my garden is that you can see it all in one go.    I would love a garden large enough to be able to divide it into "rooms", but you don't need to even walk around mine!

  • Thanks both. I would love a garden with 'rooms' too - one day! I would also love to get rid of the lawn... I think a circle centre if the way to go though, I'll post a photo when I've done it.


  • happymarionhappymarion Posts: 4,591

    I have a garden with many rooms and treat them as so many smallgardens so that I can manage them one at a time.  The only one with circles in it will be the five Olympic rings next year.  But I find that growing upwards in a lot of the rooms makes for vistas and screens that make the garden interesting and I'm sure that could be done in a small garden too.  


    Obelisks or wigwams with sweetpeas up them work a treat in Hidcote. Roses, golden hop  and vines work well in the Bristol Botanic Garden.  I think smal gardens can look bitty so suggest a fairly large patch occasionally in the borders of the same one or two plants like this border of alliums and lavender near the veg, garden at the Holt Farm Organic Garden to bring in the pollinators.

  • my garden is slightly larger too and i have dispensed with my lawn area as i find i can do my gardening all year round without having to worry about damaging the lawn, also there is no muddy pathways trailing across well walked areas, i have a square central area of blue slate with different width borders around to which i have a collection of evergreen shrubs and disciduos shrubs then along two sides i have slightly narrower borders to which i grow mainly flowers for summer and spring displays i find this way i always have something of interest in the garden all year round, and without too much hard work involved.

  • Pippin4Pippin4 Posts: 63

    I agree with happymarion2 that in a small garden, the variety of planting should be restricted to as few as possible, taking into account seasonal interest (plant bulbs to grow through perennials, then later-flowered autumn colour etc).  Also don't forget your walls/fences - adding interest here can make the garden look larger; try climbers, mosaics, mirrors, murals, etc. and don't be afraid of strong colour in a small garden.

  • I too am thinking of a radical redesign of my garden which is short and wide. What is it about men and their precious patch of green? My husband is very opposed to me nibbling away at any more of his lawn. Having said that, he did succumb under pressure and agreed to the purchase of a garden archway. I like the idea of dividing the garden into 'rooms' and have heard/read/seen that it is the thing to do to make your garden more interesting. It is my intention to plonk, sorry, position, the arch about 1/3 of the way along to give some height, then dig up the lawn to extend the borders towards it. The main challenge is making it look right from the house as it will be at right angles to the house. I am a bit scared that some odd shapes will be created in the lawn and if it all goes pear shaped, I will be eating a huge amount of humble pie and seeding a new lawn! Any advice would be gratefully received.

    Not sure if you can see very well from the photos but there is an orange rope outlining the new border in the bottom one.



  • I had to smile when I read your post, ChrisBee.    My first husband was very adamant that I shouldn't remove any of his precious lawn.    I waited until he wasn't at home and dug a new wavy edged border, and he was very cross.   The next door neighbour gave me a whole load of self-seeded forget-me-nots and I planted these all along the edge of the border.    A week later I took another six-inches of lawn away all along the edge, and moved all the forget-me-nots to the new edge.    He didn't notice!   So, I did this several times until I had a lovely deep border for planting!     I must say, those forget-me-nots were very tolerant of being dug up weekly! 

  • happymarionhappymarion Posts: 4,591

    This is my century blog so I am showing you how far I have progressed with the redesign of my vegetable garden, now three quarters cleared and plans drawn up for a potager more suitable for an octagenarian to cultivate.  Here it is on Jan.10th.  Look out for it again in March. ( The cat is called Wally and belongs to next door.)



  • ech10ech10 Posts: 1

    <span style="font-size: 10pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: Arial, sans-serif;">All of these ideas sound great and I wish I had come on here before I redesigned my garden as I went for a more minimalistic approach, removing various plants in favour of fewer larger shrubs that will be easier to maintain. The only thing I would recommend is that you don’t forget about the garden furniture ( <span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt; line-height: 115%;">or lighting ( <span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt; line-height: 115%;">as these accessories really make the difference. I bought some nice solar lights and a rattan 4 piece so now I can actually enjoy the garden with my wife and friends.

    <span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif;"><span style="line-height: 14px;">Hope this helps in some way. 

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