Making the most of tiny urban gardens.

One of the most satisfying parts of designing is giving clients a garden they didn’t know they had.

In the city, outdoor space is at a premium so I love to create an oasis with somewhere to sit and read a book, sip coffee, perhaps eat outdoors in summer, often in a space little more than 5 x 2 metres.

Many cities in Britain and Ireland have streets and streets of Victorian terraced houses, created in the 19th century with small yards. Over the years, kitchen and bathroom extensions have eaten into this outdoor space, which are now often used as storage for bins and unwanted clutter from the house. It always surprises me. Here is a real asset , an extra room outdoors – a retreat in summer, add a firepit and retreat to it in winter, add lighting and look out at it from indoors.

Here are some which we have transformed:

BEFORE:

An uninspiring space with unpleasant outlook.

 

Uninspiring city courtyard

Uninspiring city courtyard

AFTER :

Ugly cupboard removed and replaced by a smart shed, trellis added, lush planting.

More here.

A private outdoor retreat in the city.

A private outdoor retreat in the city.

BEFORE:

Another wasted space, a potential outdoor room.

Small city garden : before

 

AFTER :

A good tidy up, create storage, dig over and plant up beds.

Small city garden

 

BEFORE:

Another wasted space, eaten into by a bathroom extension.

BEFORE : unused and unloved space behind a terraced house.

BEFORE : unused and unloved space behind a terraced house.

AFTER :

Trellis, new paving and planting.

Transformed into an outdoor room

Transformed into an outdoor room

Here are some more ideas if you have a tiny urban plot. I loved this productive indoor/out garden “The Pantry” at Bloom 2014. More here. 

Bloom 2014

The gardens below were created on a former car park in front of a row of terraced cottages:

Tiny urban gardens

Circular block paving creates interest; a bubbling water feature is a welcome sound in the city.

Tiny urban gardens

Space for a barbecue and a log store. Use the vertical space too for climbers clothing a wall or trellis.

Tiny urban gardens

Willow fencing creates privacy in this garden; there’s even room for a compost bin.

So think creatively. Create your own oasis.

It will bring its own rewards now that Spring is finally arriving.

17 thoughts on “Making the most of tiny urban gardens.

  1. It’s always a very welcome sight to see a new post of yours, and this one is so interesting and full of ideas and inspiration. I must search your blog to see if you have help for me as I try to transform a totally neglected front garden which faces NE and is therefore quite shady and cold. I am guilty of just ignoring the space, which is exactly what all the people with the gardens you have featured in this post have done.
    I am quite excited now to think what I might create!

    Liked by 1 person

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