If your home only has a small garden or yard, it can be difficult deciding how to make best use of the space you have available.
Small gardens do have the benefit of being low maintenance, but if you are keen to make better use of your outdoor area, there is still lots you can do to make it more inviting.
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, garden centres are now permitted to reopen, while Scotland is looking to implement similar rules by the end of May.
A “route map” for a potential easing of restrictions in Scotland will be published on Thursday (21 May), with any changes to be made after the next review date on 28 May.
So if you are planning to make the most of garden centre reopenings, here are a few ideas to help you transform your small garden into a beautiful outdoor space.
Create an outdoor-style cafe
If you only have a small patio area to play with, why not make the space into a pretty outdoor eating area?
Add in some brightly coloured chairs and a table in the centre and surround the area with potted plants, overhanging baskets and colourful floral displays to create an outdoor-style cafe right on your doorstep.
Opt for a bistro-style table and chairs to avoid taking up too much space.
Adding levels to your garden can help it to look more spacious, with the use of steps helping to open up the area and create more room for adding in little details.
The top level of the garden could be made into a raised lawn for lounging in the sun, while the bottom level could be used as a sunken patio area, with pot plants arranged up the steps to bring a hint of colour.
Use fold-away furniture
If you want to be able to sit out in your garden and have room for entertaining guests, fold away furniture is a good idea as it helps to reduce clutter.
It’s also handy for storing away in the colder months, meaning you don’t have to compromise any space when the furniture isn’t in use.
Create curved or diagonal pathways
Adding curved or diagonal pathways down your garden can help to create an illusion of space, making your outdoor area appear much bigger.
Line the edges of the pathway with some plants and flowers to give your garden a hint of colour.
Put up some shelving or tiered planters
If you don’t have a lot of ground space to work with, shelving, tiered planters or even ladders lined with flowers can help are a great way to add in some pots and plants without creating too much clutter.
Try and mount shelving to a brick wall if you can, as garden fencing might struggle to handle the weight.
Use outdoor cushions
Accommodating additional guests can be tricky when you have a small garden, but adding bulky benches or garden chairs can soon eat up what space you have.
Keep things neat with a small bistro style table and chairs, and keep some oversized floor cushions on hand for when you have extra people over, as these are much less imposing than other garden furniture.
Add mirrors and lighting
Garden mirrors are a clever way of giving the illusion of more space, while also bringing plenty of light into the garden.
Overhead lighting, LED bulbs and fairy lights can also help to make your garden appear more vibrant, and allow you to make use of the space in the evenings.
Plant bright colours
As with houses, dark colours can make a space appear much smaller and closed in.
Give your garden some vibrancy and brighten it up with plenty of colourful flowers and plants, such as hot pinks, bright reds and yellows.