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12 small garden ideas to transform your space on a budget

You don't need to spend big to maximise your outdoor space, as these ideas prove

small garden ideas
Chloe Best
Chloe BestLifestyle Features Editor
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Whether you've got a bijou balcony or tiny terrace, you can still create your very own outdoor sanctuary in time for the summer with some savvy styling and clever tricks to make the space feel bigger – without breaking the bank.

Before you get started you should consider what you want your primary use for the garden to be; perhaps you simply want somewhere to sit and relax outside, a small space for al fresco dining or your very own mini vegetable patch to grow everything from tomatoes to potatoes at home.

Small garden styling

This will help you to decide your main focus for the garden and the things you may need to buy, and prevent you from wasting your valuable budget on items you don't need.

Here are just a few small garden ideas to get you started…

MORE: 9 new garden trends to enjoy your outdoor space in 2023

1. Don't compromise on dining

Wayfair's resident style advisor Nadia McCowan Hill advises making your garden an extension of your home, even if it's small. "To make the most of your outdoor space, think of it as another room and furnish accordingly," Nadia says. Even a tiny bistro table will allow your space to be used as a key part of your home.

bistro set

Ilkley 2 seater bistro set, £263.99, Wayfair


2. Use mirrors to create space

A quick Instagram scroll of the hashtag #gardenmirrors will open your eyes to how wonderful these home additions can be in your garden too! Prop a mirror up against your wall to make your space appear so much bigger.

john lewis arch mirror

Arch mirror, £199, John Lewis


READ: Quick gardening tips to transform your garden in under an hour

3. Create interest with unexpected design details

Wayfair's Nadia McCowan Hill says: "Don’t be afraid to introduce a few pieces that you would ordinarily see indoors." Candles, vases and throws will transform a small balcony or sweet courtyard into a fun and enjoyable space.

4. Plant vertically

Get clever with your plants by adding trellis and climbing plants to liven up your fences or walls. Plus, having greenery on the perimeter will expand the overall feel of the space.

MORE: 10 spring gardening jobs to do now

5. Don't be afraid of colour

Injecting a pop of colour into your garden, no matter the size, will definitely put a smile on your face. Select vibrant planters that can be hung around your outdoor space at different levels.

garden planters

10 hanging planters, £13.99, Amazon


6. Add ambience with outdoor lighting

Adding some lighting up high won't take up any extra room on the ground, but it will give you a cosy atmosphere. A simple way to upgrade your garden in an instant!

festoon lights

Festoon lights, £18.82, Wayfair


SHOP: 23 best outdoor lights to make your garden truly magical this spring

7. Choose multi-purpose products

If you put a little bit of thought into your garden buys, they can be dual purpose – how about an outdoor trunk for storing garden tools that doubles as a seat?

amazon bench

Outdoor seat, £129.99, Amazon


8. Find foldable furniture

Having extra chairs for guests that you can neatly stack away is the perfect solution to make your space versatile for every occasion.

lounge chair

FERM LIVING Foldable lounge chair, £310, Selfridges


MORE: 10 best rattan furniture sets for your patio

9. Install some shelves

If you really can't squeeze in a table to your outdoor space, you can use a narrow shelf as a place to prop your summer cocktails.

10. Use pots and planters

Nest Ferm Living planter

Even if you don't have space for big garden beds, pots and planters are a great way to bring beautiful plants and flowers into your garden, with the benefit of being able to move them around easily. (Photo: Nest)

11. Consider storage

Cuckooland garden store

Invest in a garden store to tidy away gardening essentials such as a watering can, hose and tools, in spaces too small for a full-sized shed. This will help to clear away clutter and keep your garden feeling spacious and tidy. (Photo: Cuckooland)

12. Grow your own in a mini greenhouse

Dobbies small greenhouse frame

If you'd love to grow your own fruit and vegetables but don't have room for a greenhouse, a small greenhouse frame could be a good place to start for less than £100, and you'll soon reap the rewards with your own fresh produce. (Photo: Dobbies Garden Centres)

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