My Small Garden Ideas

I moved into my current address over 8 years ago and the garden was a total mess, in fact it was being used as a car park. The house is an average run of the mill semi-detached Victorian property dated 1895. It had been thoroughly neglected; in fact I’m sure Queen Victoria was the last person to clean it!

Back to the garden, the only plus point was a semi mature Cordyline Australis (upright palm tree from Australia). The rest of the garden needed to be cleared. I put in new fencing down the left hand side (normal lap panels) and made my own rail fencing at the far end, so I can view the original coach house at the end of my plot.

Once cleared and the perimeter fencing in place, I decided on what I was going to try and achieve. The actual garden size is quite small so I wanted to utilise it to its full potential. My idea was to make the main garden area shown in the photo look wider by using 2 circles, which were defined with a cobble edge; these will make the garden seem wider than it is!

My dogs loving the artificial grass

Present Day GardenOriginally, I laid real turf but as soon as my first dog arrived (we now have 3) I immediately switched to a fake lawn. This wasn’t the only reason for replacing the grass, but being a small garden it didn’t take long for a path to wear out as we constantly walked across to the back gate.

Over the years I have had many different types of artificial grass put down, mainly just to see how it behaves over a period of time but also because it’s one of the perks of the job! At present I have Perfect Grass ‘The Knoll’ down and it looks amazing. We take pride in the products we stock, and I would also go as far as saying it is the most realistic artificial grass I have ever seen.


Once we finished the hard landscaping off with decking around the house and down the secluded side courtyard area it was time to plant. When I left my job in the city over 10 years ago, I decided to go to night school and learn about plants….I learnt I love plants in my garden but have no interest in doing any form of gardening in anyone else’s!

The plan was to go tall with shrubs (Philadelphus , Buddleia , Bamboos, Trachocarphus fortunei, Banana plants) as the  main structure and use the fencing for lots of different climbers (honeysuckles, jasmines , roses, wisteria and my favourite Trachospernum Jasmanoides). Not only would these eventually cover the fences they would provide colour, and more importantly for me, a beautiful scent.

Over the years I have gradually added more and more plants, lots of herbaceous perennials, bulbs, roses, fruits trees and grasses. I find the art of planting is over complicated; my simple rule is avoid yellow and orange.

Small Garden IdeasDown the side of the house there was enough room to make a secret secluded seating area which is viewed through the French doors from the dining room. I set 2 large pots either side of the entrance and planted a corkscrew willow in each. Over the top I strung 3 tensed wires and created an arch, over time I tied in the willow and now it is a growing /live archway!


I have a grapevine growing around the courtyard as well as jasmines and other fragrant climbers. There is nothing more rewarding or pleasing in this life than sitting outside with a cold beer in the evening and just admiring what I have achieved.

I hope you enjoyed my small garden ideas. If you have any other ideas please post them in the comments section.


  1. We have 3 dogs and had artificial grass.for 2 years wasn’t cheap stuff. But I hosed cleaned with special cleaner and it still smelt bad especially in summer..what’s your 3 dog trick?

    • Hi the most important factor with the grass now is the backing , latex absorbs moisture , including the urine then smells when it gets wet and smells when it gets warm.
      We have since introduced a PU backed grass that doesnt do anything special except being non absorbent , meaning you can rinse the grass through using a sprinkler in drier weather to remove the urine. regards

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