Design Ideas for a Small, Low Maintenance Garden
20 August 2020

Design Ideas for a Small, Low Maintenance Garden

Design Ideas for a Small, Low Maintenance Garden

It almost goes without saying that we absolutely love gardens, both big and small. Having designed many offices for gardens with a limited square footage, we understand the value in designing easy maintenance gardens. Those that effortlessly connect the outside with the inside, making clever use of every square inch of space.

The beauty of a small easy maintenance garden is its simple yet purposeful use of plants, materials, textures, lighting and space.


Why Would You Want a Low Maintenance Garden?

There’s a lot to be said for low maintenance small garden designs. Using a refined palette of quality materials can create a striking and elegant design. More to the point, they’re often less expensive to create and look after.

Given the lack of space, it’s almost as if you’re forced to think more creatively about your garden and how you intend on using it. This is exciting as a quick flick through images on Pinterest and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), can be really inspiring. The beauty of low maintenance small garden designs is that you don’t have to be the next Alan Titchmarsh to create and maintain an outside space you can be proud of.

As any professional garden designer will say, successful small garden designs strike just the right balance between ambience and effort. Simple, yet well considered design choices are a must but you don’t need to be a professional gardener to get it right.


6 Low Maintenance, Small Garden Design Ideas

By applying a couple of the ideas for small garden designs below, you’ll be amazed at how you can transform your outside space.


1. Use Height.

If you have a small garden, fences, walls and even garages will be closer to your house than in a larger garden. You can really use these vertical facades to your advantage though. If you have brick walls you’d like to hide, wooden cladding is a great addition to small garden designs. You can fix wall planters to dress the space and inject a bit of greenery. Living wall gardens are another great way to fill a bare space and are fairly low maintenance. Great plants to include on a living wall include Galanthus (snowdrops), Heuchera (Purple Petticoats) and Adiantum (maidenhair fern).


2. Minimalist Design.

Less is more with small garden designs. A simple way you can make your garden look bigger is by laying slabs in a diamond shape rather than squarely. This creates the illusion of a bigger space. Likewise, light coloured paving not only complements a minimalist design, it reflects the light and opens up the garden.

Garden office exterior

3. Features as a focal point. 

As with any garden, small garden designs should appeal to the senses. This could be through the sensual trickle of water, the subtle movement of a wind chime, or a mirrored wall. Or perhaps a tiled aspect creating a Mediterranean feel is more your thing?


4. Less grass.

The more grass you have, the more feeding, watering and mowing it will require. You could reduce the size of your lawn and you’ll have less work to contend with in maintaining it. Or you may choose to have artificial grass. There are some great options out there now that closely mimic the perfect lawn all year long.

walkway to garden room

5. Compartmentalise your plants.

Some of the best small garden designs divide a garden into sections using wooden planters, bamboo screens, and walls of foliage. Not only does this keep plants ‘contained’, it makes it easier to decorate each area with different plants and garden furniture.


6. Garden furniture/outdoor living area.

Furniture in small garden designs is important. Too much or the wrong type can create a cluttered space. You could choose to have raised beds that double-up as seating areas. Or instead of large benches, you could opt for bistro tables and chairs or for rattan furniture that neatly folds into itself.


A Low Maintenance Garden Room

Beyond the function of an office or studio space, a garden room is a great addition to any small garden. Not only do they look smart, they’re an elegant and inviting private space you can retreat to and admire your garden from.

At SMART Garden Offices, our most popular range for the small garden is the Ultra.

Boasting a unique cedar cladding finish, an Ultra garden room is the perfect accompaniment to any small garden. The floating walls awaken the senses, creating a light, crisp appearance. The floating affect is a purposefully designed optical illusion. The walls are 150mm thick and are fully insulated with a solid substrate to maintain the rigidity and robustness expected of a garden room that comes with a 10 year warranty.

Exterior lighting is all-important with the Ultra, with LED back-lighting integrated into each floating wall panel. We can also add lighting to the portico (the extended colonnade above the entrance).

Best of all you’ll be able to retreat to your garden room all year round due to how well it is insulated.

Garden room in small garden

Order your brochure now

With 64 sizes to choose from across six ranges, we’re confident we have a design to match every garden.

We’re also happy to offer our advice on what garden room design would work best within your low maintenance small garden, using our CAD technology to bring your design to life.

Simply download our brochure today to help you make your choice.