Our tips will help you turn your small garden or patio into a stunning oasis where you can relax and entertain friends…

Trick the eye

If you have a small garden or patio, create zones with screens and planting, so you can’t see it all at once. Not knowing where the garden ends will make it appear bigger and add a sense of mystery. A winding path to a secret area behind a shrub or trellis will add an element of surprise.

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Put up mirrors

A well-placed mirror will increase the sense of space and reflect light into more shaded areas. With the right frame and surrounding foliage, you can create the illusion of a lovely window or door into another area.

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Make use of boundaries

Many smaller gardens are surrounded by walls and fences, so they are perfect for climbers such as honeysuckle and jasmine. A living wall of plants will give your small garden a modern urban feel. You can add drama by painting walls in colours such as shell pink, aqua or sunshine yellow. Bright white walls will reflect the light into a more shaded areas. To keep to the modern urban feel, screen off an ugly boundary with wooden slatted fencing.

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Be bold

If you don’t have much outside space, you don’t have to keep everything small. Supersized planters and striking garden sculptures and ornaments will create eye-catching focal points. Also, plants with large, dramatic leaves such as cannas and fatsias look stunning in smaller spaces.

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Save space

Go for cleverly designed garden furniture that doesn’t take up too much room, such as long benches, chairs that tuck away or have storage underneath, and extending tables.

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Create a mood

Whatever your style, you can create a super chic space in your small garden with the right accessories, lighting and planting. Scatter cushions around a low table for a Moroccan courtyard feel, or go for sun-bleached wooden surfaces for that Californian vibe. In the evening, garden lighting illuminating statement features and planting will add atmosphere, as will flickering candles.

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Vary the levels

Stepping up onto a decking area or a having a sunken fire pit will add interest to your garden and make it feel more spacious. The planting too can be varied in height, with raised beds and climbers such as roses growing up a trellis.

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Keep it simple

Large statement plants look amazing in a smaller space, but having too many will make the garden look crowded. The same goes for garden furniture. Restrict your colour palette too for walls and accessories. For example, an all-white scheme looks stunning with greenery.