If you live in a large town where gardens are tight on space and sit cheek by jowl with one another, every ounce of outside space needs to be used to a maximum. This is when garden design really comes into its own; in particular, plans for a new patio, ideas for plants and decorative finishes. A professionally drawn up plan will include all your requirements and turn a practical outdoor room into a beautiful garden.
1. Replace the lawn
Many urban spaces benefit from replacing a small lawn with paving. A designer will present a range of patio ideas including appropriate hard landscaping materials for the paved seating areas and pathways.
2. Reflect the architecture of the house
For a harmonious look, we would recommend using a paving stone which blends well with the style of the house. For example, in the garden of a London mews house, selecting small scale sandstone or granite setts will replicate the look of original, traditional cobbled streets whereas a grand Georgian villa garden may well suit the use of Portland stone which is frequently used in stately homes. A modern, high-tech building with full length glass doors would be complemented by sawn paving. London Stone has a wide range of sawn paving – travertine, granite, sandstone, limestone – in a wide range of colours from pale, sand through blues and grey to black.
3. Raised beds for better soil depth
One of the best ideas for a patio garden is the creation of raised beds as these provide richer, deeper topsoil. The soil in a small garden is likely to be very dry and poor due to the surrounding foundations of walls, fences and paving. The walls of the raised beds can be faced in a matching stone or stone cladding which adds texture an interest to the garden.
4. Space saving built in seating
Our bespoke coping stones with their rounded, profiled edges form the perfect surface for extra seating on low wall. Add cushions for comforts in colour to suit.
5. Treat your paving for a flawless finish
Stone sealant protects the surface of your paving and prevents stains from penetrating into the porous surface of the stone, making for easier cleaning. This is particularly important in a north facing garden which remains damp in wet winter weather, conditions which promote unsightly algae growth.
6. Lighting your garden for long summer evenings
Cleverly selected lighting extends the use of the garden into the evening, and adds a special decorative touch to your patio. Ideas for lights will be provided by your landscaper or designer – select down lighters for practical purposes such as eating and cooking, up lighters focused on specimen shrubs and trees which light foliage and bark and flush mounted circular lights into steps for safety.
7. Perfect planting for a small space
A watchword for planting out a small garden in a town is simplicity. Selecting small evergreen shrubs such as box, Hebes, Abelia, lavender, rosemary and sage, along with climbers which take up very little ground space, will keep maintenance down and provide all year round interest. Keep the colour palette restrained and use pastel colours to make the space look bigger. A single multi-stemmed silver birch tree for shade will provide interesting bark in the winter and perennials with coloured foliage as well as flowers, such as Heucheras and Euphorbias, will ring the changes in spring and summer.
In summary: even the smallest, town garden can be designed to enhance the home. The correct choice of paving is vitally important in a small space and when combined with the right planting and lighting can produce a stunning effect.