Is your garden in the Goldilocks zone—not exactly small but not big either? If so, you may be reluctant to call it "just right." Many homeowners/renters find they're stuck for medium garden ideas.
Especially with a limited budget, a middle-sized garden can be an uninspiring canvas. But you just need to follow some basic dos and don'ts. Here are ten:
1. DO make use of lawns
Creative use of lawns can visually open up your space. Instead of a single lawn, for instance, laying two lawns side by side with eye-breakers to hold the gaze gives medium gardens in London the illusion of greater size. Furthermore, offsetting borders for overall symmetry will add to the visual appeal.
2. DO make way for seating
Introducing levels and textures is another good visual trick. Wooden decking, for instance, not only contrasts with grass but also with the concrete and brick that London medium gardens are framed by. Of course, a decked garden is good for seating too. And multi-use areas add to the illusion of space.
3. DO allow your borders to thrive
Thriving borders are a perennial mainstay of medium design gardens. And we're not just referring to plants. The right choice of shrubs and evergreens will also attract wildlife to your garden—while also reducing your carbon footprint.
4. DO choose native plants
It's best to choose native plants, though. They'll grow more easily in your soil—not to mention weather conditions—and are more attractive to local wildlife too. Middle-sized garden plans incorporating non-native plants tend to require more upkeep. And this may involve harmful chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
5. DO start with younger specimens
Sometimes the best medium garden ideas can seem a little counter-intuitive. The inclusion of large plants and trees, for example, might use up limited space but they add to the illusion of size.
Starting with younger plants helps to ensure they'll take hold.
6. DON’T have too many tender plants
Carefully consider the kind of upkeep your plants will require. Tender plants have demands that depend on the season, such as lifting and wrapping in the winter. And some may need moving elsewhere for storage. All of this can alter a medium garden design, impacting the illusion of space and overall visual appeal.
7. DON’T choose bedding schemes or temporary plantings
In fact, you may want to avoid seasonal plants in general. Middle-sized garden plans are carefully balanced to prioritize visual appeal. Hence bedding schemes and temporary plantings, because they're seasonal, are much better suited to larger gardens with areas you can't see from indoors. Evergreen borders are better.
8. DON’T choose fast-growing plants
Fast-growing plants may not be ideal either. Hedges and climbers like Wisteria can rapidly overrun a medium-sized garden design—at least if you lack time to keep pruning.
Opt for slow-growing perennials instead, such as box hedge, lavender, and barrenwort.
9. DON’T host fish
Unnecessary clutter is the bane of medium gardens in London. By all means, have a pond or water feature, but resist the temptation to have fish. Fish-free ponds require far less upkeep and attention, which means less in the way of unsightly filters and pumps.
10. DON’T have too many planters
Speaking of clutter, you might want to limit planters as well. Think of them as garden furniture, given the space they take up, and make use of containers sparingly. London medium gardens are usually better off with few patio planters and your other plants growing in the edges.