How to style a small back garden

When it comes to making the most of small urban space, the key is to think creatively. Whether you’ve got a balcony or a small yard, you can display the fruits of your labour better by thinking in levels.

Different levels allow you to pack more in, making your out-of-doors area a feast for the eyes. There are two obvious ways to achieve this effect: raising and hanging.

Raise it up

steps 2
Wooden steps purchased at a salvage fair

A great way of displaying small and medium pots is to raise them up onto different levels. And, believe it or not, you don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune to do this.

Ebay, Gumtree, reclamation yards, charity shops, salvage fairs – all are great places to source different items that are perfect for creating levels. Step ladders, boxes, small stools or tables, and wooden palettes are interesting ways of sprucing things up. Even piles of bricks or paving slabs stacked up can add a bit more height. The key is to be creative and resourceful.

If you do end up finding some wooden items, be sure to treat these with some good quality outdoor paint or varnish that is designed to protect wood from the elements. I used a Ronseal 5-year paint on my wooden steps that I picked up at a salvage fair. The seller told me they originally came from a seaweed factory, and I just adore their solid, rustic style.

Hooks and hanging


Hanging baskets are great – but they do weigh a fair amount, and so require some fairly sturdy brackets to be put in place. If you’re lacking the DIY knowledge, or skills to do this, then think about installing smaller hooks that lighter pots can be hung from.  Essentially, anything with a handle can work well as a hanging planter – I’ve seen tea pots, colanders, and mugs all used to display plants and flowers in fun and quirky ways. And balconies are, of course, ideal for those long planters designed to hook over edges.

As always, Pinterest is my go to for garden inspiration. You can follow my Pinterest boards here.

garden 2
My experimentation with levels so far



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Reading, blogging, baking, gardening. Lover of all things edible.

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