Landscaping: Does Size Matter?

Landscaping: Does Size Matter?

Does size matter when it comes to having a beautiful garden? The team at Holland Landscapes don’t think it does. Read on to discover why.

Recently we were privileged to be invited to landscape a tiny courtyard garden in Colchester. Covering an area of just 25 square metres, this was arguably one of the smallest gardens we’ve worked in. But my goodness, it was definitely one of the best.

view from an upstairs window of a small courtyard garden elegantly landscaped with planters and paving

A small courtyard garden made beautiful by thoughtful garden design and well executed landscaping.

With house prices rising, new homes being built closer together and more people choosing to extend their properties rather than move home, gardens are definitely getting smaller. But that doesn’t mean they need to be less inviting. In fact I’ve seen some huge gardens that are so big that most of the ground area is barely used. Which means that a lot of the time and expense that goes into maintaining them can feel like a burden rather than a joy.

No matter what size your garden is, investing in garden design and landscaping will ensure that you get to enjoy it as much as possible.

Ideas For Landscaping Small Gardens


Does garden size matter when it comes to enjoying the great outdoors? Not one jot. Even a balcony garden can boost wellbeing. It’s the ability to go outside and feel the sun on your face that matters.

Smaller gardens have a wonderful advantage over larger ones in that their maintenance is far less time consuming. That’s perhaps a little frustrating for avid gardeners, but for busy people, its great when the garden represents pure relaxation. 

In a small garden, it’s important to focus really hard on the outdoor activities that are most important to you. Remember, almost anything is possible if you get the design right. But there may not be room for every activity on your wish list.

In this garden, our clients wanted to be able to enjoy an al-fresco breakfast before work and relax with a drink after work. They also wanted to use the space for occasional entertaining. We suggested focussing on creating a feeling of space for day to day use and investing in an extending table for special occasions.

courtyard garden at night with decorative corten screens lit from behind

  • Use mirrors to give the impression of size.
  • Make the most of vertical spaces by using climbing plants, small trees and living walls.
  • Blur the boundaries with plenty of planting. If the eye cannot see fences and walls the brain thinks that the space goes on forever.
  • Consider dual purpose features.  Planters that double up as seating or an outdoor kitchen with storage underneath.
  • Hide anything you don’t want to see. Pleached trees will obscure the view of neighbouring properties. While an attractive screened compound will hide wheelie bins, bikes, toys and that half bag of compost that turns up in every garden.
  • Use lighting to extend the length of time you can spend outdoors.
  • A water feature will help to calm your senses and distract you from the noises beyond the garden.

Tips For Landscaping Larger Gardens


We’d all love the luxury of a large garden but not many of us are lucky enough to have them. A large garden brings its own set of challenges. The main one being maintenance.

A large, low maintenance garden is entirely possible. But not necessarily environmentally sustainable, or interesting. Think about dividing the space into zones, that spread the workload and create variety within the garden. 

  • One or more patios or seating areas, each one with a different ‘mood’ and function.
  • A natural lawn that can be trimmed by a robotic lawn mower. 
  • Gravel garden where beautiful plants are allowed to self seed.
  • Pond or pool with an easily maintained surround.
  • Wildlife friendly area such as an orchard underplanted with native species.

Designing a series of smaller ‘rooms’ within a large garden means that it can be landscaped in phases as and when the budget allows.

four acre wildflower garden on an essex hillside

This four acre garden in Stanford Le Hope, Essex is full of interest, thoroughly relaxing and remarkably easy to maintain. Visit the Grass Roof Company website to learn more about it.

Does Size Matter In Landscaping?

The size of your garden really doesn’t matter, it’s the value you get from it that counts. So don’t be disheartened if you think your plot is beyond help. It’s not. You just need the right help to transform it into a useful and manageable space. Call or email Holland Landscapes to start a conversation about improving your garden.

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