Small spaces, big ideas. It’s time to transform your tiny garden

We’ve chatted to the experts, scoured the archives, and sought out the most inspirational small garden design ideas. You may not be blessed with a huge outdoor space but that’s not to say you can’t be creative with what you do have. With a little design know-how even the smallest back lawn, the most petite of patios or the tiniest of balconies can become an enjoyable place in which to spend time. Trick the eye with a colour scheme or clever use of lighting, make a feature of foliage, or simply adorn the small space with inviting accessories. Look no further, we have all the small garden ideas you need.

Two adjoining town houses were combined to create this modern Chelsea home. The buildings had an unusual formation in that they were each shaped around a courtyard garden in the centre. When the dividing fence between the two gardens was removed, the effect was to create a central courtyard in roughly the shape of a keyhole. This quirky feature has become the focus and defining element of the new layout. Inspired planning of fenestration means that, from every aspect of the house, you have glimpses and vistas of this intriguing space, as well as several points of access to it.

This collection of pots arranged in front of an outdoor mirror in the west London garden of interior designer Louise Jones brings a touch of the countryside to her city space. They are planted with a combination of white geraniums, cosmos and lobelia.

Jinny Blom’s small city garden is a neatly walled space, replanted only months before this photograph was taken. Clipped box cubes contrasts with a clever planting scheme that mixes large-leaved exotic plants with cottage-garden favourites. A wide pond is traversed by a clever walkway.

Pergola perfection – we’ve found it in this wisteria-clad pergola installed by Sean Walter of The Plant Specialist. Hanging wisteria provides shade for the outdoor dining area, while striped cushions make this a stylish corner in the garden of a London flat designed by Charlotte Crosland.

The tiny courtyard at the home of the interior designer Helen Green comprises of simple but elegant touches: a trellis of roses, a feature stone water plinth and plants potted in a variety of vessels, from wooden crates to wicker baskets and pewter milk pails.

This townhouse garden off Portobello Road provides a sanctuary from the bustling streets of Notting Hill. With the dining area situated on the roof terrace, the garden has been simply, symmetrically designed for pure visual pleasure. If you’re unable to take your alfresco dining elsewhere, opt for fold-up or portable tables and chairs, which can be easily removed when you want your garden to function solely as a beautiful green space.

This west London garden belongs to designer Butter Wakefield and is filled with an abundance of geums, foxgloves, nepeta, roses and geraniums; a wildflower meadow sweeps across the centre of the lawn, which is handsomely framed by clipped box pyramids. Disguised behind a trellis is her workstation – apple crates overflow with knapweed, daisies and wild carrot and there are planters of orange, salvia and cow parsley.

Sussy Cazalet Design were asked to create an organic, mystical, jungle inspired space using natural and organic materials that soften the glass extension opening onto this small garden. A bespoke designed lava stone table was installed, along with teal lava tiles wrapping around the seating area. The bamboo canopy was designed and built to feel natural and unobtrusive, with the hope in time to be completely overgrown with plants.

The best thing about small gardens is creating cosy corners. In this small west London garden designed by Richard Miers Garden Design[/link], a built-in bench is piled high with plump decorative cushions, and lit by lanterns at night, creating a pretty seating area. The flowers were chosen for their long length of bloom time.