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50+ ideas for small garden design

If you live in a ground floor flat in a city and have direct access to a small garden, or a home with tiny outdoors footprint, how can you make the most of the space you have so that it gives you back quality time, a space for kids to play and it is low maintenance so you don't need extra space to store tools and equipment to look after it?


In this post I am looking at small garden design, taking inspiration from a neighbour's rental flat and their little courtyard, in London's Fulham.


The concept of a courtyard


When your garden is surrounded and heavily overlooked by nearby properties, then what you see in front of you is akin to a courtyard.

A courtyard or court is a circumscribed area, often surrounded by a building or complex, that is open to the sky.

Because space is severely limited, thought should go into the long term maintenance of the space, to avoid having to store the required tools. This is especially useful where the property is rented and the tenants have no experience or interest in looking after a garden, especially due to work commitments.


Courtyards are devoid of lawn areas. The space can be completely decked although care should be taken when choosing the decking material.


Composite wood is longer lasting and virtually maintenance free, provided there is an outdoors tap to wash it down - you do not even need a long hose for that, instead a flexible expanding hose will work a treat.