What can I do with my small patio garden?!

WillMeadJuly 20, 2014

Hi. I live in London and am lucky enough to have a small 30m sq patio garden. I am a relative novice gardener but I have been inspired to improve what we have after pressure washing the muck off the patio and realising we could create something nice and usable. The space is ~ 25m sq of paved stone which is edged by thin soil beds. To the side is a communal area that we have filled with pebbles. I am not sure what to do to improve this area. We are limited by the large climbing tree that looks nice but blocks a lot of light out, therefore I am not sure what i can do with the shady space. So i guess my options are to get rid of the soil which can be quite messy when there are no plants in the beds? Or plant some shade loving plants?

Any suggestions welcome! Thanks.

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I would extend the patio to go beneath the bench. There are a good number of shade-loving/tolerant plants that could improve the area. You'd probably want some to be low groundcover as the space is quite small. (large plants will diminish spaciousness.) Dwarf Mondo would probably be quite useful here. Can't really be too specific about what else you should do as the shaded area appears dark and we can't see the space. The tree might be nice, but it would be much improved if you'd remove the low-hanging limbs. The "ceiling" the tree creates should not be less than 8' ht. height (an average man could not reach with up-stretched arms.)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 10:02AM
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agree -- extend and improve the patio surface. I don't think those narrow dirt strips, even if planted, improve anything. You have enough greenery there. Container plants would work, especially if planted with something colorful.

The communal area is where you (or others) hang laundry? Can you, or do you, want to block that off with something to increase privacy? Perhaps a lattice or other fence type that would still let in light?

Consider the lighting at night also -- some string lights or lanterns would add charm and functionality; an uplight towards the hanging tree would be romantic.

This post was edited by Violet.West on Sun, Jul 20, 14 at 11:48

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 11:46AM
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Can you thin the tree, or prune the lower branches?

You have a lovely place for shade-loving plants - ferns, begonias, fuchias and orchids escaping the house for the summer.

All the things I can't grow here!

Talk to the neighbor about the communal space ... a "tete-a-tete" outdoor sofa might work for the two of you.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 2:54PM
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