Small garden spaces are often utilized to their fullest extent in the United Kingdom. These spaces offer a variety of combinations of use and beauty. These multifunction areas usually serve as storage for everything from the family’s laundry line and trashcans to a shed for gardening materials and provide a primary outdoor haven for residents and pets alike.
Gardens frequently become the social hub for gatherings, as the temperate summer weather tends to draw people outside and into the long hours of daylight the country sees. Compact shrubs from Viburnum davidii to spirea provide a modicum of privacy from a busy road or walkway. A patio table and chairs provide a comfortable receiving area for drinks and dining, but low stone walls may offer additional, informal seating. Modern, heavy-duty plastic outdoor storage bins can hide clutter and act as a spare surface from which to serve food or drinks. Strings of small outdoor lights, often called fairy lights by residents, help set the atmosphere and supply subdued lighting.
A family garden design may offer a section of grass or stone for general use, one where children can play and pets exercise. If the space does not allow for decorative flowers and plants, utilize containers to line the garden wall or pathway to the house with colorful blooms or soft foliage to break up harsh lines. For a family with a small motorbike or outdoor toys, set aside a paved or stone block area for parking and riding. A small shed in a back corner will provide additional privacy from neighboring gardens and can hold gardening tools and outdoor materials when they are not in use. A clothes tower for drying laundry offers shade from the midday sun as well as serving a practical purpose.
Many in the United Kingdom are dedicated pet owners, walking their companion animals several times per day. A pet garden should include a grassy space for them to run and play and a temporary refuge from the elements. Additions to a pet garden include a small tree, such as a Japanese maple, and pet-safe plants that pose no risk if accidentally ingested. According to Safe Gardening, ferns, African violets and bamboo are among the plants recommended as safe for dogs, while grape ivy, sunflowers and snapdragons are safe for cats. Pets can also safely enjoy a range of edible flowers from dandelions to hibiscus.