how to landscape a small garden

How to Landscape a Small Garden

Landscaping a small garden can be great. The results can be worthwhile especially when your garden looks beautiful all year round! That being said, garden landscape design can be hard work, especially if you’re not used to gardening. There’s often a certain amount of trial and error while trying to find out what works. If you want to know how to landscape a small garden, we’ve got some easy garden landscaping tips in our step-by-step guide.

However, if you’re eager to get your design up and running, there’s a more practical solution. At Brosnan Property Solutions, our affordable, landscape gardeners have been transforming the gardens of Cork for the past twenty years. We have an accomplished team of garden experts who can make your small garden look incredible.

1. Assessing and Planning Your Garden

The first step is to decide which existing features such as trees, plants and flower beds you want to keep. Get rid of what you don’t want to keep. Rubbish such as buried rubble will need to be removed.

Once you have cleared the way, you can now plan new seating areas and pathways. In a small, sloping garden, we’d recommend a gentle zigzag path. Using local materials for aesthetic appeal is highly recommended.

Irish blue limestone is a favourite by our skilled masonry specialists. It needs careful handling and has a lovely soft, grey-blue appearance. It complements every property from a traditional cottage to a modern townhouse.

Alternatively, Tipperary sandstone has a warm, golden brown hue. By integrating it on pathways and cladding on part of your property’s exterior can make a small garden appear much larger.

Once you have a plan for your garden, the next step is the easiest. DIY or professional services?

2. Choosing DIY or Professional Gardening

how to landscape a small garden

People often wonder how to landscape a small garden. You must now choose whether you want to do it yourself or hire a professional landscaper. Today’s professional garden landscape design includes computerisation. It shows how a garden landscape design can be brought to life. It’s particularly useful in a small plot to demonstrate various features.

Consultation is an important part of Brosnan’s landscape gardening business. Using a bespoke service helps interpret your ideas more effectively. Professional gardeners can help you save time and money.

For instance, a small garden in a shady position often has difficulty with a waterlogged lawn, especially on the clay soil of Cork. But a simple trick is to lay an artificial lawn. You’ll need a foundation layer and wooden surround to anchor it down correctly. Getting the pile to lay in the right direction can be difficult. But our landscape gardeners understand how the material behaves and can lay a small artificial lawn in just one or two days. Artificial turf is ideal where a lawnmower might not be able to manoeuvre effectively.

3. How to Landscape a Small Garden through Scale and Proportion

how to landscape a small garden

In a small plot, you need to remember scale as everything must be in proportion. For instance, hedges can be used as a boundary while providing a habitat for insects and birds. When properly cared for, hedges look amazing and help the ecosystem.

In a small garden, we would recommend a sweet box or privet that can be clipped regularly to maintain a formal, low hedge. Alternatively, try a flowering hedge of Fuchsia or potentilla. Sadly, many hedges are ripped out due to the chore of clipping them. But with Brosnan’s cost-effective garden maintenance services, you can have a beautiful perimeter hedge without the hard work!

The best time to install a new hedge is in the autumn or early spring. But one important tip is to complete all your household maintenance first. This might include roof repairs, using a plumber to fix leaky faucets, calling an electrician for a full house rewire or simply asking a handyman for general maintenance work.

4. Selecting the Best Plants for Your Garden

Learning how to landscape a small garden successfully means understanding its composition. The soil is a major factor in achieving lush borders. At Brosnans, we always test the soil to discover whether it’s acidic, clay or sandy loam. Many of the gardens around Cork consist of rich clay. It’s a very fertile soil packed with nutrients, but it can be hard to work.

Sarah Perry, Lead Content Writer at EZ Living Furniture says “If you’re looking for a cost-effective finishing touch for your garden landscape design, don’t forget to include a few plant pots. This will enhance your outdoor space by including more texture and colour. When selecting the best plants for your pot, always try to plant a season in advance. What is planted now can only really be fully enjoyed in the next season.

In the cooler months, it’s heavy with moisture and clings to your boots and equipment. In the summer, the soil dries like concrete. You’ll need to use a pickaxe to open up the ground which may take hours. However, professional gardeners like Brosnans use specialised equipment even in the smallest garden. It helps to transform a garden at a much greater speed. We know all the garden landscaping tips such as matching plants to your soil and which conditions help your plants to flourish.

5. Finishing Touches for Small Gardens

There are many small garden landscaping ideas to make your plot look larger. The most effective is a Trompe l’Oeil design. You choose the most distant spot then turn it into a spectacular focal point. It’s a clever trick that draws your gaze to the distance. This can be as simple as using an archway of trellis or stone to frame the view beyond your garden. Even if your garden ends in a high brick wall, you can still use Trompe l’Oeil to great effect.

We have often installed a stone fountain or statue at the bottom of a garden, then framed it with a slim pergola supporting a rambling rose or clematis. Knowing how to landscape a small garden to add length is usually best in the hands of a professional.

Our garden landscape design experts usually recommend classic French borders. You need to measure your plot accurately to ensure a balanced symmetry for this design to work effectively. It requires straight borders filled with rows of similar plants. We’ll often use the compact lavender Hidcote to edge the complete border.


What is landscape gardening?

It involves all aspects of creating a picturesque area in a garden. Professional landscape gardeners offer a complete service including clearing the garden, laying paths, planting bushes and installing features such as ponds and pergolas.

How much to get a garden landscaped?

The amount will vary depending on the amount of work you want to be completed. Simply laying a lawn should be economical. But every additional feature you include such as a patio or ornamental pond will increase the cost.

How to design a landscape garden?

Putting your ideas into practice is quick and easy if you hire professional landscape gardeners. They use advanced CAD software to create three-dimensional images that show how your garden might look.

How to landscape my garden?

To achieve a landscaped garden in a short time frame, it’s best to ask a team of professional landscape gardeners. They’ll take care of everything from hard landscaping to planting your borders with annuals.

Contact Brosnans For Your Dream Garden

It’s surprisingly cost-effective to have your small garden landscaped. Brosnan Property Solutions offer bespoke garden design at an affordable price. An individual Trompe l’Oeil feature such as a fountain or decking can be priced according to each task. You can even add features later. You can consult with one of our professional garden experts to discuss how they can help to turn your garden landscaping ideas become a reality. Wherever you live in County Cork, give our facility management team a call, and we will give you a free quote. Contact us today.