1. Home
  2. Knowledge Centre

Making Use of Small Outdoor Space

Written by: phs Greenleaf

phs Greenleaf has been providing planting and landscaping services to businesses for over 25 years, including indoor and outdoor plants, artificial and live planting, living walls, grounds maintenance and Christmas trees and decorations.

Making Use of Small Outdoor Space

At phs Greenleaf, we help to design, landscape and maintain gardens, yards and outdoor spaces for companies of all industries and sizes. 

From large open spaces at industrial units or office buildings, to small areas like pub gardens, we’ve seen it all. 

One question that repeatedly comes up is “is this space big enough” or “what can we do with our small outdoor area?” 

As a result we decided to put together this guide to effectively making the most of a small garden area, with a list of ideas to help you get more creative and achieve a garden that is punching above its weight. 

Use Hanging Plants and Baskets 

In smaller gardens, space is a premium. Potted plants and large planters take up a significant amount of floor space, and it doesn’t take many to make the area seem crowded. Hanging baskets and plants are a great way to avoid this problem by adding more colour and interest to an outdoor space without taking up floor space. 

Pre-planted hanging baskets are readily available if you’re not into gardening or don’t want to get your hands muddy, which makes this a very quick and easy way to brighten up the area! 

Of course, you can plant your own hanging baskets if you prefer, choosing the best flowers and colours to match your outdoor space and even making an event of it so that employees can add their own stamp of personality to their workplace. 

Mirrors Can Make Small Spaces Look Larger 

This is a well known tip that can also apply to interior design sensibilities, but it could easily be overlooked when it comes to planning an outdoor space. 

Mirrors can be used to brighten up dark corners, or added to walls and fences to give an illusion of open space. 

Weatherproof outdoor mirrors are also available which are significantly more durable than standard homeware mirrors. 

Outdoor Lighting

Lighting can give a space a completely different ambiance, especially during late evenings or summer nights. If your outdoor space is used as a pathway or thoroughfare for employees after sunset then it will also dramatically improve safety, security and workplace pride. 

This could include illuminated pathways, motion detecting security lights, or more decoration focused lights such as fairy lights or lanterns. 

Herb or Salad Gardens 

You can also use your organisation’s outdoor spaces to grow simple food crops such as herbs or salad leaves. This adds a whole new dimension of visual appeal and the results could even be used in the building cafeteria or for other purposes. 

Rustic DIY planters can give this a community garden feel and encourage employees to spend more time outdoors appreciating plants which has been proven to improve employee engagement and satisfaction. 

Small gardens may also have hidden or unsightly corners where decorative plants such as flowers would lose much of their appeal. Herbs can be an effective way to still make productive use of this space. 

Get Creative with Colour 

Adding more colour to a garden, or using more colour-themed sections, can improve both the perceived size and appeal of the space. 

Light pastel colours provide a completely different vibe to bold colours so every decision you make counts. 

You can even use your organisation’s brand colours or the colours of a cause you would like to show support for (think LGBT flag, Ukrainian flag etc). 

Many companies use phs Greenleaf to change and refresh their outdoor spaces with the seasons, so you can let the colours evolve throughout the year to represent the changing weather too. 

Be Deliberate with Furniture 

Outdoor furniture can be an excellent way to elevate a space, creating relaxing places to sit and observe, or creating communal spaces where people can congregate. 

However, they can also dominate smaller spaces and take up too much of the total available space, so take some time to consider what will be useful to your employees and visitors, and what will not. 

For example if you already have an outdoor seating area, and the outdoor space is a long walk away from where people are working, adding a table and chairs to it in the hopes of people spending lunchtimes there might be less useful than you expect.On the other hand if none are available and people have shown interest in eating outside, it could be extremely valuable. 

If space is especially tight, lightweight or foldable furniture that can be easily removed or stored away might be the best idea. 

Don’t Waste Space with Storage 

While outdoor storage such as caretaker’s sheds can be extremely useful, if they are taking up a significant amount of already limited space, that storage would be best moved inside. 

If you work with a commercial landscaping or gardening company such as phs Greenleaf, you may be able to remove this storage entirely as internal gardening staff would not be necessary. 

Small storage containers can also replace sheds and larger containers by being stacked neatly or used as benches etc. 

Prefer to Let Someone Else Handle This? 

With over 25 years’ experience of providing planting and landscaping services to businesses throughout the UK we have the knowledge of providing our services in a variety of sectors including hospitality, retail, FM’s and public sector. Which means you can be sure that phs Greenleaf will provide you with an unrivalled plant service. 

We offer a wide variety of services including indoor planting and outdoor planting, artificial and live planting, living walls, grounds maintenance services and Christmas decorations. 

With around 8,000 customers across the UK, Greenleaf ensures each customer is assigned an account manager to coordinate every part of the process from the initial design to the installation. 

To learn more about what we can do for you, contact us now!

Category Icon Calendar