‘Best’ flower and fence colours that make a garden ‘look bigger’

Small gardens, courtyards, balconies and even unloved corners can all make enticing outdoor spaces with a little extra planning and the right design.

From something as quick as propping up a mirror in a certain position to changing the colour of the fence to trick the eye into thinking there is more space, there is a range of ways to increase the scale of a garden.

Daniel Schofield, director of The Expert Gate Company has shared how to maximise garden space “without the need to expand”.

He said: “There are many ways to enhance and maximise the existing space in your garden without the need to expand.”

1. Only add a few key features

Gardeners should define a few key features that they absolutely want in their garden, and stick to them. This can be anything from practical items like a grand gate to smaller details such as a birdbath or seating area. 

Daniel warned that a cluttered garden “will look much smaller”, so take care not to overcrowd it with unnecessary embellishments and decorations. 

To enhance a garden without overwhelming it with plants and furniture, the expert suggests attracting birds to the garden so that they fill the space with songs and movement.

2. Position mirrors correctly

When making a small garden look bigger, “reflection is your best friend”, claimed Daniel. However, this doesn’t mean transforming the garden into a hall of mirrors, just one or two strategically placed mirrors can “make all the difference”. 

He instructed: “Place mirrors or reflective materials by the garden boundaries to best create the illusion of more space. Try to angle mirrors so that your house isn’t being reflected, as you want the beautiful greenery of your garden to be multiplied by the mirror. 

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“Position a large mirror across from your favourite part of the garden to duplicate it, making your garden feel much bigger. It also helps to disguise the borders of the mirror to enhance the illusion of more space.”

3. Use colours precisely 

The garden pro noted that colour has a “huge impact on how big or small a space looks”, and a garden is no different. 

Although most gardens may not always have walls to paint, gardeners can be deliberate with colours through plants, fences, and other garden furniture.

Daniel said: “If you have fences around your garden, then light, cool paint colours like white, grey or green can make the garden look bigger. Light colours are the best for small gardens as they reflect natural light around your garden, making it seem bigger than it actually is. 

“The same applies to the colour of plants and flowers, although this can be slightly harder to control if there are wild plants growing in your garden.” 

4. Choose larger plants

Those will small gardens should “avoid” small, dainty plants that can “fade into the background and make your garden look slightly sad”. Although it sounds counterproductive, incorporating bolder plants into the garden can actually “make it look much bigger”. 

Daniel warned: “Planting lots of small plants may fill your garden with colour, but it’s easy to look busy and overcrowded. Instead, large plants with thick leaves draw the eyes towards them, creating a standout focal point to complement your garden space.”

Plus, having a few bigger plants in the garden is much better for a minimalist look, which is key for making any garden look bigger. 

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