4 inspiring ideas for planning and designing your small garden

Here at Smiths Hire we can definitely provide the tools to help you turn your ideas into reality. So if you’re not sure what you need for a particular job, you can count on us to be able to guide you in the right direction.

If you’ve got big plans for your garden at home, sometimes it can be challenge if you’ve only got a small space to implement them. But that’s the best thing about limitations – they can lead to some fascinating results, as they can force you to get creative!

Now, while we’re not specialist exterior designers here at Smiths Hire, we can definitely provide the tools to help you turn your ideas into reality. In fact, we’ve now got more than 50 years of experience in tool hire, so if you’re not sure what you need for a particular job, you can count on us to be able to guide you in the right direction. And if you’re stuck for garden design ideas… here are a couple of our favourites!

Think vertically

If you’ve got limited floorspace, you might be surprised at how many opportunities you can open up for yourself simply by lifting what you can above ground level. If you’ve got a wall available for example – or even a particularly strong fence – then you can experiment with attaching a slim shelving unit to keep tools, plants or ornaments. (We can provide all sorts of options for drill hire if that kind of idea appeals!) Alternatively, you can repurpose certain existing tools and equipment; a stepladder can serve as a stand with plenty of personality for your toolboxes or small planters.


A drill is the ideal tool for putting up shelves and wall decor.

Get crazy with your paving

Your paving stones and patio represent an often-underestimated opportunity to inject a bit of extra personality and style into your garden. In fact, it can have such a transformative effect that it can even provide the driving design direction for the entire space. Grey or white paving stones, for example, can provide a nicely restrained look, which makes them an excellent choice if you prefer a more understated, contemporary style. On the other hand, opting for warmer, golden shades can give the whole space a more English country feel.

When you’re choosing the colour of your paving stones, it’s also worth considering the way in which they’re laid. Mixed patterns that use a variety of different-sized stones can give the place a more relaxed, continental vibe, whereas a calculated, regular pattern can provide a great backdrop for a sleek and modern scheme. Before you lay your paving stones or patio, one very important thing to bear in mind is the ground that you’re laying them on. It’s crucial to make sure your ground is nice and even and the best way to do this is with a wacker plate.

And don’t forget about your furniture and furnishings! If you prefer that traditional look, then stone benches might be the best option. Or you can go a bit off-kilter and furnish the space with a stack of cushions in bright colours or cheerful florals to create a festival vibe – perfect for summer! When the weather cools, you can switch them out for soft furnishings like sheepskin blankets to make everything altogether more cosy; especially if you like gathering around a fire pit in the twilight days of autumn.

A wacker plate is the perfect tool for preparing the ground prior to paving.

Keep it varied to create attractive scenery with your greenery

One of the best things about being creative is how much fun you can have while doing it. That’s just as well, because when it comes to seeding actual plants around your outdoor space, a creative approach can go a long way to helping you produce some quite unique results!

So in practical terms, for example, that means you might want to avoid planting too much of the same plant too many times around your space. It can risk making the entire place look a little underwhelming, and too much of the same type of plant in one place can make the space seem more densely packed and crowded than it really is. So to mitigate that possibility, you can keep a sense of visual interest by choosing a mix of plants – varying in size, shape, and often colour.

It’s also worth taking a second to consider whether you’re planting to suit your style, or your schedule. In other words, do you want plants that do a great job of creating a specific sort of appearance or atmosphere, or would you prefer low-maintenance options that can survive without being tended to every few weeks or so?

If you’re planting to suit your style for example, colour is probably one of the first things you’ll want to think about. For an English country garden, for example, daisies or daffodils are always excellent choices. Or if you’d like something a bit more vibrant, you could consider the brighter species of begonias, or perhaps pineapple lilies. If you’re planting to suit your schedule on the other hand, more durable evergreens are almost certainly going to be better-suited to your space.

(And if you’re already getting ready to prepare the soil, we offer a variety of options for rotavator hire right here at Smiths Hire.)

Medium Tiller Rotavator

A rotavator, also known as a tiller can make light work of getting your soil ready for planting.

Take your space to the next level

Following on neatly from our first point, creating levels in your garden is another reliable way to garner extra visual interest, even in a small space. In other words, not just lifting ornaments and features off the ground, but changing the position of the ground itself.

You’ve got no shortage of possible approaches to do this. If you’ve got the time and budget, you could experiment with adding a raised or sunken terrace to change the height of entire sections of your garden. That’s an excellent way to practice ‘zoning’ even in relatively smaller spaces – essentially, dedicating separate parts of your space to different activities, such as dining, playing or relaxing.

If you’ve not got the budget, space or will for that though, the same principle works on a smaller scale with raised beds or planters. Similarly, even a small decking area can go some way to changing the landscape of your garden, making the space look a lot bigger than it actually is.

Raised flowerbeds are a great way to make your garden look visually more interesting.

Those are just a couple of ideas though – you may well have lots of your own! Of course, as ever, the results will probably be heavily dependent on your own skills and confidence, and whether or not you’re using the right tools for the job. Those first two are all down to you, but we can definitely help with that last one here at Smiths Hire. We provide top-of-the-line tools and equipment (as well as expert tool hire advice) from 16 tool hire depots across the North West, including several in major cities such as Manchester, Liverpool and Blackpool.

If you’d prefer to purchase your tools outright rather than hire them though, you can also take your pick from a huge range of equipment at our Smiths Hire STIHL Store, so you can always be sure that you’ll be able to find the perfect tools to help you get the job done.

We also supply powered access machines to businesses nationwide – so no matter where in the UK you’re based, you can count on us to be able to help. Get in touch today by making an enquiry with our contact form, or give us a call on 0333 323 2100. We’re here to help!