Average in size, but extraordinary to look at - get the garden you want
A medium-sized garden gives you the freedom to incorporate a lot of outdoor design ideas in one space. So there's plenty of opportunity to be creative and fun. But try to cram in too much and it could run the risk of becoming cluttered or unstructured and you could waste space.
We’re here to help you create your ideal outdoor room based on your priorities, while avoiding any potential pitfalls. And leave you with a garden that will be both beautiful and suitable for your family for years to come.
Tools & materials required
Before you begin
What do you use your space for?
Is your garden going to be the place where you do all of your entertaining in the summer months? A place where you relax and chill out after a busy working week? Or a safe space where your children can burn off some of their energy? With a medium-sized garden, you can often incorporate more than you think, and differing needs don’t have to be at odds with each other. With great planning you can create something that works for every member of your family.
It may be that maintenance is more of a consideration for you than space. If that's the case, check that any landscaping and plants introduced to your garden are easy to care for as some require more effort and upkeep than others.
What are the conditions of your medium-sized garden?
Sit in your garden at various times of the day to see which areas get the most light. This will not only impact the plants you choose, as well as where you put them, but also show you the best spots for seating or decking. If you’re creating a children’s play area, you may want to put this in a shaded area so that there’s less chance of them overheating while running around, as well as lower the chance of them burning on sunny days.
Are there any damp areas? If so, avoid placing structures like sheds in such spots, but certain plants may flourish in these conditions so work with what you have. And it’s not just light and water conditions to consider – we also recommend learning what kind of soil you have, as well as its pH. This can all help you understand what flowers and shrubs will do well in your garden.
A garden of your size may contain a series of micro-climates that are partly determined by which way it faces – each direction offering different levels of light, warmth and moisture. So check to see if one end of your garden is different to the other - you might be surprised by what you find.
Measure your garden, make a sketch of its borders and then try out different designs to see which one will suit you and your family best. If you’ve got the room, think about splitting your garden into smaller, distinct areas. This will not only give you the opportunity to have lots of different themes and looks within one space, it also means that you can tailor your planting and design to the micro-climate of that particular area. So in drier spots where you get a lot of sun, place your decking to create an area for socialising or create an outdoor kitchen. While in the shadier, cooler areas, make room for your children’s play area.
Structures and landscaping
If you’ve got kids, play equipment is a must - swings, slides, trampolines, sandpits, climbing frames and activity centres are all great ways to get your child out in the fresh air for adventurous play. Be sure that anything that will be sat on or climbed over, is secured to the ground so that it doesn’t fall over. And if you want them outside even if the weather’s not that great, think about a playhouse - garden fun with a bit of shelter.
With outdoor adventures often comes lots of garden items - and that requires storage. From tools to toys, bikes to furniture covers, everything needs a safe place when not in use and we have lots of storage options. If your items are large and bulky, or you have many that you're looking to house, consider larger options like a shed. Or if working on a smaller scale, check out some of our other garden storage ranges. They can be a lot more compact (check out the chests in particular), designed specifically for certain items (like bikes and bins) and are available in a range of materials such as wood, metal or plastic to suit your garden style. And for green-fingered gardeners, a small greenhouse, growhouse or cold frame can be just the thing to protect delicate plants and growing seeds.
Looking for something more decorative? Our gazebos and canopies make a striking addition and don’t have to take up too much of your space. And an arch or pergola can be a beautiful way to lead people into other areas of your garden, or invite them to sit awhile and enjoy.
If you’re planning on adding any structures, remember to check if you’ll need planning permission and building regulations approval. This will depend on a number of factors, including the size of your garden as well as the location, scale and use of what you want to build so be sure to check in with your local council. And before you start any big project, it’s worth having a discussion with your neighbours. Let them know if you’re adding trees or structures as it may impact them and their homes.
A garden of this size can comfortably include different landscaping options - so there's no need to choose just one type. If children will be playing in the garden, a lawn provides a soft surface, though does require summer-long upkeep. Remove the need for constant maintenance by replacing it with artificial grass - ideal for active kids and ball games.
Consider breaking up the lawn area with decking. It’s softer than paving and great for entertaining as it dries a lot quicker than grass. And with the unpredictable British weather, this means that you can get back outside shortly after the rain has stopped.
Alternatively, paving and patios require the least maintenance and will look great for years to come. We have plenty of options in a wide range of colours, textures and shapes that work well as a solitary feature or laid in a number of places around your garden. Use them to create a solid floor of stone, as edging for your borders or as stepping stones across your lawns to protect the grass.
Have you considered adding water to your outdoor space as a pond, fountain or unusual water feature? It doesn’t have to take up lots of room and can make a real statement. For a striking effect, choose a fountain. They can be anything from simple bubbles and gentle cascades over a mound of pebbles, slates or stones, to more elaborate designs. All designs will need a reservoir of water, which can either be hidden below ground or be part of the overall design, as well as an electric pump to circulate the water. Once installed and filled, fountains will only need to be topped up occasionally – there are even solar-powered options that cost nothing to run.
Before adding a water feature, consult a qualified electrician for advice on installation and equipment. All electrical equipment used outdoors must be protected by a residual current device (RCD). And water features must use only appropriate waterproof junction boxes or switches to connect to the mains power supply and these must be positioned where they won’t get damaged. If any cables and/or pipes are buried, make a map of their positions and keep it safe – you may well need it in the future.
Enjoy summer in your garden with our wide selection of outdoor furniture. Opt for a full set of tables and chairs for al fresco dining, or relax in the sunshine with seating ranges including sun loungers, garden sofas and love seats. With a medium-sized garden every material and style can work with your space, so don’t just focus on the type of furniture you want – think about where it's going to be situated, as well as the experience you want when you are sat there.
Positioning seats among interesting plants will make them a far more enticing place to pause and relax, so put some of your favourite flowers nearby, remembering to create a mix of those that look and smell good. Plant marjoram or rosemary within a gravelled area or nearby bed and they will release their perfume when brushed against. Plus you can use them in your cooking. Also, think about your view when lounging. Does it draw the eye up or down the garden or provide a focal point upon which to gaze? Consider adding a bird bath, ornament or a water feature as a focal point.
Outdoor lights and heating
You may want different types of lighting for your garden – to illuminate areas near the house, create a relaxing atmosphere when entertaining, or highlight features or pathways. Wall lights are a practical choice that can bathe wider areas with light, whereas post lights help map out walkways. Spotlights draw attention to dramatic features such as statement plants and get the party started with our outdoor party and string lights.
With so many options available, coordinate them across your garden with our collection lighting, which includes wall lights, post lights and lanterns, all in a matching style, And don’t forget to add a chimenea or outdoor heater to keep the festive feeling going into the night.
Eating outside is one of the best parts of summer and for the busy family, you don’t want to have to wait too long for your food. With that in mind, a gas BBQ is the way forward. Although more expensive than a charcoal option, a gas BBQ is ready to cook within just minutes and will burn consistently for the whole time you’re cooking – so you’ll only need to focus on not burning the food.
Choose from one to four burner models - depending on how many people you're cooking for. Most of our range come with wheels, so you can move your barbecue around your garden to suit. Be sure not to place it too close to any plants or overhanging branches.
Stamp your own personality on the likes of structures, decking and walls with exterior paints, oils and stains. Specially designed to suit a variety of surfaces including masonry, wood and metal, they create a complementary look for your garden and plants whilst adding a valuable layer of protection against the elements.
There’s a lot of choice when it comes to plants for a medium-sized garden – so it's more a matter of style and preference.
Trees and shrubs
Trees come in all shapes and sizes, so don’t discount them from your garden if you have concerns about space. In fact, a medium-sized garden may even be able to accommodate a couple of trees, depending on how big they’ll grow. Be sure to check how big a tree will get before buying it and make sure not to plant it too close to your house – roots grow as wide as the tree is tall and they may damage your foundations.
Use shrubs as a way to edge and distinguish the different sections of your garden – it’ll give it a much softer look than creating walls. And as they come in a wide range of colours (both flowers and foliage) as well as scents, you’ll definitely be able to find one that suits each look that you’re going for.
When planting your beds, borders or pots, choosing perennials means you can enjoy the flowers year after year. If you’d prefer to chop and change a bit more regularly – trying out different colours and scents over time – then plant annuals and biennials which won’t last as long.
If you have children, why not get them involved in the gardening? Simply set aside a small patch of ground or some containers in which they can grow their own flowers, fruits and vegetables with your supervision. Sunflowers look striking, are easy to grow and kids can have fun seeing who can grow the tallest.
Fruit and vegetables
It’s a common misconception that you need loads of space to grow a vegetable patch. In fact many vegetable gardens are far too big for most people’s needs, wasting valuable space. It’s better to use a smaller space and keep sowing or planting as soon as each crop finishes; you can put plants that have gone to seed in your compost bin and then sow others. Full use of your vegetable plot will help keep the weeds down and let you concentrate your watering and attention on the places that really need it.
We have a wide range of fruit and vegetable seeds to choose from and, like flowers, they make an excellent way to involve young ones in gardening. Helping you grow and harvest your own produce might also encourage them to try some new tastes and flavours.
Fruit trees are another great way to ensure that your kids are eating wholesome food. Again, you don’t need a massive garden with an orchard – fruit trees come in all shapes and sizes to suit most gardens. And depending on the type you choose, you can feed your family the produce, by giving it to them fresh or by making jams.