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How to make the most of your outdoor space


From social gatherings to a place of relaxation and tranquillity, there are a few key things to bear in mind ahead of transforming your outdoor space.

No matter how large or small the space you have to work with, Luke Potkin, Show Manager at The House & Garden Festival, shares his top tips for green fingered enthusiasts.

Firstly plan

Planning is the most important step. Draw or sketch what you have in mind to help you get it right first time. Measuring out your outdoor space will help you decipher what is going to work well. I advise to spend as much as you can on the best materials, as they will last longer and will be a better investment long term. 

No matter how big your space is – whether it’s a small balcony space or a large family garden you can make it truly unique.  Visualise how you want it – if your style is contemporary, urban or traditional and research around what the best fit for you is.

Dividing your Space

You may have a lot of ideas for your garden and one of the best ways to make the most of the space is to divide it up into different zones. Perhaps you will want a seating area with garden furniture, maybe you will want a vegetable patch, or perhaps you will want a space for a shed or area that you can get your DIY done.  Don’t be afraid to make it diverse!

Seek out inspiration

It’s great to seek out inspiration wherever possible, be it online or at events such as GROW London – which returns to Olympia this June. They’ll be various exhibitors on hand encompassing emerging gardening trends alongside contemporary, urban and traditional garden designs. Also, an extensive programme of free talks will enable visitors to glean expert advice, discover emerging garden trends for urban and traditional garden designs and pick up wisdom from some of the country’s best growers.


There are lots of sneaky ways to make the most of space like using vertical planters or ‘living walls’ where you can grow flowers up the side of a wall.  By attaching a trellis, you can really add colour, creating an outdoor wallpaper that can be so striking in the summer time.  You can also have garden furniture that easily folds away when not in use, and mirrors that can be put beside a patio to make it look twice the size!

Recruit helping hands

When creating your garden, make it a social event! Ask willing friends for help clearing the garden, building the fence, laying the terrace and really getting stuck in, in exchange for a reward of a delicious BBQ and drinks in the sunshine. Outdoor spaces are great for social gatherings, and what better way to bring your vision to life alongside good company?

Create what you love

Of course, we all have a different vision for our outdoor space so think very carefully about what it is you want before you get going. Everyone will want something different so if you live with a partner, be prepared to compromise.

Just make sure that every space fulfils its full potential, particularly for those city dwellers where space is at a premium! Remember, you are creating something hugely special so have fun with it and enjoy the process – as well as the outcome.

About GROW London

Offering a stylish and inspirational blend of ideas on how to transform outside spaces GROW London encompasses emerging gardening trends alongside contemporary, urban and traditional garden designs.

From 20th to 24th June, the event will be taking place at the House & Garden Festival, alongside HOUSE Fair, the Spirit of Summer and The Art & Antiques Fair Olympia. Creating an all-encompassing definitive destination for stylish living and interiors visitors can expect an eclectic array of pieces and products ranging from antiquity to present day.