Adding depth and interest to a long garden

Trellis and rambling rose

If you live in an old terraced house, then you probably have a narrow garden like us. We’re lucky as our garden is also very long – so there’s plenty of space for plants, games and sheds. But it can all get a bit boring sometimes – all those straight lines and nowhere to hide.

But change is afoot in our garden. Nothing too dramatic, but after not doing much to it for the last five years (other than plant different annuals each year) we’re making these simple, but effective changes…


Woodland wildflower meadow

Our garden is quite shady down one side. An abundance of evergreen shrubs and ivy, plus a woeful lack of pruning by us, had led to a bit of a dark, tunnel-like effect. We’ve cut everything back a lot, and removed some things entirely. This has created lots of light and had made everything look wider and brighter.

We still have a shady side of the garden, but this has really developed since we planted our wild woodland meadow last year. What used to be a dark, ivy covered patch is now a mixture of long grasses and wild flowers. At the moment there are lots of red campions, Jack-in-the-hedge and geraniums, plus we’ve just planted some foxgloves. I’ve already noticed more butterflies this year.

Dividing the space

Metal rose arch and trellis

To move away from the straight up and down appearance of our garden, we’ve divided off the end of the garden with a beautiful new rose arch and some homemade trellis. You’d think that dividing up a narrow garden would make it feel smaller, but the opposite is true.

The arch has made it feel more spacious and interesting, while still allowing lots of light into the garden. And there’s something a bit romantic about an arch – even when it doesn’t have much growing up it yet!

We’ve planted two rambling roses on either side of the arch and I’m hoping they’ll eventually scramble all over it. I’m impatient already for how pretty it will look one day (although I’m already having rose anxiety!).

Generous Planting

Flower bed

When you have a small garden it’s tempting to think that you need to keep your flower beds quite small – especially when you have children playing out there. However, our narrow little flower beds looked really mean – running down the sides of the garden in straight lines with a few plants dotted about. I’ve always wanted to have the space to plant things in groups, to create a more dramatic effect.


We’ve  now widened our main flower border. We’ve expanded it outwards by about a foot, dug it over, and planted lots of new perennial plants – delphiniums, geraniums, salvia and lavender, plus some annuals like cosmos and larkspur.


Creating a wider bed, with a gentle curve, has actually made the garden feel wider and we’re not missing the space. I can’t wait to see it all develop over the summer.

Quick growing climbers to soften the hard edges


There’s an awful lot of fence in our garden. To disguise the boringness of it all, we’ve planted some quick growing climbers.

By the house we have two honeysuckles which are growing visibly every day. Further down we have planted a purple solanum to climb up our new trellis. This grew very quickly in our old garden, so I’m hoping the same will be true again.


I’ll be sharing more with you over the summer – including new raised beds! 

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  1. June 8, 2016 / 1:31 pm

    Some great tips here!
    We’ve got a really long garden. When we moved in it was totally neglected and overgrown. Since then we’ve added in loads of “sections” – a shed, a bedding area, a deckin. And you’d think it would close the space in but it definitely makes it look bigger!

    Now, I just need to find time to blog it all haha!

  2. June 8, 2016 / 6:36 pm

    This is a brilliant post Lizzie. Your changes are great. My sister has a terraced house and a long garden like yours. She has used some of the same tricks to make the most of hers. #HomeEtc

  3. June 12, 2016 / 10:43 am

    This will be so lovely once the plants start taking hold on that arch — it will look absolutely gorgeous Lizzie! I’m similar to you, by the looks of it, my preference for colour in the garden is the cooler end of the spectrum too. I always go for pinks, blues purples and white. It’s so harmonious 🙂 Thanks for linking up 🙂 #HomeEtc — Caro x

    • marmaladepie
      June 16, 2016 / 7:42 pm

      Yes, those are definitely my colours too! Although I am being brave and having some yellows and oranges later in the summer!

  4. June 13, 2016 / 12:13 am

    You’ve made some great changes that will really transform the garden – it’s going to look gorgeous with the roses growing up the archway and the wider beds. Look forward to seeing more as the plants grow and settle in. #HomeEtc

  5. June 13, 2016 / 7:17 pm

    Beautiful flowers and so delicate! Looking forward to seeing it all grow and develop – good luck. Thanks for linking up #HomeEtc xx

    • marmaladepie
      June 16, 2016 / 7:41 pm

      Thanks Jess!

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