In a small garden, 'everything must work extra hard as there is often nowhere to hide,' says garden designer Kate Gould. She advises thinking about the mood that you're trying to achieve, whether it be contemporary, contemplative, or traditional.
'Perhaps you are happy with a mixture of all, but stick to the discipline of your ideas, rather than throwing all and sundry at it,' she says.
This plot demonstrates Kate's advice perfectly. It really makes the most of the steps by stretching them across the width of the space and incorporating planting, seating, and storage. The overall look feels clean, modern, and fuss-free.
To recreate the scene, opt for shade-loving plants that can cope with low-light levels – ferns, ivy, and hardy geraniums all work well. Encourage foliage to overhang each level to soften the look. In terms of how many plant varieties to choose, 'less can very much be more,' says Kate. 'Less maintenance; more impact and drama.'