This design technique spotted at Chelsea Flower Show is a must for small backyards

You can elevate a compact space with a lesson from an RHS-medallist designer – and this look is right on trend

 St Mungo’s Putting Down Roots Garden
(Image credit: RHS / Neil Hepworth)

RHS’ Chelsea Flower Show 2022 has offered us a host of design techniques and trends that will shape gardens far beyond the British capital. The event is a melting pot of backyard ideas for spaces of all sizes – whether you’re working with a balcony garden or have a spacious plot beyond your home. However, the latest technique to emerge from this year’s event is made with small spaces in mind. 

The lesson comes from designers Darryl Moore and Adolfo Harrison, who created St Mungo’s Putting Down Roots Garden (pictured above and below) in collaboration with the charity. 

While the garden itself was certainly not one of the smallest at the Chelsea Flower Show, it did showcase a clever diagonal line design technique that is perfect for making a small garden look bigger. And the best part? Diagonal lines are also at the peak of current garden trends – so you can emphasize your exteriors in style. 

Using diagonal lines to accentuate small gardens  

St Mungo’s Putting Down Roots Garden

(Image credit: RHS / Neil Hepworth)

What does this small garden idea involve? According to the designer, it is all about how you use diagonal lines. 

‘I really like diagonal shapes. They are dynamic, and they create a sense of movement through a space,’ Darryl shared with H&G. He used the pattern on both the fencing and floor to create a pathway and a sense of a journey through your garden. ‘We play with circles that are a bit more static – they are an anchor point. So, you have two different designs,’ Darryl says. 

While diagonal lines can create the sense of a journey in a space, they also lead your eye upwards – opening the garden beyond the fencing into the space above. Garden design expert Phil Deakin from NeoTimber similarly emphasizes that you can cleverly use lines on your fencing to ‘take your eye upwards’ and consequently make the garden feel larger.

St Mungo’s Putting Down Roots Garden

(Image credit: RHS / Neil Hepworth)

Alongside their ability to ‘extend’ a small garden, diagonal stripes feed into one of the biggest trends of the moment, according to Pinterest. The platform saw a 42% increase in interest in bold stripes, such as diagonals for 2022. Bringing this motif into your garden also allows you to celebrate maximalism in your garden landscaping ideas – no matter the size of the space. 

‘Maximalism is in, so stripes can be pretty out there - don’t be afraid of breaking the rules, in some ways, that’s the point,’ adds Karen Yu, the Marketing & Product Strategy Manager at Zinus

If you’re looking for a fashionable way to enhance your garden, Chelsea may have offered you the solution you desire. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.