One problem in many small yards without garages is the lack of outdoor storage space for garbage cans, household items, children’s toys, and bags of potting soil, flower pots, and gardening tools. Where space is limited, storage is vital, but so is the subtlety of its placement.
In a large yard, such objects can usually be kept in a shed or discreetly hidden in a little-used space. In a small yard, however, where a freestanding garden shed will take up too much space, they are likely to be left in plain view unless some other type of provision for outdoor storage is made.
One solution is to build in storage space that is an integral part of the design of your garden. Use brick, wood or whatever material blends in with other structures in your garden. Good use can be made of awkward corners by building cupboards tailored to fit neatly into the space and designed to meet your exact requirements. A cupboard with a lift-up lid makes for easy day-to-day use. And as part of the design of a door or gate, such practical solutions can be stylish features.
Cupboards that will be used for storing garbage cans must be accessible and easy to clean. Items that are to be stored on a more long-term basis can be kept in less accessible places. A hollow brick bench with a removable wooden seat is ideal.
An openwork screen, such as a trellis clothed with climbers, or a solid one, such as closely lashed bamboo, can be used to divide off a small area for garbage cans or a compost pile. Hedging plants make equally effective screens. Make sure that you choose an evergreen, or you will find yourself with only a seasonal rather than a permanent screen.