The signs of spring are everywhere: snowdrops vying for attention with daffodils and bluebell leaves pushing up in parks and woodlands.

There’s nothing quite like seeing flowers growing in your very own garden though, and whether you’ve got an acre or something resembling a postage stamp, there’s still room for a little creativity.

As viewers of BBC’s Big Dreams Small Spaces will see, there’s no space too small for garden guru Monty Don to unleash his green-fingered imagination.

We asked the Royal Horticultural Society’s chief horticultural adviser, Guy Barter, to give his tips on how to maximise the potential of minimal gardens…

1. Use containers (with an automatic watering system)

Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ adds dramatic summer leaves (that can be better defended against slugs in a container) to shaded areas. While for sun, clipped evergreen bays and Viburnum tinus are worth considering.

[Read more: Your ultimate flower calendar: The best time of year to plant all your garden favourites]

2. Use evergreens for all year round interest

Choisya ternata is an essential evergreen with sweetly scented flowers and striking scented foliage.

3. Layer plantings

Use taller dot plant such as a largish rose ('Madame Alfred ‘Carrière’ for example) and low growing lavenders with bubs for spring (snowdrops, dwarf daffodils) and autumn (cyclamen).

[Read more: 17 planters that will make you consider indoor gardening]

4. Make use of boundaries with trellis and climbing plants

Jasminum officinale ‘Fiona Sunrise’ is easy to grow and reliable with variegated foliage.

5. Cover up utilitarian but very necessary areas (such as bin storage)

Clematis ‘Bill Mackenzie’ is a vigorous yet classy climber ideal for clothing chainlink fencing, for example.

6. Choose attractive paving for easy access

On a small scale even costly paving can be affordable.

Photo credit: Laura Ashley

What are your tips for making the most of a small garden? Share them in the Comments box below.