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Design Ideas for Small Gardens

The advantage of a small garden is that it requires less maintenance. In this article, we will share with you some small garden design ideas and inspiration you can use in your own garden, or at least to get your creative juices flowing for what you can do with a small space.

If you’re creative enough, small doesn’t have to mean limited if you arrange your garden in a functional, comfortable, and aesthetically pleasing way. Small doesn’t have to mean limiting! No matter where you live in the country, here are 14 ways to maximize your compact garden:


Think outside the box!

A small garden can be made more effective by using vertical space on the back of your house and the boundary. By using vertical space, you bring your eye up, which prevents the eye from reaching the boundaries.

Consider fixing planters or shelving to a wall or strong fence so you can store plants, lanterns, and tools. If your wall or fence does not allow for a whole shelving unit, you can use hooks and hang baskets instead.


Let your lighting create a cozy atmosphere by lighting the path to your garden.

Ensure that your lighting is discreet – you don’t want to resemble a football pitch! Use soft solar lights to create a soft glow in the landscape.

An outdoor fairy light string in the dining area or around the sitting area just adds the right amount of ambiance to your setting as the sun sets on a warm summer day or looks romantic as you gaze out the window during the winter months.


Consider going ‘grass-free’.

Typical gardens have grass on the ground and a brick wall, but by hardscaping with plenty of plants on the fence or walls, or by using a hedge, you can transform any garden into something spectacular.

In spite of sounding strange at first, this is a great way to make your garden appear more deliberate and reduce the amount of maintenance work you need to do. It also makes each design choice look deliberate and helps make each look less cluttered. You should create multiple levels in your garden whenever possible so that you can create a greater sense of space, and raised beds add visual interest in addition to being more practical if you want to plant.

If you want to create living walls with your fence, you can attach wall planters, plant climbing plants above the boundary (but remember that this will put extra strain on the fence panels), or plant tall shrubs and small trees. Fruit trees and bay trees are commonly used in this region.


Use oversized planters.

Plant oversized planters around the edges of your garden if you prefer a little light gardening. These planters allow you to express your creativity and you can choose whatever you want. If you want a hardy herb, consider lavender, rosemary, mint, and fennel; foxgloves and cornflowers for color; or bamboo for privacy and beauty year-round. If you want an area to relax and entertain, place benches or build them into these planters.


Organize your garden into layers.

A cluttered outdoor space is made worse by an abundance of accessories, furniture, and plants, but it can also be achieved in the opposite direction. Combine ground-level beds and raised beds to create a sense that the space boasts a lot more foliage than it actually does.


Use mirrors to create more space.

A trend in using mirrors outdoors has emerged over the last few years, and for good reason. Garden mirrors cleverly add more space, with window- or door-like “portals” into another space. Garden mirrors are significantly cheaper and less prone to breakage than indoor mirrors. This is also an inexpensive trick you can create with some trellis, a mirror, and a few climbing plants to add a natural “frame” effect. The result is well worth the effort!


Embrace tropical.

Take a moment to recall your favorite (or dream) holiday destination – what are some of your fondest memories? It is possible to recreate those memories at home. For instance, if you enjoy visiting hot and tropical locations, you can replicate that look by using trees. The potted palm tree adds exotic coolness to any garden space while an olive tree adds Mediterranean energy. If you want to separate distinct sections within your garden, small trees can also serve as excellent dividers. Consider placing one statement tree in a back corner with decking, a bench, and a good book for relaxing with a cup of tea or glass of wine if you only have room for one tree.


Have a Zen garden.

The best place to sit and soak up the sun during the warm weather is in your own Zen garden. This type of garden isn’t typically big anyway, so if you’re working with a smaller space, you’re right on trend. To create an oriental feel in your garden, use miniature versions of trees like Japanese maples, bonsai plants, or apple blossom trees. Consider replacing part of your lawn with a gravel area to make your small space feel airy and spacious. Pairing Asian trees with bamboo furniture is an excellent way to make your small space seem expansive.


Make your garden’s bottom half more functional by installing a U-shaped bench.

You can create an area for sitting and relaxing by creating a designated seating area near your home, and the second section of your garden, beyond the seating, can be used for gardening, growing vegetables, installing a pond, pergola and barbecue, or building a summerhouse. If the seating doesn’t reach the 13th point of the garden, it won’t create enough a divider.


Invest in a water feature.

An attractive water feature in a small garden is a wonderful focal point, and there’s nothing more relaxing than the sound of flowing water. There are endless possibilities here – from a long flowing channel with steps down for the water to flow over to the end, to a pond, to a raised trough with spouts, to an elaborate statue flowing down into a pond, or even just pebbles beneath.


Give your hardscaping some shape with pots.

Choosing pots and planters for your garden is your time to shine, even if you aren’t a gardening expert! Use the same palette for your pots and flowers for a nice blend of similar hues. You can echo a pastel tone of lavender and pink tulips, for instance, with powder yellow outdoor accessories or baby blue pots if you are planting lavender and pink tulips.

You can group larger plants in twos or threes or space them around the garden at different height levels for a splash of excitement and variation. Look for pots with different patterns, textures, and tones. Depending on what colors you choose for your outdoor furniture, rugs, cushions, and lighting, your plant and hanger colors will complement or contrast with other colors.


Curves are not something to be afraid of.

Small gardens can be tempted to stay straight, but don’t be afraid to try curves. If your garden is square, consider a sweeping path that leads to a seating area in the middle, with a circular paved area under a pergola. If you want to keep things simple, plant out around the curved path to the rear and lay out a curved grass area at the front of the seating area. If you want low maintenance plants, you can use an artificial lawn.

There’s always something you can do to make your outdoor space look great, regardless of whether you’ve chosen a home with a smaller garden because you have limited time for maintenance or simply because it’s within your budget. You can create cohesion between your home’s interior and your garden or you can go for something totally different.

It is possible to transform your outdoor space into a place you enjoy entertaining family and friends by following some of the tips we shared above. As soon as you have a new and improved outdoor area, you will be able to entertain guests on warmer days where you might not have had the space previously. Our design team can help you implement these tips if you’re not sure how.


Create multiple spaces using zoning.

In a garden, zoning can create visual interest and serve as a multipurpose space. By enlisting a design technique known as “zoning,” you can create visual interest in your garden.

Even the smallest garden can be divided into zones by using potted plants, small hedges, walls, or screens to separate them. It’s also a good idea to use different materials from corner to corner; this will not only make the space more visually appealing, but will also give the impression that several different spaces are all one.

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