Small gardens are intimate spaces that require more thought than larger gardens, especially when choosing hardscape features and plants. But that doesn’t mean small gardens are boring. They have many advantages, as even the smallest additions will have a dramatic impact.
So, if you think there’s not much you can do with a small garden, think again! Countless amazing ideas can turn any small space into an elegant outdoor retreat.
Below, we’re giving you various ways to make the most of your small garden space.
Think about how you use walls for pictures and mirrors and cupboards inside your house. You can do the same in your garden, too! Your walls, garages, and the side of your fence are all good spaces.
Use creeping or trailing plants, like climbing Philodendron, to adorn high spaces. Use containers like hanging baskets to put blooms up on high, or use your window boxes and exquisite wall mangers.
A living wall garden is also an excellent way to fill a bare space, not to mention contemporary and exciting You can make a living wall garden by attaching a wooden pallet to a wall and filling it with plant pots until the lush vertical foliage conceals the pallet.
If your living wall doesn’t get much sun, consider ferns and succulents. You can also include edible plants like lettuce, tomatoes, or strawberries. All of this draws the eye upwards, making your small space look bigger and more interesting.
Make your very own secret garden by adding hidden areas and cozy hideaways. Create sections in your garden using bamboo screens, trellis or walls of foliage, and decorate each part with assorted plants and garden furniture. These are perfect for concealing small seating areas and garden getaways.
Use ornamental grasses like Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’ and Stipa tenuissima (Mexican feather grass) to soften the appearance of barriers and give the lower levels of your divided gardens more depth. These delightful grasses will make your garden feel bigger because you can’t see everything in one glance. Even something like an arch will create separate areas in a small garden.
Square paving can make your garden appear smaller than it is, but with a simple eye trick, you can increase your garden’s visual size.
Paving in a diamond shape can give the optical illusion of a bigger garden. Or, if you’re using mixed and broken slabs, lay them as diagonal paving, creating the illusion of a bigger space. Using light-colored paving will also reflect light into your garden, making it look brighter and more spacious.
These types not only open up your garden but also give it a more contemporary style.
One of the best ways to design a small garden is to include larger trees. Canopy trees like Prunus cerasifera (cherry plum) have good heights that can provide you with a leafy roof and privacy without taking much space on your garden ground. You can also add more space by clearing away the lower stems of your tree.
Decorative and ornamental trees like Olea europaea (olive trees) can also look great and can transform any garden into a beautiful Mediterranean paradise.
KEEP IT BRIGHT
Bright-colored plants and garden features can make a small garden appear lighter and larger. Plants like Rudbeckia hirta, or ‘Irish Eyes,’ or Alyssum montanum, which have golden or light yellow hues, are perfect for brightening up dark spots in your garden and grace the small space with glorious light.
Hot colors, like red and dark yellow, add an intimate feel to any space, while cool colors like light-purples, whites, and makes a small space feel larger.
Putting bird boxes, feeding stations, roosting pouches, and insect hotels in your garden will invite birds and insect activity. Wildlife can thrive even in the smallest gardens, so make space for them when you design your garden. You can also attract more wildlife by planting their favorite flowers, like sunflowers, asters, daisies, and marigold. These plants will please bees and butterflies and give your garden lots of colors. Soon enough, your small space will be a hive of activity and fun for kids!
BE CLEVER WITH FURNITURE
Adding furniture in a small garden can create a significant impact, but putting too much or the wrong type can create clutter and take up valuable space that you can’t afford to lose. Compact options like bistro table set and chairs are ideal for small gardens, as well as benches that can be placed against walls, loungers that can be folded away, and a couple of single chairs.
These garden furniture types give a stylish European aesthetic touch to any small garden, without taking much of your precious garden space. They’re perfect for breakfast or evening drinks during the hot summer months.
Pots are an excellent choice for small trees or flowering bedding plants, and you can quickly change them and move them around. This is especially essential in a small space, as you can revamp your garden design in a jiffy.
Pots and containers help keep everything flexible and make your small garden more manageable. It also allows you to grow fruit and vegetables, making the most of your small garden while providing you with fresh, healthy, and delicious produce. Vegetables that can be grown in pots or containers include tomatoes, beans, lettuce, peppers, chilies, radishes, and even carrots.
SOUND AND MOVEMENT
Motion and sound can add points of interest to your small garden design. Consider incorporating a water feature in your small garden with a small garden fountain that runs using its own reservoir pump. Adding a water feature makes for great focal points and lends an added dimension to a garden. What’s more, it creates a tranquil environment that perfect after a long, tiring day!
Small garden owners often find other people from surrounding homes or buildings looking in on them. Create a secluded seating area by installing arches and pergolas and covering them with climbers.
Be careful of using large, fast-growing plants like Wisteria and Parthenicissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper), because they require a lot of pruning and are invasive. Instead, use Clematis, Lonicera (honeysuckle), climbing roses, or Jasminum (jasmine), which has a great scent and can provide the cover you need with its beautiful foliage.
Using these clever design tricks, you can quickly transform your small garden into a bigger and more tranquil paradise, so head outside and enjoy it!
Enjoyed this article? For more great gardening tips, get an annual subscription (7 issues) of Birds and Blooms magazines today! Every issue comes with various backyard projects, wildlife tips, recipes, stories, and gardening articles. To know more about this offer, visit Discount Press today!