Garden and Landscaping

The Art of Small Garden Design: Creating a Beautiful Oasis

It’s important to recognize that small gardens hold much more potential than one might initially think. Regardless of whether you’re working with a slender backyard behind an older home, a restricted outdoor space lacking seclusion, or a neglected garden located at the rear of a townhouse, the opportunities for transformation are limitless. Therefore, don’t dismiss your small outdoor area just yet. As with the proper design, it has the potential to become an extraordinary garden.

Consider Functionality

The size of your outdoor space doesn’t have to limit either aesthetics or functionality. However, it’s crucial to prioritize your preferences to ensure that every inch of the area is utilized to the fullest.

Are you fond of hosting gatherings for your loved ones?

Outdoor entertaining can create a more relaxed atmosphere for both hosts and guests. However, it can be challenging to determine how many people your outdoor space can accommodate. Do you need space for an intimate lunch for two, a sit-down dinner for eight, or an informal BBQ for twelve or more?

To make the most of small spaces, it’s important to incorporate versatile elements that can serve more than one function.

  • Folding bistro tables and chairs are lightweight and easy to store when not in use, making setup a breeze.
  • Extending patio tables offer versatility and can accommodate varying numbers of guests.
  • A sturdy low table can serve as an occasional ottoman or stool with the addition of a padded cushion.
  • Capped retaining walls and raised beds can serve a dual purpose as seating areas if they are at a comfortable height of around 17″ and are softened with cushions or a folded blanket.
  • Bench seating at a rectangular patio table can seat more people than individual seats, making it ideal for families with small children.
  • Instead of a traditional wood-burning fire pit, consider a gas fire table which can serve as a beautiful focal point even when not in use and can double up as a coffee table with its solid rim. This option saves space and is aesthetically pleasing.

What are your desired plants or crops?

Do you plan to cultivate cut flowers, your preferred herbs, or some vegetables in your limited space? It is crucial to identify which plants are worth growing and which ones are better to purchase from a local farmer’s market, especially when space is limited. Consider growing flowers and produce that are typically expensive, difficult to find, have a brief shelf life, or those that you use frequently. This approach will help you make the most of your small garden.

A mini area in the backyard surrounded by plants. You can use herbal plants grown in pots for an interesting small garden design for you to try. Herb Garden from @ai.innocent_flower

Don’t let tight space kill you. Create a mini garden by planting plants in small pots. As a result, you still can have a colorful flowers even your garden is small just like in the picture above.  Colorful Flower Small Garden from @ardangarden

Complete your small garden decor by adding spring flowers. Planting terracotta pots on the table is surely a nice idea for your small garden. Spring Flower Centerpieces from @small_magical_gardens

Is there a shortage of planting space in the ground?

While container gardens offer an uncomplicated remedy for limited in-ground growing, it’s essential to ponder over their dimensions and form.

  • To maximize space on your deck or patio, avoid using wide, round containers and instead choose rectangular, oval, or elliptical shapes that can sit closer to walls or railings.
  • Rather than cluttering the ground with many small pots, opt for a single large, tall container that’s easier to water and has a more significant impact.
  • You can enhance the flexibility of your container garden by adding saucers with wheels underneath. This enables you to move them around to create a room divider on a long deck, a cozy reading nook on an exposed patio, or follow the sun’s pattern during the growing season.

The use of antique containers from used goods can give a different look to the design of this small garden. Filled with blooming flowers, this will enhance the look of your garden. Antique Container from @sasaki.yuuko

To create a rustic look in a small garden, you can use this type of rattan basket. Used to grow lavender flowers and herb, it gives your small outdoor space a charming look. Rattan Basket Container from

Bring the vintage basket to your garden and fill it with roses and some colorful plants and flowers to make it more attractive. Vintage Garden Container from @ai.innocent_flower

After evaluating the functionality of your outdoor space, here are some designer tips to assist you in optimizing its potential and creating the impression of a more expansive garden.
  • Seek out compact plant varieties: Opt for plants that won’t overcrowd your space, but don’t hesitate to incorporate moderate-sized or columnar trees to achieve the desired scale.
  • Think creatively: Why not try vertical gardens, railing planters, or hanging baskets for strawberries? A living wall/vertical succulent garden is an excellent example.

When it comes to small space, nothing can beat vertical garden. A vertical plants made from wooden pallets will provide your space an interesting look. A vibrant vertical garden is an excellent example of saving space in your garden. Vertical Plants from @zees_greens

These wall plants give your garden a lively and fresh look. You can choose from a wide variety of plants that are low maintenance and have different colors for the perfect look. Vertical Living Wall from @allgreenespacios

  • Establish a foliage foundation: Use plants with intriguing, colorful leaves before adding flowering plants.

Some colorful leaves applied to this garden will add a unique aesthetic and look. This colorful leaf accent can be the center of attention and has an attractive appearance. Colorful Leaf Small Garden from @ardangarden

Designing a small garden is not a difficult job. You can try adding colorful leaves for a charming look. By using this method, it will make your garden look elegant. Colorful Flower from @davidlovestogarden

  • Maximize every inch of space: Focus on high-value trees, shrubs, and perennials that provide multiple seasons of interest with lovely leaves, seasonal blooms, unique textures, colorful bark, or exceptional fall color.

Make the most of a small garden by using a variety of plants for a great decoration. Choosing low plants makes your garden more beautiful and fresh to look at. Plants Small Garden from @davidlovestogarden

  • Ensure privacy: While you may not have enough room for large evergreen trees or shrubs, consider using one of many columnar varieties that provide height without width. Alternatively, a row of narrow, columnar, deciduous trees or shrubs might suffice for seasonal screening. Climbers, such as jasmine or annual vines, can also be grown on a vertical trellis for a well-behaved solution.

These vines on a small garden wall create privacy in the garden. Complete with blooming flowers, this will also produce a fresh and cool garden decoration. Vines Plants Small Garden from @hull_urban_gardener

Large trees planted near the fence are able to provide privacy in this tiny garden. Adding lamp at the base of the tree will also complement the look. Large Tree from @moonlightdesignltd

  • Consider eliminating the lawn: Does your lawn chop up your space visually? Would it make more sense to expand the patio? Choose outdoor furniture thoughtfully. Instead of deep armchairs with broad armrests, opt for sleeker profiles.

Adding a sitting area to a tiny garden will also provide comfort for spending time in it. Choose an armchair complete with pillows and blankets to provide extra warmth. Sitting Area Small Garden from @elm_terrace_interior

  • Introduce a water feature: Water features are always a lovely addition to any garden. If a pond and waterfall are not practical, a simple recirculating wall fountain or bubbling tabletop pot might do the trick.

Water feature is a great addition that you can copy if you need something more than just plants. Even a simple rectangular pond will give your space a huge impact. Water Feature from @lillemittalt

Adding pond in the middle of the garden can be the perfect center of attention in your garden. This water feature will help you maximize your space and create a different design. Round Pond Small Garden from @elise_ravndal

  • Establish order: A tidy design brings an orderly feel to the garden. Rectilinear design can define spaces, while organic curves can soften awkward angles.
  • Use diagonal lines: Since most suburban gardens are wide but shallow, a straight-on view often emphasizes the shortest dimension. To create the impression of a larger space, shift the patio, planting beds, and sightlines 45 degrees to align with the diagonal axis.
  • Keep the color scheme simple: Two or three colors in various shades, along with green, will be less visually busy than a rainbow explosion.
  • Borrow views from beyond your boundaries: Frame a distant tree, mountain, or unique architectural feature to create the illusion of more depth.
  • Add outdoor lighting: Add drama and mystery while extending the garden’s use into the evening.

Spot light is also can be used in outdoor space. You can place it under the trees to provide beautiful lighting for your outdoor decoration. Spot Light Small Garden from @niwa87saku39

Look how a spotlight can create an outstanding look in the night! The result, your garden won’t be too dark, and you’ll get your own stunning scenery. Solar Light Garden from @papagreenodessa

By taking these designer’s tips into consideration, you can create a beautiful and functional small garden that reflects your personal style and meets your needs.

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