So you have a small garden and are looking for clever small garden design ideas that will inspire you to create the perfect green oasis? If you have a challenging little garden, you may hold back from exploring ideas that resemble larger gardens nearby.
To prove you wrong and get you on your way to conjuring up the ultimate outdoors, we hired our home renovation experts to come up with key ideas for small gardens so that you can make the most of your small outdoor space with creative gestures. Here are our 10 favorite little garden ideas that are well worth the investment for converting your space into a lush, luxurious area, no matter how limited the size.
Use your intuition
As with any aspect of your home or daily life, rely on your initial instincts to guide you through the process of creating stunning little garden ideas. Step back to look at the space that needs new eyes to work with, and simplify and plan accordingly.
While your outdoor space may seem difficult to tackle, limit yourself to the essentials that are supposed to change the most.
Think big or stay inside
Wide paths and cozy meeting rooms will always feel inviting, and larger functions in them will always feel fascinating even in the smallest of spaces.
Maximize the quality of life in your small garden and create segments using changes in terrain to your advantage to create sufficient living areas. And just like inside a house, when you segment a small garden, you’ll be amazed at how much larger it appears.
The key here is to work on the home view first. As sadly as in the winter months and rainy season, most of the joy your garden evokes will come from observing it from within – something to prioritize as you approach small gardening ideas.
Rule of three
Always keep it simple and stick to the golden rule of three – also for your garden. However, stick to a maximum of three types of items, from flooring to types of flowers to building materials like stone, brick, and wood. If you adhere to this rule, you will find it easier to make your small yard feel cohesive and consistent while keeping the eye entertained yet focused.
And while it’s entirely possible to create a great looking garden with a wider range of materials, it’s also much more difficult to perfect with a lot more room for error.
And remember, this rule also applies to the paints you use to paint fences, plants, accessories and furniture.
Fill it to the brim
If you have a small garden with no grass or room for a flower bed, fill the available space with a variety of pots wherever you can. Pots are great as they require less work than flower beds (perfect if you don’t want to weed) and brighten up a small space with minimal effort. Plus, you can move them around to quickly change the look of your garden, while larger pots give you the look of an extra height.
Get creative and explore interesting vessels for planting greens – it doesn’t always have to be terracotta. Try to find fun alternatives to use as planters in vintage and antique stores. And voilá – fill your pots with lush greens and bright colors to liven up your outdoor space with stunning, vibrant hues.
Vertical planters are a great way to get the most out of a small space, making them perfect for small garden ideas. They can accommodate multiple pots without taking up more space than one pot (depending on the size of your planter). You can paint your planter in contrasting or coordinating colors, or opt for something more neutral to blend in with the background.
You can also use this idea to showcase your creativity and stay on budget. If you are looking for small garden ideas on a budget, vertical planters are a winner as you can design them yourself without a green thumb.
If you enjoy growing plants but don’t have a lot of space instead of taking up a lot of space with a vegetable patch, invest in raised beds. Not only do they take up less space, but you can also add smart storage underneath. Also, they are much easier on your back as they are not completely on the floor.
With raised beds like this, there is plenty of space for storing garden tools – so you don’t need a shed to house your garden tools, pots and compost bags. If you fancy DIY ideas and are skilled with woodwork, you can build raised beds yourself – perfect for small garden ideas on a budget.
When designing small gardens, the floor space is often very limited, so that there is not always space for planters and flower beds. If this is the case in your small yard, take advantage of the vertical space you have with stunning hanging baskets filled with a sluggish array of flowing greens.
You can attach hanging baskets to hooks on your ceilings or to brackets on walls or posts. There are currently some beautiful hanging baskets available that you can use to bring your little garden ideas to life.
Most gardens are fenced (even a small garden), and you can use this surface area to introduce color, greens, and pretty flowers. Designing small gardens is all about making the most of the space available. Make the most of your fence with a trellis covered in grape vines and ivy.
A trellis is great for growing climbing plants and will help you make the most of the uninspiring necessity of fencing. If you choose a fast growing climber, your little garden design ideas will be a reality in no time. Once the flowers are in bloom, you have walls of beautiful foliage.
If you are short of space and need ideas for a clever little garden design, how about window boxes? These can either rest on your window sill or be attached to brackets that are attached to the wall under your window. You will be surprised how much you can grow in a small planting room like this – as they are immensely effective for herb gardens, as you can easily reach for the herbs you need through the kitchen window as you cook.
Fill the window boxes with trailing plants and add extra height there for extra dimensions. You can choose a selection of green foliage or opt for bright and impactful colors.
To make the most of the limited garden space in a small garden, make the most of the adjoining walls with ivy. Or you can stack pots on top of each other to create a pretty, tiered planter. Start with a large saucepan and stack a smaller saucepan on top, which gets smaller and smaller as you work upwards. Fill the space with lots of plants for an interesting idea of how to design a small garden.
You can coordinate your pots with similar designs and colors, or be bold and contrast them. This is one of the easiest (yet most effective) ideas for small gardens. Fortunately, it works in all garden areas – regardless of size.
Use your walls
If you are looking for small garden design ideas that are low maintenance but make a big impact, succulents might be what you have been looking for. You can hang a succulent planter on the wall from a sturdy box of wire mesh, creating a living wall that will brighten up your space without additional weeding and watering.
You can make these as big or as small as you want and have as many or as few as you want – it’s entirely up to you and what helps you define your space. There are many different succulents of different shapes, sizes, and colors. Vary the sizes and colors of your succulents in each box to create interesting games of texture and color combinations (perfect if your garden looks a bit boring).
Making a planter from a pallet is great for small garden ideas on a budget. It’s practical, cheap, space-saving, and can be booty in style. All you have to do is grab a pallet and secure small pots to the pallet with steel zip ties and some nails to hold the pots in place. You can keep it simple with traditional clay pots, or go bold and bright with colorful and patterned pots.
These can be leaned against walls and fences for effective use of your small yard. And this is a great idea for a herb garden that is right outside your front kitchen door.
You can make planters to fix your wall or fence out of pretty much anything you can find in your yard. As long as there is enough space for greens and you have a way to attach it to the fence, you can turn it into a planter.
Part of designing small gardens is having fun doing it – you can’t make a small garden bigger, but you can have a lot of fun with your little garden ideas.
Just like in a small space when designing small gardens with limited space for key focal points, create multiple visual points in your garden in all directions to keep the eye moving and use plants as a starting point.
Mirror your interior
For a uniform interior and exterior design, let your small garden mirror the look of your home’s interior and expand its style with more functional purposes as you work to make the small space feel bigger.
If you want to entertain outdoors, place furniture and plants on the outside edges of your yard to create your own area for guests to entertain in the middle of your small yard.
When considering plants for your small garden or outdoor area, our interior designers recommend being careful with inflammatory colors. They recommend opting for a monochromatic color scheme with quieter tones like powdery blues, pinks, yellows, and subtle greens.Garden can seem clumsy, too noisy and worst of all, cramped and limited.
Don’t overlook the lighting
Don’t forget the importance of lighting if you want to easily extend the use of your outdoor space well into the night, as nature is often associated with bright, natural daylight.
And when it comes to nighttime entertainment, lighting is not only important, it can make a transformative difference. And not just for when you are outside, but also for the views we mentioned earlier from home. The lighting makes your garden area look impressive, no matter how dark it is outside. And for a more dramatic ambience, you can layer your lighting options for a unique look. The first layer of light should be reserved for convenience: illuminate your sidewalk, your conversation areas, and your steps.Next, highlight the special signatures of your small garden like water features, medium-sized plants, and any interesting trademarks that you want to highlight. Complete the look by adding a subtle layer of light just inches above the floor to create a warm glow throughout the outdoor area.
Save space with built-in functions
Just because you are outside you shouldn’t think about space-saving solutions for your outside area. To get the most out of every aspect in your small yard, a built-in bench is a smart option for a small yard as it doesn’t take up valuable extra space like chairs would.
Use silhouettes as a starting point
To maximize your little garden, our interior designers recommend tuning the shape of your table to match the shape of your patio. If the dedicated area is square, choose a square table that is centrally placed for a consistent look.
Bring in color
Unlike larger gardens, bright pops of color can look brilliant in a small garden without feeling overwhelming. However, use a mix of heady hues to beautifully reproduce the exterior design of your home so that nothing comes out so randomly.
To avoid wasting valuable space behind furniture, place garden seating in a corner that leans against the perimeter. This type of furniture arrangement offers plenty of room to bring in extra pieces when you are entertaining and have more guests than usual. Ottomans and glass tables are also great for maximizing the outside space as they don’t block anything visually either.
Use nature to your advantage
This should go without saying, but don’t forget to incorporate nature into your small garden as other design styles may appear ill-conceived or unnecessary. This can be done over a few well-placed potted plants, a single tree, or even dramatic freshly cut flowers.
Play with exposure
To keep the space open, consider using open-back seating to make sure the space feels visually uninterrupted and therefore larger. And keep your color palette subtle and simple, and most importantly, consistent. Use only the same colors and fabrics.
Stick to straight lines as these are less of a challenge that you can master with confidence. As we’ve seen time and again, where customers mistake curves for softness in a small garden, on the contrary, outdoor areas can easily be softened, and often the best design styles play with a juxtaposition of contrasts that emphasize the organic softness of plants played against the clean lines the easy setup.
Narrow area, narrow furnishings
In a tight outdoor area, bring a long and narrow table with matching benches to save space without losing valuable seating.
Layer away greens
For extra depth, layer plants around the perimeter of your small garden to create the illusion of more depth while making it look more expansive and luxurious. Keep in mind that larger plants make most sense behind smaller ones to keep the look simple and to keep an open and airy feel.
Skip a table
Since they take up a lot of space when not in use, you either do without a table entirely and bring smaller side tables with you or relate to an outdoor dining table that can be easily folded up and stowed away.
Add a colorful foundation
Decorate your little garden from scratch like inside. A living outdoor carpet will help bring the outdoor life to life and completely frame the area while fooling the eye into believing that the space is more square feet than it really is. However, opt for simple patterns or neutral patterns so that the appearance feels clean, uncluttered, and straightforward.
Don’t forget about privacy
Ensure privacy to keep the feeling warm and inviting. For the ultimate in privacy, consider where to install your outdoor seating area as there may be a hidden corner of your small garden that is completely private.
Flower wall art
Celebrate the beauty of the lush greenery in your small garden with a wall planter, floral tapestry, or even a mirror for that extra glamorous statement.
Use the negative space
Use negative space to your advantage to give your small garden the balance it needs, as spaces that are not decorated can make a big contribution to the overall look.
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