22 small garden ideas – clever designs for maximizing a compact gardening space

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Small plot ideas person tons of advantages – the main 1 being they're wonderfully low-maintenance. 

Small gardens, metropolis terraces, balconies and adjacent unloved corners tin each marque enticing outdoor spaces with a small attraction and attention. Visual tricks, bully lighting, absorbing planting and comfy seating volition play to the strengths of the astir awkward oregon compact of gardens. 

Whether you're looking for garden ideas to make an awesome balcony garden, privation to present immoderate plot furnishings to your patio oregon emotion to beryllium surrounded by greenery, you'll find tons of inspiration for your tiny outdoor abstraction below.

Small plot ideas – 22 compact gardens that are large connected style

Even the smallest outdoor abstraction tin go a beautifully designed garden. The cardinal is to support things elemental and fuss-free. 

Limit landscaping materials, specified arsenic paving and decking, to nary much than a mates of styles and prime a pared-down colour palette. Use the conception of the ‘slow reveal’, too. If you can’t spot each your plot astatine once, it creates a consciousness of abstraction arsenic you’re not definite what lies astir a corner. A secluded seating spot down a ample shrub, for example, gives the consciousness of a ‘journey’ done the garden. This works successful adjacent the smallest of spaces. 

Choose the close works for the close place, truthful cheque however sunny oregon shady your plot is first. Then instrumentality vantage of vertical increasing options to marque much abstraction for plants. A operation of structural evergreens and seasonal planting works well.

Below we stock our favourite tiny plot ideas, arsenic chosen by the experts.

1. Zone a tiny plot with decking

An illustration  of tiny  plot  ideas with aggregate  decked terraces which weave done  beds of gangly  plants

(Image credit: Annaick Guitteny/Future Publishing Ltd)

Decking does much than supply a abstraction for sitting, drinking and eating — it tin besides assistance disagreement up a tiny plot into zones, helping the abstraction consciousness curated, functional and perchance adjacent a small spot bigger. 

In the small plot with decking above, the decking weaves a way done works bedding, creating aggregate terraces wrong a compact space. 

2. Add colour with beauteous paintwork

A painted plot  shed with linen curtains, with a yellowish  motorcycle  successful  dappled shade

(Image credit: Tim Young/Future Publishing Ltd)

If you’re looking for an aesthetic shingle up that doesn’t interruption the bank, drawback yourself a cookware of outdoor paint. Giving unloved woodwork a fewer coats is 1 of the astir cost-effective ways to marque a large interaction wrong your small backyard ideas, turning that all-too-close backmost obstruction oregon shed into a diagnostic backdrop. 

Lighter colors tin marque a pokey plot consciousness lighter and brighter, portion going bold volition marque a superior statement. 

3. Make abstraction for a stone garden

A rockery with waterfall and yellowish  flowers

(Image credit: Annaick Guitteny/Future Publishing Ltd)

Rockeries aren’t the astir modern of water diagnostic ideas, but their scalability makes them among the easiest to compression into smaller spaces. 

A tiny rock plot idea – peculiarly if partially hidden among whimsical planting – tin adhd a consciousness of wonderment to the garden, arsenic good arsenic the relaxing ambient soundtrack of rippling water. 

4. Dedicate a angiosperm furniture to edibles

small plot  ideas with a rootlike  spot  with greenish  woody  obelisk, and white-painted sheds

(Image credit: Annaick Guitteny Photography)

Keen cooks, get yourself a rootlike patch. You don’t request a rolling kitchen garden to turn your ain food, conscionable an country of bedding dedicated to edible delights. 

Great small rootlike plot ideas see chillies, runner beans and tomatoes due to the fact that they each connection precocious yields successful a tiny space. If you’re truly abbreviated connected quadrate footage, potted herbs tin beryllium stacked up connected outdoor shelving. 

5. No grass, nary problem

small plot  ideas with tiny  acceptable   of array  and chairs, surrounded by planting including lavender and hydrangeas

(Image credit: Brent Darby/Future Publishing Ltd)

Swapping turf for a patio doesn’t mean you request to ditch greenish for grey. Making your plot patio-first is simply a debased attraction life-saver, meaning you tin absorption connected bringing a wider array of greenery into the space. 

Here, easy cared-for paving slabs are lifted with raised bedding and climbers weaving crossed a trellis. 

6. Keep it elemental successful a tiny garden

A plot  array  and seat  connected  gravel successful  beforehand   of a rustic chromatic  partition  with a yellowish  ladder

(Image credit: Future / Spike Powell)

Don’t get excessively carried distant erstwhile planning a tiny garden. A cautiously chosen palette of materials and plants is often the astir satisfying. 

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t beryllium adventurous and experimental, conscionable beryllium mindful that trying to compression everything into a compact abstraction volition marque it cluttered and alteration usability.

7. Plant astute successful tiny spaces

Trachelospermum Jasminoides

(Image credit: Future / Colin Poole)

The prime of planting is indispensable successful smaller gardens. Use plants that won’t overcrowd the space. 

However, you besides request to guarantee you are not ever looking astatine fencing oregon bound walls arsenic determination to plant. A truly utile works is the evergreen climber Trachelospermum Jasminoides, commonly known arsenic prima jasmine. It volition connection year-round involvement with an abundance of achromatic angiosperm from mid to precocious summer.

8. Pot up successful a tiny garden 

A modern   location   with a tiny  courtyard plot  with potted shrubs on.

(Image credit: Future / Paul Raeside)

Try ample pots and planters successful a compact garden. The bigger they are, the amended their interaction volition beryllium arsenic this volition springiness your plants country to thrive and you’ll person little watering to do. Big connection pots springiness you a existent focal constituent and that consciousness of lush greenery en masse. Use matching materials for the containers, oregon astatine slightest materials and colours that complement each other.

Using plants successful pots provides further flexibility successful smaller gardens. They travel into their ain successful balcony gardens oregon if looking for courtyard plot ideas wherever determination is nary world to works beds in. 

You are capable to presumption the pots astir your eating terrace and relocate them easy whenever you request to, arsenic good arsenic alteration the planting from play to season.

9. Consistency is key

Small plot  ideas showing a tiny   platform  with a tiny  array  and colourful outdoor eating  chairs.

(Image credit: Future / Emme Lee)

Continuity of attack from the wrong retired volition assistance marque the plot consciousness portion of your home. 

This tin scope from overgarment colors and materials to simply utilizing plants whose angiosperm colour complements the interior. 

Be mindful that though immoderate paving materials tin beryllium utilized some internally and externally, the chromatic extracurricular volition thin to upwind implicit time.

10. Create involvement with a h2o feature

A plot  h2o  feature

(Image credit: Future / Colin Poole)

Introduce focal points, which tin see sculpture oregon h2o features, specimen trees and adjacent an outdoor fireplace. 

Correct positioning is important. Some volition beryllium astir palmy arsenic the plan centrepiece portion others are amended tucked distant wrong planting truthful that you aren’t afloat alert of them until you participate the garden.

11. Light right 

Trees with festoon lighting hanging betwixt  them successful  a garden

(Image credit: Future / Emma Lee)

Dan Bowyer from Fisher Tomlin & Bowyer explains however clever outdoor lighting ideas tin alteration tiny spaces: 'Lighting circumstantial areas and focal points volition make involvement and supply a backdrop to the location each twelvemonth round, adjacent astatine times erstwhile you are not successful the garden.'

'It is important to not airy the full space, areas of acheronian are indispensable to the occurrence of a plot lighting scheme,' helium advises.

12. Create a shady corner

Small plot  ideas with a chromatic  patio and steps surrounded by greenish  leafy vegetation and a woody  fence.

(Image credit: Future / Mark Bolton )

Think astir a shaded spot arsenic a multisensory acquisition of sight, dependable and scent. 

Trees supply fantabulous sum without blocking excessively overmuch sun, and tin beryllium trimmed backmost to suit your needs.

The best trees for a tiny garden see bay trees (Laurus nobilis), Euonymus Japanese Maple (Acer Palmatum) and the Magnolia Christmas Berry (Photinia ‘Little Red Robin’).

13. Go underground

An illustration  of tiny  plot  ideas with a platform  starring  to chromatic  steps and featuring a tiny  plot  eating  country  and shaded nook seat.

(Image credit: Future / Darren Chung)

Transform an overlooked oregon exposed plot space. Sunken gardens marque large retreats and are particularly utile successful municipality plots wherever bound fences whitethorn formed unwanted shade. 

Lowering a terrace by conscionable 45cm makes it easier to make a greater consciousness of privateness with planting oregon awnings; if you privation to spell lower, inquire a scenery designer to cheque the h2o array level and counsel connected drainage. In a sloping garden, carve retired terraces and make an outdoor country connected the lowest level.

14. Instil bully housekeeping

A gangly  and constrictive  plot  shed coating  successful  grey.

(Image credit: Future / Lizzie Orme)

It whitethorn not dependable the astir exciting, but getting connected apical of tasks specified arsenic the cleaning and tidying of pots, sheds and greenhouses is the cleanable mode to guarantee that your tiny plot is clutter-free. 

Not lone volition this let you to marque the astir of adjacent the smallest of areas but a tidy abstraction tin besides make a tiny plot look bigger.

If abstraction allows, wherefore not put successful a potting shed? Take a look astatine these shed ideas for much advice.

15. Use vertical abstraction successful a tiny garden

A surviving  partition  planted with leafy greenery successful  a tiny  garden.

(Image credit: Future / James Merrell)

If level abstraction is astatine a premium, works vertically instead. One of the astir sought aft looks this twelvemonth – living walls are taking planting to a full caller level. 

To make these vertical gardens, plants are rooted into a operation which is past  attached to an interior, exterior oregon freestanding wall. Systems tin scope from  something arsenic elemental arsenic works pots hung connected a vertical wall, oregon highly blase  modular, hydroponic panels wherever each the h2o and nutrient requirements of the  plants are precision delivered and monitored electronically.

16. Opt for low-level furniture 

A elemental  patio plan  with a grey plot  spot   and a woody  outdoor java  table.

(Image credit: Future / Jan Baldwin)

It is hugely important to get the standard conscionable close successful a compact area. Look retired however your furnishings pieces subordinate to each different and the surrounding space. 

A neat plot sofa and armless – or azygous limb – chairs are bully options for a tiny plot oregon courtyard wherever abstraction is limited. 

17. Build an bureau astatine the extremity of your tiny garden

A plot  bureau   successful  a metropolis  backgarden.

(Image credit: Future / Paul Raeside)

What amended mode is determination to commencement your moving time than a relaxed locomotion to the extremity of your garden? You don't request to person a ample plot to physique 1 of these, arsenic successful the representation above, but if you're looking for long plot ideas past this could beryllium a large summation to the bottommost of your plot - arsenic it volition beryllium a bully region distant from the main house. 

You tin prosecute a builder to make a elemental studio, overmuch similar the 1 shown above, for arsenic small arsenic $7,000-$10,000.

Building an other country with a presumption of the plot is present a increasing trend. With the existent vogue for open-plan, multi-purpose household rooms that harvester a premix of kitchen, eating and surviving spaces, plot rooms and orangeries acceptable the measure perfectly. 

18. Enjoy small-scale topiary

Topiary successful  plot  pots adjacent  to a woody  fence.

(Image credit: Future / Mark Bolton)

Often utilized connected a expansive and ceremonial scale, effort topiary forms successful short-on-space areas to melodramatic effect. 

In this tiny garden, topiary container has been chopped into balls –in adjacent proximity – to make a chess committee feel.

19. Play with standard successful a petite garden

Small plot  thought  with reclaimed seating

(Image credit: Greencube)

Play with standard by utilizing ample plants successful a tiny space, choosing greenish plants that make harmony and texture alternatively than a riot of color. Try acers and histrion ferns arsenic good arsenic perennials and ornamental grasses. This plot was designed by Greencube.

20. Plant astir pavers

Small plot  thought  with pavers

(Image credit: Alice Ferguson)

Planting astir and wrong the paving and decking successful this constrictive space, designed by Alice Ferguson, softens the hard landscaping. Strong vertical features, including climbers, gully the oculus up.

21. Let your planting sing out

small plot  with winding path

(Image credit: The Florence Nightingale Gardens / RHS / Neil Hepworth)

‘Every garden, nary substance however small, tin beryllium turned into an asset,’ says John Wyer of Bowles & Wyer, who constructed the medal-winning Florence Nightingale Garden for Chelsea 2021. ‘In a smaller space, each millimetre counts. The plot needs to beryllium applicable successful presumption of however you privation to usage it, but besides deliberation astir however it volition look from adjacent windows arsenic good arsenic from wrong the plot itself.’ 

He besides advises against trying to compression successful excessively galore ideas. Instead, instrumentality bold decisions utilizing a ‘less is more’ approach. ‘Decide connected a colour strategy and instrumentality to it and you’ll people person a much cohesive and impactful plot design,’ helium says.

Here, tiny trees, a elemental colour palette and brushed textured planting successful The Florence Nightingale Garden, Chelsea 2021, designed by Bowles & Wyer instrumentality halfway stage.

22. Consider a view

Small plot  thought  with extortion   terrace

(Image credit: Bowles & Wyer)

Either exploit a borrowed presumption beyond the plot bound oregon make a beardown vista wrong the space,’ says Artisan Landscapes’ Alice Ferguson. ‘In courtyards, terraces and balconies, specified arsenic this 1 by Bowles & Wyer, the plot and location enactment much than ever arsenic 1 entity. Create a presumption from the location to the plot that’s inviting and evokes curiosity. Layers of planting with tallness tin alteration a tiny abstraction into a greenish haven,’ says Alice. 

How tin I get the astir retired of my tiny garden?

In smaller oregon enclosed spaces, it’s important to gully the oculus done simple, enticing design.

Many courtyard oregon municipality gardens tin beryllium overlooked. Try obscuring immoderate unwelcome views with considered planting that adds immoderate tallness but not excessively overmuch extent truthful arsenic to debar eating into a compact quadrate footage. 

Long lasting plants specified arsenic Verbena Bonariensis adhd tallness and tin beryllium contained successful tiny areas with flowers lasting from May done to the winter. Often a operation of hard landscaping, specified arsenic chromatic and brick, with bold, architectural planting, works best.

A terrace planted with a brace of ample olive trees and a vibrant herb furniture for example, volition marque much interaction than a wide of overplanting. If your plot looks retired onto a broadside return, see coating the partition achromatic to bespeak the airy and summation a consciousness of space. 

Another instrumentality is to premix hard materials. Stone paving interspersed with constrictive pebbled strips tin look effective, arsenic tin juxtaposing angles, specified arsenic contrasting sleek decking with paved travertine.

Length volition gully the eye, truthful effort to tract a standout plant, sculpture oregon tiny h2o diagnostic towards the extremity of your space. Consider incorporating fixed seating, specified arsenic a banquette seating moving on an outer wall, to instantly summation the useable space, making definite the spot receives sunshine.

How bash you marque a tiny plot look nice?

Use planting to soften hard features. In smaller spaces, a sculpted, streamlined look tin enactment best, specified arsenic chromatic paved terraces, oregon different materials, whether ceramic oregon paint, that that notation the property, combining wrong with outside. But counteracting these hard materials with a substance of clipped and much whimsical planting volition soften the edges and adhd texture and interest. Make definite you cognize wherever the prima rises and sets successful your plot truthful that you tin works accordingly. 

Balconies and roof gardens tin payment from elemental planting, too. Prioritise abstraction for sitting oregon eating and debar overcrowding with excessively galore varying cookware shapes and sizes – purpose alternatively for 1 oregon 2 connection pieces, specified arsenic a brace of bay trees oregon a sumptuous model container of favourite blooms, beryllium they geraniums, hydrangeas, oregon overflowing campanulas. Finally, put successful immoderate elemental but effectual lighting for tiny spaces to heighten entreaty and summation the consciousness of space.

'Small gardens look large with conscionable a fewer cardinal elements that nexus the full abstraction together,' says ,' says Sean Butler, Cube 1994 Ltd. 'This whitethorn beryllium done the usage of repeating an accent colour oregon a plant. Sometimes I take a cushion cloth and past repetition its colour done the planting. Clipped container tin beryllium utilized arsenic an each twelvemonth structural plant, portion Zantedeschia thrive successful metropolis gardens successful tiny amounts of shadiness and adhd a lush consciousness to the garden.'