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How To Make A Small Garden Look Bigger – 15 Creative Ideas

A lifelong dream of having a large landscaped garden was short-lived when I had to abandon my large garden and move into an apartment that had room for only a minimalistic garden. I had to make the best of a bad situation. Determined to find out how to make a small garden look bigger, I started to research ways to accomplish that.

It is possible to turn your small garden into a bigger-looking garden by cleverly creating an illusion. By innovatively selecting visual techniques, lighting, appropriate plants, and garden décor, you can transform a small non-descript garden into the bigger, smarter garden of your dreams.

small and cozy backyard landscape

You, too, can enjoy the full benefit of seeing your small garden space transformed into a landscaper’s dream. Follow these tips on how you can make a small garden bigger.

15 Tips For Making Your Small Garden Look Bigger

The below tips will help you achieve the big garden you dreamt of despite not having the luxury of a larger space.

1. Plan your garden

garden plans

Without a clear plan, it is almost impossible to achieve what you visually set out to achieve. Start by deciding if you are opting to enlist the help of a landscaper or proceed as a D.I.Y project. Once you have established what your plan is, you can continue with the task at hand.

If you are seeking assistance from a landscaper, always ensure that it is a reputable company with years of experience in the field. As a D.I.Y project, the resources to help guide you in this area are unlimited. Garden design software/apps, garden magazines, and garden websites will help you execute the layout you need for your garden.

I invested in some garden magazines and created a binder full of ideas that caught my attention.

2. Don’t clutter your space

small backyard with shed

Small spaces can tend to look too cluttered if you try to fit in too much. The idea is to ensure that you have some open slots to complement your selection of plants and décor. It is, therefore, vital that you prioritize how you would like to utilize the garden space.

You want a look that would be chic and create an ambiance that is inviting. Besides, your garden is a place where you would like to escape the stresses of life; having a garden filled with clutter might add to that stress instead of helping alleviate it.

3. Create an illusion by adding mirrors

mirror set up in the backyard

Creating a more extensive garden out of a smaller space is more of an illusion. It is all based on the visual perception of the area.

Add mirrors on the whole length of a wall to make your garden appear twice the size and trick the eye into believing that there is another garden that you can walk through.

4. Add a water feature

Kenroy Home Rustic Indoor/Outdoor Wall Fountain ,37 Inch Height, 10 Inch Width, 8.5 Inch Ext. with Black Finish and Slate

Another great innovation is having a length of water run into the mirror; this creates the illusion of a long canal. You can also create a minor steel feature on the wall and have a water fountain drip from that feature; it will create a sparkling effect and make the space appear larger.

Installing a small still pool can also add depth to the small garden.

5. Create a cozy nook

outdoor dining area

You may not be able to create a full-on garden, but you can always create a cozy nook to call your own. The above image shows such an inviting nook on a small back patio.

Creating zones in your small backyard will create optimum space. These zones become easily separated by the simple use of a garden mat or walkway, which will help elongate the area.

If you decide to create an outdoor dining area, you can allocate a zone solely for that purpose. The ideas are endless, and it entirely depends on your personal preference.

6. Decorate your back porch

charming patio getaway

A compact porch is an excellent idea for formation at any portion of the garden. What a small patio can lack in size, it can make up for in charm and atmosphere. Irrespective of having a covered or open porch, choosing the same color for the ceiling and the walls will help make the space more expansive.

Enhance this homely feel by adding some creepers to give the porch an air of sophistication. Add some walkways that would lead directly to the patio, which will help form a more considerable extension of the porch.

7. Create boundaries

cute flower corner with colorful flowers behind a wooden fence

Pushing back the boundaries with beautiful lush greenery will make it difficult to tell where the garden ends. Planting flora of different heights will help create space for more plants. A dwarf cherry is excellent to give you that vertical element.

Low edges and windows on walls are another great way of burrowing the landscape. There is a sense of satisfaction when watching your garden seem larger-than-life simply by painting fences in dark tones of greens, browns, black, and aubergine.

8. Use curves and angles

wooden chair in a corner garden

Creating a bold style based on solid geometrical shapes is the focal point to a more prominent-looking garden. Rotating the design with diagonal paths and horizontal laid-out patios is a great way to trick the eye into seeing the small garden appear more expansive than it is.

The use of large paving blocks as opposed to small blocks will make the garden appear less claustrophobic.

9. Circular features

yellow flowers hugging a circular brick patio

Create a circular lawn with a semi-circle patio cutting through it, one of the design tricks that will lead your eye around the garden adding an illusion of space.

To accentuate the small space by making it look longer, create a larger lawn circle at the beginning, linking both by creating a smaller one at the end of the garden.

10. Zig-zag effect

zig zag walkway

The zig-zag effect will create movement and direction, which will help accentuate the appearance of a small space by causing a lengthening effect. This effect links lawns, flower beds, and the patio with seamless edges and paths. Zig-zagging is very effective in narrow and shallow gardens.

11. Landscaping tips

wall garden

Use plants with warm, soft colors of yellow and orange at the front of the garden and colors like green, blue and purple towards the back. As the landscaping theory goes, darker colors recede, giving an illusion of depth, while light colors give a closer appearance.

Avoid bulky plants that take up space and cause the garden to appear cluttered. Opt for a vertical planting solution so that you can still enjoy several gorgeous plants in the garden without the risk of it becoming cluttered.

12. Add some bright colors

colorful succulent wall

If high walls enclose your garden, it can contribute to the restriction of space, and you can brighten up the appearance of the area by making the walls look less overwhelming.

Consider planting a living wall, using a garden trellis, or hanging baskets at different levels to add a splash of exciting color and interest to your garden while still preserving the floor space.

You can also create a succulent wall like the image above shows: fun and colorful!

13. Choose inviting garden furniture

outdoor furniture overlooking the garden

Large furniture can draw attention to that garden element, taking away the focus from what the rest of the garden offers. Instead, opt for fold-up garden furniture that can be less bulky and quite versatile when stored.

Or, opt for some cozy furniture along the house walls that will give you the perfect view of the garden ahead.

14. Add a string of lights

VMANOO Outdoor String Lights 25Ft Globe Patio Lighting G40 Bulbs UL Listed for Outside Yard Gazebo Party Wedding Tents Porch Garden Bistro Pergola Backyard Deck Hanging Indoor Balcony Decor Lights

Lighting is the key factor that can help tie up the entire ambiance of the garden. Instead of choosing lamp posts that will take up space rather opt for fairy lights or floor lights.

We have more lighting ideas for the garden.

15. Use containers

stairs lined with potted flowers for decor

If your backyard doesn’t really offer much space at all, you can use some potted flowers to line the stairs to your front door. You can add a lot of character and color with a few well-positioned pots.

Need ideas? We have lots of container ideas:

How To Make A Small Garden Look Bigger –  Conclusion

Even the smallest of gardens can be transformed into a haven where you can retire after a long day of work. It is incredible how a small garden can create an illusion of space just by implementing some clever landscaping techniques.

All that is required is a creative imagination and a budget in this design process. After that, the only other thing left to do is to step back and watch your garden grow.

How to make a small garden look bigger
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Adriana Copaceanu is a passionate nature lover living in the country on her dream property where she grows vegetables, lavender, and wildflowers that she shares with the wildlife they attract. When she's not in the garden, she loves spending time with her chickens and planning her next nature project. Check your her books below:

How to Grow Lavender for Fun and Profit: Lessons Learned from Planting Three Hundred Lavender Plants

How to Raise Chickens for Eggs: A Guide to Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens for Nutritious, Organic Eggs at Home

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