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21 Brilliant Small Garden Ideas To Maximize Your Outdoor Space

One of the many challenges associated with a small garden design is, naturally, space. In contrast to large landscapes, you must be considerably more disciplined in tending a small garden. Here are a few small garden ideas for inspiration.

Vertical garden made up of bird houses, succulent frames and a climbing vine.
Image Credit: Depositphotos

1. Create a Living Wall

living wall covered with a variety of plants, flowers and grass.
Image Credit: Depositphotos

A living or green wall is a vertical structure covered with greenery. It can maximize your small garden space while providing environmental benefits such as improved air quality and increased biodiversity.

2. Embrace Container Gardening

Colorful container garden with multi colored petunias and some leafy plants.
Image Credit: Depositphotos

You can turn a small area into a vibrant oasis by selecting the right plants and containers. Use colorful containers and planters that bring a splash of color to your space. Bold hues accentuate the greenery, while pastel shades create a soft backdrop for your plants.

3. Vertical Herb Garden

vertical herb garden that includes thyme, rosemary, basil and parsley.
Image Credit: Depositphotos

Use wall-mounted planters or stacking pots to grow herbs that will give you fresh herbs for cooking and act as a lively design feature at the same time.

Check out these 11 innovative vertical garden ideas.

4. Pallet Garden

A busy pallet garden with a variety of plants in many colors.
Image Credit: Depositphotos

Repurpose an old pallet to create a rustic and practical vertical garden. You can plant various flowers, herbs, and vegetables in the slats. Ensure the pallet is secure and the plants receive adequate sunlight and water.

5. Succulent Corner

A variety of potted succulents in different shapes and colors.
Image Credit: Depositphotos

Transform an old birdbath into a stunning display of succulents. Or fill an urn container with colorful succulents. Add some trailing ones that spill over as they grow. These low-maintenance plants thrive in shallow containers and can create an intricate centerpiece.

6. Add Some Wind Chimes

Sunnydaze Natural Melody Glass Wind Bell Chime
Photo Credit: Backyard Garden Lover

Wind chimes add interesting background noise and bring a sense of tranquility to your garden. Consider materials like bamboo or metal to cater to different acoustic preferences. Positioning these chimes where they can catch a gentle breeze will ensure your garden is filled with soothing sounds throughout the day.

7. Colorful Birdhouses

Cute birdhouses hanging on a wooden fence with purple clematis flowers surrounding them.
Image Credit: Depositphotos

Birdhouses can bring color and life to your garden by inviting birds that provide peaceful sounds and visual entertainment.

8. Hanging Bottle Garden

Hanging bottle garden.
Image Credit: Depositphotos

Creating a hanging bottle garden is an innovative way to reuse plastic bottles and add greenery to your outdoor space. Suspend bottles from secure overhead fixtures.

9. Include Trailing Plants

A container with beautiful orange trailing flowers.
Image Credit: Depositphotos

Trailing plants such as creeping Jenny, trailing petunias, and string of pearls will add depth and layers to your garden.

10. Lavender Garden

lavender blooming in my garden
Photo Credit: Backyard Garden Lover

Choose a compact lavender type (English lavender varieties) that stays small but has a significant impact. With beautiful flowers and a delicious smell, they won’t disappoint.

Learn more about lavender from my book How to Grow Lavender For Fun and Profit.

11. Add Colorful Seating

Blue table and chairs in a small backyard, surrounded by red and yellow roses.
Image Credit: Depositphotos

Investing in bright furniture brings a dual benefit to your garden; vibrant outdoor furniture provides a comfortable seating area and serves as a visual anchor, giving your space immediate impact.

12. Create a Layered Look

a beautiful layered flower garden.
Image Credit: Depositphotos

Incorporating a multi-level garden into your landscape can optimize your space and add visual interest. This approach organizes your garden vertically, making each level distinct for aesthetic appeal and practical use.

You can achieve this look using borders, raised beds, or plants of varying heights.

13. Invite Wildlife

Hummingbird on a pink flower.
Image Credit: Depositphotos

Prioritize planting native flowers, as these most benefit your local wildlife. Native species provide the best sources of food and habitat for local birds and pollinators. Choose flowering plants to attract bees and butterflies, and add berry-producing plants for the birds.

14. Add Lights for an Evening Wonderland

garden illuminated at night.
Image Credit: Depositphotos

Solar lights are more convenient: you set them up once and enjoy them daily since they turn on automatically. Drape string lights above your sitting area to create a twinkling canopy, and place LED spotlights strategically to highlight plants or garden features.

15. Potted Fruit Trees

Potted citrus tree.
Image Credit: Depositphotos

Growing fruit trees in pots allows you to enjoy fresh produce, even in limited space. Dwarf varieties of fruit trees are particularly suited to container gardening due to their smaller size and root systems. Plant a few herbs or flowers in the same pot as your fruit tree to save space.

16. Include Climbing Plants

Red climbing roses.
Image Credit: Depositphotos

Select robust vines or flowering climbers like clematis, climbing roses, honeysuckle, ivy, and wisteria to create a natural canopy. Double-check before planting, as some varieties of these plants might be invasive in your area.

17. Add a Water Feature

A water feature made from an old water pump.
Image Credit: Depositphotos

Incorporating a water feature like a pond, fountain, or birdbath adds a serene focal point to your garden. Aquatic plants such as water lilies, lotus, and hyacinths bring your garden life and color.

Consider a pondless waterfall if you desire the sound of running water without the pond. This feature can be tucked into a small corner, offering the soothing presence of flowing water with minimal maintenance.

18. Create an Inviting Path

Stone pathway with grass in between the stones.
Image Credit: Depositphotos

To enhance the sense of a secluded retreat in your garden, focus on designing a pathway that guides you through the space and promises a destination. Even in small gardens, a thoughtfully placed bench or a set of chairs at the end of the path can turn a simple garden walk into a journey toward a personal haven.

19. Create a Side Yard Garden

Small flower garden.
Image Credit: Depositphotos

Sometimes, a small strip of flowers is all your yard can handle, but carefully choosing plants can bring endless joy. Between the bees, butterflies, the color, and the scent, you can spend hours daily enjoying your little corner of nature.

20. Add a Small Shed

small wooden shed at the back of a small backyard., surrounded by beautiful vegetation.
Image Credit: Depositphotos

I mean, a really small shed. But the right one can add character to your backyard and give you a spot for your garden tools and other outdoor necessities. Do a little landscaping around it, and it’ll become your favorite spot.

21. Plant in Window Boxes

blue window box with lots of flowers in shades of pink, some of them trailing downward.
Image Credit: Depositphotos

If your garden is too small for both veggies and flowers, and you’d like to have both, use your garden space for vegetables and plant flowers in window boxes.

Small Garden Design Ideas

Although experimentation is simpler in the smaller-sized garden, you will need to invest quality time in planning. You might also have to settle for much fewer varieties of plants.

Rather than purchasing a new plant impulsively, you’ll want to invest more time thinking of the new plant’s potential to fit in with the color, height, spread, and texture of your other plants and accessories.

Every garden, even a very tiny one, can certainly accentuate and add splendor to a home.

Did you avoid gardening because of the small space you have? Now, you don’t have to: small space gardening is just as rewarding as a larger garden.

You can create a pleasant little garden in an abandoned nook and even in an area as tiny as a desktop; it doesn’t matter if you reside in a condo or even a flat. It requires a little creative imagination and a focus on detail to make it work.

Small gardens, whether vegetable or flower gardens, certainly do not require much work compared with a more substantial plot.

Nevertheless, they demand the same intensity of enthusiasm, attention, and focus on detail.

Small Landscape Strategy

Small landscapes require some strategic thought, especially regarding the positioning of plants to make the best use of the small space. It is always recommended to design with potential future growth in mind. This way, once the plants reach maturity, they will have enough space to thrive.

Upkeep at frequent intervals is also necessary. Stick to a simple and straightforward small garden design to ensure your garden is controllable.

First of all, select an ideal place for your garden. Make sure it’s close to irrigation facilities.

Whatever you do, do not disregard the lawn area surrounding your garden. Even the most beautifully designed garden will probably seem fairly desolate if the grass around it isn’t vibrant and weed-free. If it is not already so, take time to bring your lawn up to the same standard that you are setting for your small garden.

You may be unable to grow all of the plants you’d like. You might have to give up some of your favorites. Nevertheless, with a bit of ingenuity, it is possible to furnish your garden with multi-colored pots, water features, lanterns, and other decor to create a stunning small garden design.

Need Some inspiration? Look at these beautiful small backyard gardens.

Small Garden Ideas

small garden with a stone wall

This home doesn’t have much room for a garden, yet this cute little girl enjoys her small garden and the warm sunshine. A few colorful pots create a friendly, beautiful corner for the garden lover.

small garden shed with flowers

This small garden shed is surrounded by flowers blooming and a white picket fence: it doesn’t take much to create a gorgeous backyard garden design.

What to plant in a small garden

You must be choosy about your plants when you have a small garden. If you want flowers, choose a colorful ground cover around the edges of your garden, add a small sitting area, and maybe a few hanging baskets with your favorite flowers.

If you’d rather grow a few edible plants, herbs will do well in pots or a small raised bed, adding flavor to your meals.

Other plates that grow well in pots are:

21 Brilliant Small Garden Ideas To Maximize Your Outdoor Space.
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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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