Do you have a small garden that you don’t know what to do with? It can be tricky to add beautiful plants without cluttering your garden.
I did the research to help you with this. In this article, we’ll look at some of the best small garden ideas I found that you can conveniently apply. Grab a cup of coffee and let’s get going!
- 1 Get Inspired With These Ideas
- 1.1 Upcycle Old Buckets
- 1.2 Use Your Fence
- 1.3 Or Use Your Walls
- 1.4 How About PVC Pipes?
- 1.5 Want To Hide Your Wall?
- 1.6 Upcycle A Pallet
- 1.7 A Stairway To Heaven
- 1.8 A One-Pot Wonder
- 1.9 Try Old Water Tanks
- 1.10 To Infinity And Beyond
- 1.11 Put Marigolds With Vegetables
- 1.12 Enclose Your Garden
- 1.13 Try Vertical Planters
- 1.14 Or A Green Corner
- 1.15 With A Green Fountain
- 1.16 Maybe A Green Wall
- 1.17 Squeeze In An Olive Tree
- 1.18 Remember, Space Shouldn’t Limit You
- 1.19 Build A Walkway
- 1.20 Go With Large Garden Beds
- 1.21 How About A Waterfall?
- 1.22 Back To Simple Pots
- 1.23 A Corner Garden Bed
- 1.24 Another Corner Bed
- 1.25 Aim For A Minimalist Look
- 1.26 Hang ‘Em Up
- 1.27 Got A Tiny Space?
- 1.28 Or A Wide Patio?
- 1.29 Make It Look Cozy
- 1.30 Or Make It Look Simple
- 1.31 How About A Romantic Corner?
- 1.32 Don’t Forget About A Dining Table
- 1.33 Decorate With A Pond
- 1.34 Embrace The Rocks
- 1.35 Build Yourself A Shed
- 1.36 Or A Cabin
- 1.37 Don’t Overlook The Side Yard
- 1.38 Place A Distant Bench
- 1.39 Or A Heavenly Pergola
- 1.40 Prepare For Tea Parties
- 1.41 Consider A Mighty Fig Tree
- 1.42 Or Perhaps A Mid-Century Lounge
- 1.43 Color Your Sky In Green
- 1.44 Got Floor Space? Go For A Tiered Garden
- 1.45 Prepare A Sleeping Corner
- 1.46 Recycle A Wagon Wheel
- 1.47 Or Craft A Bed From Scratch
- 1.48 Use Bachelor Buttons
- 1.49 Now Hang Them Up
- 1.50 Or Spread Them Out
- 1.51 Last But Not Least: Use Small Spaces
- 2 How Do You Design A Small Garden?
- 3 How Do You Make A Small Garden Look Nice?
- 4 FAQs
- 5 Have You Found Nice Small Garden Ideas?
- 6 About The Author
Get Inspired With These Ideas
Upcycle Old Buckets
Why spend money on terracotta pots when you can use your old buckets? Just follow my instructions, and you’ll have your very own DIY pots:
- Grab 3-4 buckets or containers of increasing size.
- Fill a half of each of them with soil.
- Stack the buckets above each other so that all of their sides are aligned in one direction.
- Place them near the wall for better stability.
This way, when you place these multilayered containers near a wall, you’ll have the largest possible area dedicated to your herbs. There, you can grow any herbs, for example, mint (check my post to learn how to do it) or garlic (here’s my blog about it.) as well as veggies such as Brussels sprouts that grow well in containers.
Use Your Fence
If you’re searching for small garden ideas with herbs to fit your limited outdoor space, I suggest you use your fence to make a vertical garden.
In addition to the shelving, I think it’s a good idea to place vertical boards on each end to prevent your pots from falling off. You can also upcycle some old pallets to make these small gardens.
Or Use Your Walls
I think that this is one of the best small garden ideas for a small space. Instead of fixing shelves on your fence, fix them on one of your house walls!
If you ask me, floating shelves look a lot better than shelves with brackets. They cover the smallest part of your wall so that you can maintain your original exterior.
You can easily DIY them from scratch by following this guide from This Old House, one of the top home improvement media brands. If you don’t want to bother with woodworking, you can buy them ready-made and install them yourself.
How About PVC Pipes?
PVC pipes are widely used as planters. They’re budget-friendly, easy to cut, drill, paint, and glue. And most importantly, they’re sturdy enough to hold soil.
This design features installation via ropes hanging from a galvanized pipe. I like this because all the elements complement each other to create a homogenous look.
If you want to keep it simple, I highly suggest you directly fix the planter pipe to the wall without any additional accessories.
Want To Hide Your Wall?
If you’re unhappy about how your wall looks, you can cover it with a vertical herb garden. I really like small garden ideas like this one, as they add some nice greenery to an otherwise dull part of your outdoor living space.
Although this design features a handmade wood wall, you can replace it with multiple pallets fixed together.
The best thing about this is that you can move it any time you want. This is also great if you’re living in a rental, where you can’t make permanent changes.
Upcycle A Pallet
Pallets have become very common to use as small gardens. They’re cheap, customizable, and readily available. This design features terracotta pots secured to a pallet with stainless steel cable ties and nails.
I don’t recommend keeping the pallet freestanding, as the photo shows, as the weight of the pots may move the pallet and cost you your precious garden. Instead, I suggest you fix the pallet to a fence or a wall.
A Stairway To Heaven
No, not the song by Led Zeppelin. You can make use of an old rustic ladder to shelve your herb garden design. I think that this is one of the most creative small garden ideas if you have a small space, and you can add a vertical wooden board to each step. This way, you’ll be reassured that no one will hit your pots by accident.
Don’t like how traditional this looks? You can attach each pot to the step above it with a rope. In that case, you won’t need the extra wooden board I mentioned.
A One-Pot Wonder
If you ask me, growing vining and climbing crops is one of the best small garden ideas for vegetables. Take tomatoes, for example. They won’t take up much of your outdoor space if you grow them in a pot.
Make sure you provide the necessary staking, though a steel cage is a sturdy and inexpensive option. You can also use bamboo poles to add a fashionable touch to your garden.
If you like this idea, then consider the Garden Tower 2. I think that this is a great product if you want to grow lots of veggies in a small area.
Try Old Water Tanks
Water tanks become useless after a period of time, as they can’t hold water with worn and rusty bottoms. But don’t throw them just yet. Instead, I suggest you use them to create your very own creative small garden ideas!
You have a variety of options. You can use galvanized tubs, rubber containers, or antiquey wooden barrels.
I love how this design uses rocks as a walkway. Add some small LED lights and you’ll have such a charming small garden!
To Infinity And Beyond
This is among the coolest small vegetable garden ideas I’ve found. It features multiple raised beds for vegetables with a wooden walkway. I think that the coolest thing about it is how it sorts the vegetables.
As you can see, the vining vegetables are kept at the back to grow on the trellises, forming a structure similar to a living wall. Such a trellis is available online, but you can also DIY one. I’d recommend going with the DIY option, so you can customize the height to your wall or fence.
Put Marigolds With Vegetables
Marigolds are one of the loveliest flowers you can plant in your small garden. But did you know they’re incredibly beneficial for vegetables?
Their roots secrete some substances that kill harmful soil insects, according to Bob Vila, a website full of advice for home improvement from the man himself, who’s one of the top experts in the niche. Even I know gardeners who won’t grow tomatoes without marigolds.
This design uses four raised beds with a lawn walkway. Vegetables are kept in the middle, with charming marigolds around the periphery. In my opinion, practical small garden ideas should be the norm if you have a small space.
Enclose Your Garden
I know the struggle. Some people want to have a small garden but their spouses won’t agree.
If this applies to you, this idea will help you reach a middle ground. I suggest you enclose your garden with a fence and place an arbor at the entrance to keep things tidy.
It doesn’t have to be fancy. As you can see, you can quickly make one with a bunch of tree boughs. If you don’t want to bother, you can purchase a ready-made classy arbor online.
Try Vertical Planters
If you’re searching for very small garden ideas, vertical planters are the perfect option, in my opinion.
This design features a large wooden stand with multiple planters. You can build this stand from scratch to tailor it to your available outdoor living space. It’s also available to buy ready-made from online stores.
This design is especially beneficial if you have a balcony and it functions as a screen to give you additional privacy.
Or A Green Corner
Why leave a corner unused to build up dust? A corner is such a great place to squeeze in some plants that won’t take up much outdoor space.
Don’t just settle for a plain pot, though. As you can see, you can make a tiered small garden from two triangle-shaped wooden planters. For instance, I’ve found that succulents thrive well in this small garden space.
If this corner is too cold or dark, consider using a heat lamp. In this article, I’ve gathered three of the best heat lamps currently on the market.
With A Green Fountain
If you have an old stone water fountain, first of all, lucky you! A fountain can be a superb addition to your small garden.
You can grow succulents to fit this small space. I also suggest you grow any type of hanging plants on the peripheries, like English ivy.
Maybe A Green Wall
Living walls are space-efficient, but they’re not that easy to make, according to Dwell, a well-known home design magazine full of inspiring small garden ideas. Luckily, you can easily imitate a living wall with a simple trellis.
The living wall you see in the photo is produced by Terra Trellis, a very well-known trellis maker. It’s made from a steel frame with an oxide finish and stainless steel wires. It’s lightweight and super easy to install on a wall or a fence.
However, this living wall is somewhat expensive. But I think it’s worth it. In my opinion, it looks fancy and is very similar to actual living walls.
Squeeze In An Olive Tree
The unique thing about olive trees is their tolerance to dry air and soil. Therefore, they’ll thrive indoors and outdoors in any weather as long as they are not overwatered according to OliviadaOlive, a website of a Greek olive business.
I suggest you group one with multiple pots of lavender, and you’ll have a corner that will definitely make your friends jealous.
Remember, Space Shouldn’t Limit You
I was extremely inspired when I saw this garden. This is a part of a small garden that was built by two people only. They started working on it when they moved into their house. The backyard had nothing but concrete and a hills hoist.
Now, as you can see, it’s overflowing with lots of plants, including cacti, succulents, and a wide variety of vining plants.
I think that this shows you that nothing lies between you and your dream garden, whether you have a small space or a huge one. You can get creative even in the smallest area.
Speaking of your dream garden, this design is also suitable if you’re making a rooftop garden. If you’re interested, check out my detailed article about rooftop gardens.
Build A Walkway
This is one of my favorite small garden fence ideas. It features multiple beds placed directly behind the fence. This way, you’ll be able to construct a walkway between two green sides.
I don’t know if you can see it, but there are multiple trellises that extend far beyond the fence. This will make your plants look like they’re floating in the air.
It’s an excellent idea to plant flowers on both sides with colors that match the scheme of your house. This will make your exterior pop. When it comes to small gardens, I think that this is one of the best ones.
Go With Large Garden Beds
This is another great idea to use the small space next to the fence. And I absolutely love it! It shows how you can go big without impeding the accessibility of the fence and the whole backyard.
Also, if you look really close, you’ll see that the fence itself is used as a trellis. If your fence has a suitable structure, I’d highly recommend this idea. Your house will look like a green fortress from outside.
How About A Waterfall?
Simply put, I believe that this is the most fashionable and sleek design you can do with a small garden. It cleverly integrates a bench, garden beds, and a waterfall, all behind a fence.
You can go the extra mile and place some small fish in the pond. Moreover, it’s possible to add a couple of LED lights underwater to have a charming view at night.
Yes, it’s not easy to implement such a complicated design. But it’s surely worth all the effort.
Back To Simple Pots
Back to simple small garden fence ideas. This design has four pots placed behind a fence. The owner used olive trees as the main central plants. I like that they’re tall enough to peek behind the fence.
Also, I suggest you get creative with the other plants that fill the pot. Here, the lavender is totally stupendous.
The use of the rectangular pots here is far better than regular circular ones — it keeps things tidy and takes up the least amount of outdoor space possible.
A Corner Garden Bed
This is another idea that features a garden bed with a built-in bench. However, I think it’s implemented in a much tidier way.
The garden bed has a continuous border that goes into the corner. Instead of being a part of the bed, the bench is made from separate boards fixed to the side.
If you look really close, you can see a couple of spotlights placed in the soil. I’m pretty sure that this looks absolutely gorgeous at night!
Another Corner Bed
I’m in love with this concept, so I thought I should include more than one way to implement it to fit all scenarios.
This design is constructed over a slightly bigger outdoor space. I don’t like the distribution of the bushes, though. It could’ve been way neater.
But I like the composite lumber used for decking — it fits well with the white color of the bed. Among small gardens, I think that this idea can be the neatest one if you spread out the bushes.
Aim For A Minimalist Look
If you don’t want to clutter your garden, you’ll love this minimalist design. The fence is painted in a deep black that looks great with the white LED bulbs.
The ground is covered with white gravel for contrast. You can also see small terracotta pots scattered along the fence.
If you want to add an additional touch of green to the fence, fix a shelf like the one seen in this photo. Personally, I prefer more pots on the ground over shelves because I think it maintains the minimalistic design better.
Hang ‘Em Up
For my last recommended small garden fence idea, I highly recommend you consider these hanging planters by the fence.
The owner of this garden used some kind of trellis to hang the planters from. But you can make do with a simple galvanized pipe, which you can make according to this guide from Simplicity In The South, a personal blog full of DIY home improvement ideas.
It’s possible to make the planters yourself, but they’re also available online. I like how the owner played with the height to cover the largest part of the fence.
Got A Tiny Space?
This is an arrangement you can pull off on the tiniest patio. For the ground, spread some gravel and put a bunch of pavers on top for contrast.
The owner of this garden used a lot of pots of different sizes and colors, which I’m not fond of at all. To make it more appealing, I suggest you unify the color and choose one medium size for the pots.
Or A Wide Patio?
This design is suitable for folks with wide patios. The owner chose to go with small garden beds placed on both sides.
The biggest part of the patio is reserved for the wooden deck on which the lounge is placed. Above all, I’m super impressed with the color scheme. I think that the blue lounge fits nicely with the turquoise cushions. The green beds also go along with the white floor.
Make It Look Cozy
I’ll be the first to tell you that you don’t need a large patio to enjoy a cozy afternoon with your precious plants. Take this design, for example. The owner placed a garden bed in the corner with a small tree in the margin.
For the seating, there’s a chair facing a small sofa. This way, you can relax alongside your loved ones.
This color palette has also made it to my heart. I like how green stands out between all the dim grey around it.
Or Make It Look Simple
Needless to say, gardening holds a huge importance in my life. I believe a green area on your patio, even the smallest one, can be the perfect getaway from busy urban life.
This arrangement has a nice balance between green and paved areas. The main green area is occupied by a stone garden bed that has lots of plants. The fence is decorated with a couple of tall trees.
How About A Romantic Corner?
What’s better than spending quality time with your loved ones between a bunch of pink and orange roses?
Nevertheless, these weathered plastic buckets don’t really fit. Replace them with brand-new terracotta pots, and you’ll have the best charming corner ever. I think that this design can also suit your balcony or rooftop gardens.
Don’t Forget About A Dining Table
I’d be totally stoked to have breakfast every day in such a beautiful setting. Look at how these minimalist yellow chairs stand out.
I also like how the fence goes from stone to a trellis. Simply put, this is among the best small patio garden ideas I found that you can easily implement.
Decorate With A Pond
This is my last recommendation for small patio garden ideas. This arrangement keeps the main bulk of plants on both sides of the wooden deck.
In the middle, you can see a shallow, small pond with a stone base. I like how the owner let some plants grow in the middle of the deck. I also love how cozy and private the patio feels, with the trees being taller than the fence.
Embrace The Rocks
Instead of a traditional black garden bed, use a bunch of multicolored rocks to match your exterior.
I wish everyone would maintain their garden in this way. Look at how crisp the lawn looks. The rocks neatly follow the curve of the lawn. I believe that this is among the best small garden ideas that you can easily implement.
Build Yourself A Shed
I think that this is a cool arrangement for a functional yet beautiful backyard. The largest area is covered with a lawn on which you can do activities with your family.
On the left, you can see a small wooden shed. This is where you can keep your gardening supplies to conveniently reach them anytime.
On the other side, there are multiple pots placed on the gravel. I think that terracotta pots would look better, though.
Or A Cabin
Implement this design in your backyard and you won’t want to go inside anymore! I like how the walkway is placed leading to the small cabin.
You can also place a bunch of small pots with colorful flowers along the walkway. It’ll feel like you’re being warmly welcomed into your own backyard.
It’d be great to have some vining plants climbing over the cabin walls. In this case, painting the cabin in beige would add a lot to the general look, in my opinion.
Don’t Overlook The Side Yard
I always like a side yard that has a lot of plants and trees. Throw in a stone path and you’ll feel like you’re walking in a magical place.
However, I prefer to have a tidier grassy area. I think that this draws the line between a usable sideyard and a neglected jungle area.
Place A Distant Bench
How would you like to get back from work and enjoy a quiet bench in your peaceful backyard? It seems like the perfect way to recharge and get ready for tomorrow.
The owner here cleverly chose birch trees to complement the setting. The unique thing about birch trees is their loose and light foliage. This will give the right amount of shade, not too dark or too light.
But, I believe that you must ensure their roots are shaded, as they’re extra sensitive to sunlight, according to Better Homes & Gardens, a leading magazine in home improvement that’s been around for more than a century.
You can go for a regular upholstered couch, but an outdoor bench adds an irresistible classic feel. It’s also a lot cheaper!
Or A Heavenly Pergola
The one thing I love about installing a pergola in your backyard is the privacy it provides you with. On top of that, a pergola also offers shade and the ability to hang different plants.
Here, you can see a bunch of wisterias floating over a simple dining table. The wisterias look green now. But wait until spring and they’ll bloom with a beautiful bluish-purple color.
Although the striped cushions are the smallest part of this setting, I think they complete it like the last puzzle piece.
Prepare For Tea Parties
Be better prepared for your next tea party with friends or family! It’s always better to have a backyard that’s not so cluttered. Aim for a setting that allows for a good amount of sunlight.
Take this one, for example — plants are limited to small areas by the window and wall. I think that the dining area fits perfectly, without taking up too much space.
Consider A Mighty Fig Tree
I believe that growing a fig tree in your garden is one of the best small garden ideas you can apply, something which Gardener’s Path, a well-known blog all about gardening tips, also agrees with. If your climate permits, of course.
The great thing about it is how beautiful its leaves look. With these large, staggered, and star-shaped leaves, you’ll enjoy a lovely and wide shade in your garden. Not to mention the delicious figs, of course.
Or Perhaps A Mid-Century Lounge
Take a look at this gorgeous garden arrangement. The raised bed that follows the fence surrounds you with refreshing, positive vibes.
The mid-century modern furniture looks stunning, especially that sleek recliner. It must be beautiful to sit back and enjoy the beautiful trees above you. I also like how the owner chose beige for the Papasan chairs. I think that this tone contrasts well with blue and green.
Color Your Sky In Green
Don’t you just love it when trees take over your backyard’s sky? I certainly do! This is especially useful for urban homes, where you want to isolate yourself from the busy neighborhood.
The brick pavement adds a nice touch to the setting. Look how well it fits the similarly-colored terracotta pots. If you reuse old terracotta pots, make sure to sterilize them first.
This arrangement teaches us how to make use of every small space. Take a look at the flower beds on the stair ledges, for instance.
Got Floor Space? Go For A Tiered Garden
If you have a wider outdoor space, I highly suggest considering a tiered garden. This arrangement puts garden beds on the first tier, a rustic dining table and chairs on the second, and the lawn on top.
I wish that the top area was decked, though. That way, you’d be able to put furniture on it and enjoy the beautiful scenery from there.
Also, the long walls could’ve been used for vining plants. This would be a lot better than the aged look they have.
Prepare A Sleeping Corner
I saved the best for last. How would you like your afternoon nap to be amongst the stunning greenery? Well then, let me tell you that all you need are two strong poles and a comfy hammock.
Nevertheless, I don’t think that gravel is suitable for such a large area. This even makes the stepping stones obsolete. I think gravel should’ve been limited for the area around the tree, leaving the grass to occupy the main part of the ground.
Recycle A Wagon Wheel
This is one of the cleverest small flower garden ideas that I’ve ever seen. It uses a wagon wheel frame to hang a flower planter.
I don’t like how it’s secured to the ground, though. This isn’t suitable for families who own dogs, for example. I suggest you consider hanging the frame on your balcony or porch instead. This will allow it to rotate with the wind.
Or Craft A Bed From Scratch
Who said garden beds have to be rectangular? Consider this hexagonal shape for a change. It’s available online, but I think you could DIY it. You’ll be able to play with the shape and dimensions to tailor the bed to your floor space. It’s pretty easy, too!
I’m sure that this flower bed would go perfectly in the center of your garden. Don’t add any other element, like gravel. It’ll look better on a plain lawn, just like in the photo.
Use Bachelor Buttons
A bachelor button, aka cornflower, is among the most vivid and gorgeous flowers that you can grow in your garden.
They like to grow in somewhat dry soil under the strong sun, according to Love The Garden, a global leader in sustainable garden care. That’s why I think it’s best to place them near your fence and away from the trees. Also, it’s better to plant them directly in the ground instead of using a pot. This will make them grow bigger and faster.
Now Hang Them Up
If you’re searching for vertical small flower garden ideas, this one is among the best, in my opinion. The owner was clever enough to make use of the fence shape. The hanging planters with pink roses look incredibly stunning.
But what really makes this idea special is how the flower bed complements the hanging planters. Get creative with the color combination, but keep one color in each area. In other words, if you choose blue for the hanging planters, make them all blue.
Or Spread Them Out
Why read in an enclosed room when you can go on and enjoy it in the middle of nature? I suggest you fill your garden with all sorts of your favorite flowers, add a small chair, and enjoy!
I also like how the stone walkway leads to central circular pavers.
Last But Not Least: Use Small Spaces
If you have a small garden, you’ll have to use every inch. The ledges of the stairs are occasionally overlooked. They’re one of the best places where you can put flower beds.
While I believe the lavender here looks stunning, I think it’d be better with more color.
How Do You Design A Small Garden?
I know designing a small outdoor space can be a big challenge. Experienced experts from Ideal Home magazine have a few small garden design tips that can help you use the full potential of your tiny garden:
- Utilize potted plants, containers, hanging baskets, slatted wall planters, and window boxes
- Plant climbing plants next to your fence and walls
- Put up some shelves and hooks for your garden tools and decorations
- Opt for space-saving flexible furniture that can be folded or stacked up and stored away when not in use
How Do You Make A Small Garden Look Nice?
My favorite UK magazine mentioned above, Ideal Home, can also help you make a tiny garden look nice. Here is what their outdoor design experts suggest:
- Create a living green wall to add foliage and hide unsightly walls and fences. If you don’t know how to do this, read this helpful Reader’s Digest article I found, written by lifestyle expert, Betsy Karetnick.
- Add a fireplace to enjoy your garden no matter the weather.
- Play with bright colors when choosing your plants and outdoor furniture. The experts from the Benjamin Moore paint company confirm that the choice of color can make your space appear bigger, too.
- Use garden lighting wisely to create shadows and give your garden depth.
If you are a visual learner, Check out a video that helped me a lot in designing my first small garden:
What is a good garden layout?
A good garden layout is straight, long, evenly-distributed rows. According to Melinda Myers, a nationally known gardening expert, your veggies and plants should be planted in a north-south direction, starting with the tallest ones at the north end so they get enough sunlight.
How do you maximize a small garden?
To maximize a small garden, you must plan it carefully. UK’s Homes & Gardens magazine suggests building a small but functional greenhouse, planting your veggies in hanging baskets and pots, or growing them vertically, over your pergola. A raised bed garden is a great idea too.
Have You Found Nice Small Garden Ideas?
The right garden will make your house stunning and will also help the environment. I hope you liked the small garden ideas I’ve collected for you. I tried to make it as varied as possible so as to fit most of your needs.
Do you have more ideas? Feel free to let me know in the comments below. Share this article with friends and family so they can renovate their small gardens, too!