Struggling for small garden ideas and inspiration?
You don’t need a sweeping lawn to build the perfect outdoor paradise. Small gardens have tons of aesthetic potential and with a couple of changes here and there, you can have the spacious garden you’ve always wanted. All you need to achieve the impossible is the right small garden design plans. The most successful small garden designs create the impression of a larger lawn by using some simple tricks to their advantage.
To show you how it’s done, we have created a list of our top 19 favourite small garden design ideas that are guaranteed to make any small garden feel far bigger than its actual size.
Make a fresh start
The first thing to do is to clear up. Get rid of anything that is taking up more room than it needs to. That means old and bulky plant pots and broken patio furniture. Out with the old in with the new!
1. Put up some shelves
The trick to keeping a clear and spacious garden is savvy organisation. Adding shelving to your garden wall is a great way of displaying your plants and keeping them off the ground. It will not only save you space, but will create an extra level to your garden, making a small space seem much larger.
2. Keep things simple
A garden that too cluttered or busy will look unkempt and disorganised. This is a mistake people often make with their small gardens, but is easy to fix! A clearer and less cluttered garden will look more open and spacious achieving the look you are aiming for.
Reconsider the layout
A clever way to make your small garden look larger is to create clear sections within the space by using different colours and textures to break up your lawn. These new dimensions will make your garden look spacious whilst the multiple viewpoints will create a more stimulating environment.
3. Decking or patio area
If your small garden is just an expanse of green, the size of the space is going to be its main focus. By adding decking or paving stone, not only will you have an exquisite new seating area, but the clear line dividing your decking from your lawn will work to accentuate the space, rather than obscure it.
4. Play with colour
Wanting more creative garden ideas? For a bolder look, add some splashes of colour to your outdoor space. This will add some personality and redirect the focus of your garden to its more interesting aspects. Maybe try giving your garden shed a makeover or putting a colourful throw on an outdoor seat. Make your garden represent you!
5. Look upwards
To make the most of the space, start looking upwards and adding more levels to your garden by using the walls to create a tiered garden. By elevating certain pieces you’ll create the illusion of a more spacious area, even if your garden is very tiny!
Be tactful when choosing plants and flowers for your small garden. Pay attention to the size and shape of the plants that you are planting and where you place them to ensure that they are not obscuring the space and casting shade over your garden.
6. Small trees for small gardens
Small flowering trees, small ornamental trees and small weeping trees are some of the best types to choose for small gardens, as they will bring some colour and different textures into your garden without casting too much shade over the space. This white flower tree is a great example of how trees can be used in small gardens!
7. Tall plants and trees
The sky truly is the limit for small gardens, as tall plants or foliage such as ivy will take up very little space but will still add plenty of greenery to your garden.
8. Keep plants off the floor
If you can help it, try not to clutter your garden floor with plant pots and flower beds. Instead, try staggering the positioning of your plants and flowers with items like hanging baskets and wall-mounted plant pots. Some creative garden ideas such as this one will give you a clean and modern way of displaying your plants in a small space!
9. Create a mini vegetable garden
You might not have room for a full size vegetable garden but you can still create your own small vegetable patch. Perfect for growing all kinds of delicious food, containers like these allow for a neat and tidy system where you can grow your fruit and veg without the clutter!
Garden seating ideas
Even if it’s just a small garden table, a seating area is a great way to make your garden more inviting and gives you a great place for hosting barbeques and outdoor dinners for your family and friends.
10. Fold up furniture
If you don’t want your seating area to be too bulky or don’t think that you will be using it all year round, fold-away furniture is your answer! Keep your furniture stored away in the garage or garden shed and always be prepared for the unexpected arrival of house guests.
11. Unusual garden furniture
You have countless options when it comes to garden furniture, with all kinds of designs to choose from. Bolder patterns and styles will add an interesting element to your garden and hanging seats such as these will not obscure your lawn, giving you more free space!
12. Hanging bench
The best garden seating ideas for small gardens are the ones that don’t take up too much room. A hanging bench such as this one will fit perfectly on either a patio or against the wall of your home, adding interest to the small space. It’ll also provide you with a comfy seating area where you can look out over the results of all your hard work!
13. Open patterned furniture
If there’s already a lot going on in your garden, open-patterned furniture might be the best garden seating option for you. It’ll prevent the landscape from looking too busy and disorganised whilst still providing you with a comfortable sitting spot in the sun.
Inexpensive landscaping ideas
Landscaping on a budget doesn’t have to be difficult! There are many DIY small garden designs that you can try out without breaking the bank. Here are a few of our favourite cheap backyard ideas to show you how easy it can be!
14. Recycle your furniture
One of our favourite cheap backyard ideas! Get creative with your old and out of use furniture. Here is a great example of how an old set of kitchen drawers can be used creatively for displaying your flowers. Pretty and practical.
15. Turn your shed into a summer house
Do you have an old shed at the bottom of your garden that’s out of use? Well, with a splash of paint and some time to spare, your garden shed can become a beautiful summer house – the perfect place to hide away on a Sunday afternoon.
Focus on the details
Ultimately, it’s the little things that will make all the difference to your garden. As well as showcasing your personality, garden decorations, interesting plant displays and garden ponds can all help to shape your garden to create the effect that you want.
16. Create a living wall
Garden wall designs such as this one add a lovely, extra dimension to your garden and will increase the level of greenery, creating the impression of a larger lawn. Be creative and use flowers, lighting or artificial grass to create the effect you want.
17. Garden pond
Adding a centre piece like a pond to a small garden will help to break up the space and add an interesting quirk to your outdoor area. It’ll also help to make the space seem less empty and will add some structure to your garden.
18. Patio area
Simple patio garden designs such as this one can be very effective for improving the spaciousness of your garden! Paving stone will add some new colours and textures to the area, providing a contrast to your green lawn. A small patio area will also give you the chance to use the space in a new way whether that’s for outdoor dining, cooking or displaying plants.
Creating a pathway through your garden is a good way to accentuate the open space whilst also making your garden look quaint and inviting. Make your pathway from gravel, paving stone or wooden boards, the options for paving ideas are endless!