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Small Garden Landscaping Ideas

Small spaces provide a unique challenge but also provide huge potential for being creative and coming up with solutions. If the past couple of years have taught us anything, it’s that even a small outside space can be a lifesaver.


Which is why we’re talking about small garden landscaping today.

Whether you have a Victorian backyard, a tiny new build garden or a modest balcony, there are always options.

Make a plan

You don’t have to go all out with graph paper and design a millimeter perfect plan, but having an idea of what will go where can help.

Create an overall vision, assess what plants you want and where, set out seating areas and make sure to include any specifics like herb beds or space to grow vegetables.

Set up your zones

Most gardens are zoned even if it isn’t obvious. A paved or gravel area for seating or parking, a lawn area for playing with the dog, a bordered area for flowers and shrubs, another bordered area for growing things.

You get the idea. Even if you don’t have space for zones like that, you can use color, surfaces and materials to create zones.

Use metal planters

One of the most flexible elements within a garden is the planter. They can be used to divide zones, to add separation, add cover or a barrier for privacy or noise.

Metal planters can also be moved around, so can evolve with your small garden design and come in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes.

Go up as well as along

While small gardens don’t always have much floor space, they will often have vertical space you can use.

Consider wall climbers, wall hanging pots, herb planters that climb up the wall, vertical dividers for zoning, living walls, hanging baskets, railing planters for balconies, bamboo and other elements of a garden that can go up as well as out.

Quality over quantity

When space is at a premium, an effective garden will priorities key plants, trees or shrubs and build around them.

Sometimes less is more, so plan your stars of the show and then plan a few plants that frame that star or complement it. When space is tight, it’s better to have a few beautiful plants than lots and lots of okay plants.

Add a water feature

Water features are amazing in small gardens. The sound, sight and overall experience of a water feature make them well worth considering.

You don’t have to create an entire pond, you could work with a small fountain, tabletop water feature or even a vertical waterfall feature. There are lots of options out there that don’t take up much space.

Borrow views

Don’t be afraid to borrow a view in your small garden. If you can see something architectural or particularly nice from the space, frame it with your planting.

Consider a cathedral spire, particularly large oak tree, distant view of a tor or mountain. Visualize where you’ll sit in your garden and arrange your planters or planting to frame the view you want to have.

Keep the color palette simple

You may be tempted to create a riot of color and that’s fine if you do. But you may be better off keeping to 2-3 colors with your planting to create a coherent design.

Two or three colors in your planting, furniture and garden décor is easier to pull together into a complete picture and could look much better for it.

Rustic or recycled

Rustic or recycled can work incredibly well in gardens, even small gardens. Think old wooden pallets, breeze blocks, old wooden furniture or railway sleepers.

There’s a real character to rustic or recycled items. A roughness that can suit many gardens well. It’s also a chance to give something a new life while enjoying what you have created.


If you plan to use your garden at night or in the evening, don’t forget the lighting. It doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate, but you’ll need something.

Consider fairy lights, candles in jars, hanging lights, wall lights or tall standing lights. There is a huge range of options to choose from out there that can fit into an overall design scheme.

Small garden design

Size really isn’t everything. There’s a lot you can do with modest spaces. Put even a small amount of thought and planning into your design and you could create something amazing.

It doesn’t have to cost much either!

There are lots of sensibly priced options out there that you can use as long as you like in your small garden and can take with you if you move.