watering can with leaves and red flowers in small garden

Small Garden Design Fundamentals

A small garden design can be bothersome for new gardeners or experts. Imagine having only four thousand square feet for planting flowers, shrubs, and herbs. That would freak any of us out. 

From tiny porches and balconies to constricted patios, small gardens can have many shapes and sizes. So it’s quite challenging to make it stand out. 

In this article, we’ll discuss various ways to amplify the elegance of your tiny garden. Hopefully, this will make it easier for you to visualize a fabulous little garden. 

Getting To The Basics: The Appeal

So what do you do to make it stand out? There are two things you should keep in mind:

  • Make the garden feel less cramped.
  • Conceal how small your garden is. 

We’ll tell you how to do both of these and create an expansive garden. You can maximize the aesthetic value of your garden. 

But before that, we’ll need to consider what you want from the garden. 

The Functionality Of The Garden

Having a small garden design means you need to prioritize. Are you gardening only to make your backyard or your rooftop look more beautiful than it was before? Or do you want to grow herbs and vegetables?

It can also be purely for entertainment purposes – it could be an excellent spot for a candlelight dinner or a gathering of ten or more people for some barbecue. 

Entertainment and Furniture

table with chairs in small garden

If it’s for entertainment, then it’d be best to get foldable chairs and tables. These can be put away in another area when they’re not being used. 

Use bench tables instead of separate seats if you have a big family to accommodate. This saves a lot of space and maintains order.

Are you planning to start a fire? Then maybe use a gas fire pit instead of a traditional wooden fireplace. The latter is affixed to one spot, takes up a whole of space, and doesn’t look appealing at all. 

Water Availability 

person watering a potted plant with a watering can in a small garden

As you’ll see later on, plants in smaller gardens are typically placed in pots or containers. So you’ll need to decide how you’re going to stream in the water. 

If you can connect a hose to a nearby tap, make sure you size up the length of the hose according to the space you’ve got. 

Otherwise, you’ll have to make do with a watering can – laborious but easier to store. 

Consider Potted Plants

bunch of potted plants on a wooden table in front of a wall

These are especially useful for hard surfaces like courtyards or patios. Their increased mobility makes it more portable. 

They can’t get direct access to water, so ensure they have access to proper drainage levels. A slow-release fertilizer can help with that. 

For flowers, attaching them to timber fences or brick walls in hanging baskets can be a nice touch-up to the garden. 

Ditch The Lawn

green grass zoomed in

We highly recommend not having a lawn for smaller areas as much as we love greenery and grass. It’s one of the most labor-intensive parts of a garden and requires a lot of maintenance. 

Instead, you could use that free area to spread out your existing plants and not crowd them. 

Design pavements or walkways with intricate designs to draw the attention of a passerby. 

How To Make Your Small Garden Feel More Open

Small gardens tend to make you suffocated. So it’s essential to use every square inch, every millimeter, and every hair of space. 

Let’s discuss some of the ways to make it seem like it has more room.

Create Focal Points

bench with a table against a wall in small garden

For small gardens, the key is not to clutter. Use different objects and ornaments to create areas of interest for a quick walk. 

For instance, you can place elegant ornaments like a water fountain, a colorful bench, or a sculpture. 

You can place them in areas visible to seating arrangements or in corners of garages with little to no external view. That way, the objects elevate unnoticed areas of the garden with ease. 

Use Bigger and Brighter Plants

tall leafy plants above an orange wall

Plants with gigantic leaves and bright colors guarantee attention. This immediate attraction makes tropical plants very useful for smaller gardens. 

The trick is to place them closer to where your guests will sit – that way, it’s easier to fool people into thinking it’s a big garden. 

That doesn’t mean you can’t use slightly less conspicuous colors at all. Diversify; place the less vibrant flowers and plants in other locations inside your garden. 

How To Make Your Garden Look Bigger

It’s easier said than done to fool people into thinking your garden is bigger than it seems. However, we’ve got all the right methods for you.

Without further ado, let’s dive straight into it. 

Hide The Boundaries

plants and flowers covering a brick wall

Cover walls with climbing plants or a trellis. If you’ve got fences or hedges, the best way to hide them is to shroud them in plants. 

High rising plants can be very useful in concealing the boundaries. Enclosed spaces are likely to remind guests about the tiny size. So it’s best to get that out of their heads. 

Invest in Vertical Gardening

lots of different colored flowers among green plants and leaves in small garden

This is where containers can be handy. Taller plants can be in boxed conditions to grow up. Climbers can be stuck on walls and trained to ascend. 

Horizontally, there’s limited space, so it’s best not to clump together shrubs and perennials. The higher up it goes, the fuller the garden looks. 

To the eyes, the increased depth gives off the illusion that your garden does have enough room. And that, folks, is smart small garden design. 

Maintain A Simple Color Scheme

green plants among orange colored flowers in small garden

Too often, gardeners are tempted to buy more and more plants. They mix and match different colors so that their little piece of heaven is unique. 

But that is an inefficient small garden design. 

Remember how we said the key is not to clutter? The more colors you use, the more frantic it’ll seem. So it’s best to avoid a broad spectrum of colors. 

Pick a couple of your favorite colors and try to mix and match variants or shades. That way, the consistency will be a relief to your eyes. 


A small garden design might be tough to figure out. But with ample expertise and research, you can do it too. With this guide, we hope you’ll be on your way to learning more about how to utilize your tiny, slim balcony. 

Want to learn more about garden design? Click on this link to learn more. 

Interested to find out if a company can do better than you? See which landscape design company is best for you