If you’re looking for small garden ideas, you’ve come to the right place. Small gardens, tiny terraces and petite patios may require a little more thought than larger spaces, but even the tiniest plot can be transformed into an elegant outdoor retreat. After all, they do say that good things come in small packages.
Small gardens have lots of advantages – the big one is that they’re wonderfully low-maintenance. They’re also great spaces to be creative, as even the smallest additions, from colourful cushions to stylish garden lighting, will have a dramatic effect.
Whether you’re looking to create an impressive balcony garden, want to squeeze in some garden furniture or love to be surrounded by greenery, you’ll find lots of pictures below to inspire you. And if you need to do your small garden on a budget, we have plenty of ideas you can try without spending a fortune.
Create a living wall
Image credit: Dobbies
Living, or green, walls, once the domain of designer installations and pioneering commercial sites, are increasingly making their way into residential gardens, and more importantly, small gardens. These gloriously textured plantings make great use of limited space. To create these vertical gardens, plants are rooted into a structure that is attached to a wall. A range of herbaceous perennials, grasses, small shrubs, herbs and even fruit and vegetables can be used. Try including scented plants, seasonal flowers and bulbs, but talk to your local garden nursery about plants that will suit the aspect and microclimate of the wall on which they will be grown
Paint walls white
Image credit: Nick Pope
Think of your exterior like you would an interior. White paint is often used to make the most of a small space because of its brightening and lightening properties, and gardens can benefit from this trick, too. With white painted brickwork and white garden furniture, this is a beautifully summery scheme that has serious style.
Plant a lush garden with pots
Image credit: Keith Henderson
You don’t need a lawn to create a lush garden – and flower beds aren’t necessary either. A low-maintenance ‘flooring’ option such as gravel is great for small gardens. Add lots of pots, filled with everything from the tiniest flowering plants to tall and bushy trees. Finish off with some garden furniture and you’ll have the perfect spot to enjoy a summer’s day.
Trail plants up a fence
Image credit: Jamie Mason
Make use of a fence to add colour and greenery. Climbing plants and trellises are a great solution for small gardens, as they lift flowers and foliage up off the ground. A pretty fence will do a lot to detract attention from a teeny plot – after all, if you or your visitors are focusing on beautiful roses or a hot-pink trellis, who’s going to notice a garden’s dimensions?
Brighten up with colourful furniture
Image credit: David Giles
Even the tiniest terrace can be transformed into something exceptional. If your garden is short on square footage, a planted terrace can be a good solution, combining elegance with low maintenance. Simple paving such as travertine or traditional stone creates a sleek or rustic look, while clever planting will soften and provide privacy. Just add comfortable seating to create an ideal outside room. Here, it’s the garden furniture paint that makes the space special. Take note, your seating colours don’t have to match – bright hues like the orange and pink here go really well together and an aqua bench would work brilliantly, too, as you can see from the accessories.
Plan a multitasking garden
Image credit: Polly Wreford
If space is tight, make sure that what you have is working hard for you. This well-planned garden has a raised flower bed, garden wall and garden seat all rolled into one. Greenery provides shade, privacy and interest up high, while the wall offers a handy ledge for lanterns, plus practical built-in seating. Cushions bring the comfort of indoor living outside and add a lovely hit of colour.
Mix your media
Image credit: Annaick Guitteny
Make a small space attractive and ensure a crisp contemporary look with strong landscaped lines. Create interesting interlocking zones with distinctive materials, such as woodstained decking, pale patio slabs and decorative stones or chippings. Then plant up to let lush foliage burst through, filling the space with structural greenery for a controlled finish that’s easy to maintain.