26 Small Garden Design Ideas (Bigger Isn’t Always Better!)

Working will a small garden doesn’t mean you have to settle for less. There are so many ways you can transform what looks like a small space into something you can enjoy all-year-round.

By being creative with furniture and features, plants, deck and pathways you can create an impression of a much larger space and one that is both usable and impressive on the eye.

In this gallery, we’ve pulled together some amazing small garden design ideas to get your creative juices flowing and inspire you to ‘dig-in’ and create the garden of your dreams…no matter how much space you have to work with.

A small garden often means keeping the area as empty as possible for “space”. Using narrow and raised beds adds height and interest without taking up too much space. Make use of corners as much as possible and add window boxes for additional color.

A concrete patio is ideal for container gardening. These can be moved and changed when you want so you’re not as limited as it seems. Make sure you choose bright greens and colors to make it seem less severe.

A sloped garden is an ideal location for a tiered system, this stops the area being “difficult” and adds an interesting feature by splitting it. You’ll also have an easier time planting and can make the split into a raised bed that is level with the upper part.

An indoor space can still be a garden. This glass-roofed area uses raised beds and pots to simulate garden beds so there’s loads of greenery. Just make sure you choose suitable plants that don’t need a lot of sun but like warm climates.

By making part of the garden raised you’ll add more bed space and give yourself height so the garden seems bigger. The height acts as a screen so you only “think” the garden keeps going beyond the bed.

Winter time means your garden will be quite bare, but this minimalist look can be appealing if you have a modern style house. The empty beds can then be turned in spring and flowering by summer to make the space come alive.

Keeping plants less regimented in a small garden makes it more interesting. That doesn’t mean the beds can’t be neat – but organizing plants solely by height rather than color or variety will make it more interesting.

For very small gardens containers are often your only choice. Choosing a theme will keep it looking together rather than chaotic and making use of walls for additional hanging planters will increase your growing space.

Rather than dealing with a sloping yard, make it into a flat space with a second tier. This makes the area more usable. Adding containers will limit your growing space but add interest and height. The trellised walls give you privacy and can double as growing space.

By using angles and textures as well as height, the space can be broken up and seem bigger than it is. This Asian inspired design style is complemented with Asian plants like the Japanese red maple.

A small garden has a tendency to end up being square and boxy which makes it boring. The last thing you want to do is to keep everything on a single level with square beds and linear features as it plays into this “boring” look.

If you’re only working with a paved patio area adding potted trees will add height and greenery. The walls can also support vertical growing vines to make the area seem greener.

For a gardener who doesn’t like to garden keeping the area, minimalist is probably best. Trees take care of themselves for the most part and so do grasses while still adding features to a simple garden.

A pagoda can help protect plants that like shade and double as a patio area. By keeping only the corner as a bed and having taller plants at the back you’ll still have a good growing space without too much to take care of.

A shady garden can be difficult to plant. Keep it simple with mulch and ferns because most flowers will not like the shade and the trees will cause the soil to be very dry making it much harder to grow in.

A shady garden can be difficult to plant. Keep it simple with mulch and ferns because most flowers will not like the shade and the trees will cause the soil to be very dry making it much harder to grow in.

A shady garden can be difficult to plant. Keep it simple with mulch and ferns because most flowers will not like the shade and the trees will cause the soil to be very dry making it much harder to grow in.

For an uneven garden covering everything in a patio/deck will make it easier to maintain and less obvious. Textures will break up the space (tile, wood, concrete etc) and adding plants in containers will stop the space feeling clinical.

While you probably don’t want to look at your neighbors you’ll also not want to look at a boring fence like this one either. Cover the fence with trailing plants like Ivy and consider adding decorative trees or taller plants in the corners to add height.

A simple garden is easiest to maintain but it can also look very sparse. Raised beds and curving ones will add interest as will some colorful plants.

Matching your building and fencing makes everything tie in together. Avoid lots of tall plants around small enclosed areas as it will make it seem more claustrophobic and stuffed in.

While this is probably not what most people would consider “small” there’s lots of potential here. Adding some potted plants to brighten up the dull concrete and some popping color accent pillows would definitely help.

Small gardens are often better without grass. By using only a patio and small bed the area is more usable and functional. The flower beds should be near but making them curve against a straight fence will keep them interesting. Add bird baths, mini gazebos, and other small features for interest.

Concrete can be really severe so choosing trees and plants that have a lot of colors will help offset this. A mini gazebo uses corner space while a fireplace and cooking area makes the patio more homely.

Small garden spaces are often cluttered looking but in this case, it works. As every plant is flowering the area seems colorful rather than chaotic. Using the roof and walls also adds height and extra growing space.

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