country Garden by Gärten für Auge und Seele

Small gardens: tips and tricks!

Leigh Leigh
Loading admin actions …

For many of us, a private garden is the icing on the cake when it comes to our dream house. Yet with current prices when it comes to the property market, the exterior spaces in major cities and metropolitan areas are usually pretty small. There is simply no room for park-like lawns, huge old trees, pools, ponds or even a sea of flowers.

But even a small garden become a green oasis, bringing together everything that we expect from a much larger one.

If you follow a few rules when it comes to planning a garden for a small area, then you can create a wonderful paradise without even noticing the size. 

With these ten tips and tricks we at homify hope you can make the most out of your green getaway!

1. Unlimited freedom

Detached gardens are often extremely narrow. For more spaciousness and freedom in your garden, get together with your neighbors and utilize all of the outdoor space for one, large garden.

As a precondition, you'll need to live in a good neighborhood but this can be solved by separating the homes with little fences, walls or hedges. The more space that you can use for your garden, the bigger the space will be!

You can also create an open plan garden to make it look wider. Accentuate the property boundaries by placing a bed of flowers or some low hedges along the perimeter.

2. Less is more

With small gardens and small spaces, if they are too cluttered, they will appear even smaller than they really area. Therefore, the rule with designing small gardens is: less is more!

Limit yourself when choosing the plants and flowers, materials, furniture and accessories to a few favorite pieces. You will then create a harmonious and tidy space that looks much larger than it really is.

Also have a look at these charming ideas for your small garden.

3. The path that creates optical depth

asian Garden by Kokeniwa Japanische Gartengestaltung
Kokeniwa Japanische Gartengestaltung

Von den Neunzigern in ein kontemplatives Gartenerleben 2015 – Privatgarten im ZEN – Stil

Kokeniwa Japanische Gartengestaltung

A small garden is all about creating visual depth, which gives the impression of generous spaciousness. You can create this effect by strategically placing garden paths in your garden. 

When choosing your optimum path, it depends on the shape of the available space. Professionals recommend, for example, that you opt for a very narrow garden path that runs in gently curves or square stones that are laid down diagonally. In this design, we can see how it gives the impression of length and adds a very modern and trendy twist to the garden.

If possible, you can even make the stones at the end of the garden a little smaller, which will further enhance the feeling of depth and space.

4. Decentralized

modern Garden by Earth Designs
Earth Designs

Party garden in Sevenoaks, Kent

Earth Designs

If you want your garden to appear much larger than it really is, especially in a garden with very limited space, you should consider decentralizing the sitting areas in this space.

Instead of a single seating area on the terrace right outside the door, you can also include a second seating area a bit further into the garden like Earth Designs have done in this garden. 

In this way you can utilize the small garden at any time of the day, whether you are seeking sun or shade. 

Tip: Use round furniture in the garden to make it look even bigger.

5. Dark rear, light front

You can also play with colours to change the spacial dimensions of a garden.

Instead of planting different colors of flowers and plants throughout the space, which may end up looking cramped and crowded, plant the lighter plants and flowers earlier on and the darker ones towards the back. This will convey a sense of width and depth in your garden, making it look very generous space wise!

6. Layers

Ever wondered what is deep down at the end of the garden? This is achieved by using various different levels and layers, which makes the garden seem incredibly spacious.

You can place just one platform down in the garden or a slope, like in this image, or you can raise some flower beds with bricks or raise the terrace so it sits apart from the ground. 

Do you see how the different levels gives much more depth to the garden? It also provides an additional area for planting beautiful trees, flowers and bushes.

7. The choice of plants

The choice of plants is a crucial factor in a small garden. As we've already mentioned, you don't want to plant too many trees or plants and end up with a space that looks very crowded and cramped.

Another important point to remember is that some plants or flowers don't thrive in certain seasons, which could change the look and feel of your garden at different times of the year. It's thus ideal to choose species of plants and flowers that will flourish in any season. 

It also goes without saying that sweeping bushes or giant trees are not a good option for a small garden. You want to opt for narrow and delicate plants instead. Vines and climbing roses can be a great choice!

8. Divided

 Garden  by Designwerkstatt-Kirk
Designwerkstatt-Kirk

Hier ein Secret Garden Sichtschutz mit 2-reihigem Pflanzkasten

Designwerkstatt-Kirk

Another trick when it comes to small gardens is to break up the space into more meaningful sections. This way you bring order and structure to the outdoor area, where you can make use of various functional areas such as a peaceful haven, a vegetable patch and a play area for the children, which features swings and play sets.

These sections should be visually separated, but not with massive walls, fences or high hedges. Instead we recommend small shrubs, hedges or mini to low walls. You can also use a trellis, like in this design, which can also offer a bit of privacy.

The point of this? The garden cannot be seen in its entirety so the viewer won't know what is around the next corner. This makes the garden seem so much larger than it really is!

Also have a look at these best garden privacy options.

9. Geometry

Geometric shapes are always a good idea for those who have smaller gardens. Floor panels, seating areas, flower beds and sculptures can all be featured in different shapes, including square, round, spherical or pyramidal, giving a wonderful structure to the garden. 

Even the plants can be arranged in a geometrical pattern! Create ovals or spheres with your plants, giving the garden a tidy yet stylish effect. This also adds a little bit of personality and individuality to the garden.

10. Eye-catching

It's important to make a creative statement in a small garden, attracting the attention of the viewer. This can be in the form of sculptures, fountains or other accessories that draw the eye, distracting from the fact that the garden is small.

A good trick is to include a mirror or window in the hedge, which makes it seem like there is a room on the other side, giving the impression of more space.

If you like this ideabook, you'll love this one making a big impression with a small front garden.

Did you find this ideabook helpful? Share you ideas for a small garden with us.
modern Houses by Casas inHAUS

Need help with your home project? Get in touch!

Request free consultation

Discover home inspiration!