A small garden is definitely an excellent opportunity to showcase what’s really most important. Discover our tips and advice to transcend your small outdoor space and, through astute landscaping ideas, make it seem larger than it is!
- 5 ideas to set up a shaded courtyard
- Clever ways to organize a long, narrow garden
- Small as well, different purpose: front door gardens
Landscaping a tiny garden
Create appeal and add depth to your small outdoor garden by adding a color to walls as part of your landscaping.
If you color the back wall, and keep side walls a lighter color, visually the space will feel longer.
Additionally, colors will highlight your flower beds. A great way to enliven the area! Use orange for an awakening morning jolt, violet to invoke a sense of mystery, or bright blue to replicate scenery normally found in Greece or Morocco.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall
Not only will it showcase that most beautiful person – you! – a mirror will reflect the volume in front of it. This trick of the eye makes everything feel much larger. Your shrubs will get an upgrade in size for zero hassle! A bonus point is to wrap climbing plants along the sides of the mirror. It’ll look astounding.
Place a door on a wall
This decoy will make-believe that the garden continues on the other side… In reality, this illusion opens a path to imagination only, since it is, above all, an ornamental implement. Scavenge an old wooden door with wrought iron hinges, for instance, and let ivy run across it.
Water bubbling and gurgling
Water basin, spout, fountain… any type of water hole will reflect the sun’s rays and bring more light into the garden. The increased sensation of space is multiplied by the fresh, frolicking animation caused by splashing water.
Hiding the limits
If you can’t see the edges of the garden, you won’t realize how small it is! The key here is to work with a few special plants. Set up abundant flower beds such as a mixed border that excels at hiding walls and fences. Prune your shrubs, orchard trees into columns to hide the wall behind them and have more varieties growing next to each other.
Best plants for a small urban garden
What is the best tree?
In a small garden, there’s no point in even considering taller species such as oak, beech, and other towering sequoia-like trees. 8 yards or meters is the tallest your trees should be able to grow. An excellent species that grow exactly within this range is Japanese maple which is sheathed in fabulous copper-like foliage in Fall. But perhaps you prefer flowers? Ornamental apple and its peppy spring blooming is the tree for you. It never grows any taller than 5 yards (5 meters).
Perennials all around
Small gardens are where perennials do best. Indeed, they structure space with clusters of plant life that are dense and colorful. Astounding leaf plants such as Hosta will thrive in shady spots, whereas Artemisia just loves gulping in lots of sun. Pair them with beautiful spot bloomers like Agapanthus and Anthemis. Slip in a few swaths of grasses, and pepper the ground with annuals. A few shrubs will fill the growing bed in.
- Shown right: bellflower, calla lily (or arum), ivy geranium…
Vines take up virtually zero space on the floorplant, which makes them an obvious choice for a small garden. Climbing around with either elegant tendrils or steadfast clamps, they sprawl across any type of fence, wire, pergola, or even an ugly unfinished wall… Surprise your senses with fragrant Trachelospermum, climbing roses, honeysuckle, clematis and their thousands of colors! In the shade, a sure choice is ivy: it grows anywhere! Another interesting option is to set up a plant wall.
Pots and containers for balconies and terraces
When space is dire, there isn’t any room for planting flower beds. Commandeer odd containers or pots to start bringing life to your balcony, deck, or terrace. The main advantage of these ornaments is that you can shuffle them around. It’s better to have more open space with just a few potted plants than to clutter every available inch with a massive garden box.
Can I have a pool in my small garden?
Well, it won’t qualify to host the Summer Olympics, for sure. But there are many models of small pools for tiny gardens on the market! Even a tiny swimming pools will be lots of fun, not to mention that it’ll help cool off in Summer. Some even have thrusters that let the more sporty among us practice a few strokes. It’ll feel like magic if you line the edges with plants to smoothen the atmosphere and make it a place to relax.
A small Japanese meditation garden
Scaling an entire landscape into a miniature garden is the keynote of almost every Japanese garden. It’s thus a brilliant source of inspiration when landscaping a small garden. Go overboard with Zen flower beds populated with heath plants, for instance Camellia and Azalea, or opt instead for a tree pruned into a cloud shape. Two or three well-chosen stepping stones, dwarf bamboo, and authentic ornaments will bring the final touch.
Multipurpose garden furniture
Eating and dining, cooking, sunbathing… You can still do all this and more in a small garden! For that, the ideal solution is foldable furniture. Tables and chairs fold away, freeing up space for long chairs to work on that tan during an afternoon nap.
You can also attach shade cloth to poles with new systems that are easy to unfurl and put away. Remember to include some storage space, since clutter lying around quickly makes a small garden feel cramped.
Small gardens on social media
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own work: Rosalyn & Gaspard Lorthiois
Pixabay: Sue Rickhuss
Pexels: Gotta Be Worth It
CC BY-SA 2.0: Nic McPhee, Carol VanHook
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