The Best Guide for Planning a Small Garden

The Best Guide for Planning a Small Garden

You have a limited space for a garden in your home? Do you worry that you won’t be able to create a beautiful garden just because your site is confined? Well, worry no more. Nothing can stop you from designing an astonishing garden that will liven up your home. Many of us don’t have big lawns and acres of land, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a lovely outdoor space where you can relax by yourself or have a BBQ with friends and family.

Small garden patio with a bench, chairs and small table with cocktails and appetizers on.

“Old Swan House” by Herry Lawford is licensed by CC BY 2.0,

The Challenges of Designing a Small Garden

There are a few major challenges that you’d stumbleupon while designing your garden. Knowing them in advance will help you solve them quicker ahead of time.

1. The Garden is Viewed as a Whole

When you look at a small garden you can perceive it quicker and view it as a whole. It is easier to comprehend the whole garden in one look. This implies that the garden will be viewed as one composition. This calls for planning ahead and sticking to one design style in order to avoid an impression of chaos when people look at your garden at first.

2. You Won’t be Able to Grow Everything You Want

Everyone has their favorite flowers and plants they want to take care in their gardens. If you’ve dreamed on creating a garden for a long time, for sure you have in mind many ideas about what plants you want to buy for your project. However, you won’t be able to plant everything you want. You could but in most cases the end result won’t look great. Don’t give in to the impulse to buy every plant you like and thinking that you will find a good place for it. Make sure that everything you’ve bought will fit in the whole composition of your garden.

3. Colors Should be Limited

Beautiful red and yellow cloves in a garden.

Don’t hurry with buying all kinds of colorful plants. It is important to start with a palette of 2 to 3 colors at first. You can gradually add more colors in the same nuance. But make sure that they look good together. Colors in the cool side of the color spectrum will make your garden look bigger and give it a feeling of depth. Plants with textures will also make up for the limited colors. If you want your outdoor space to look lively and bold, you can use contrasting colors.

4. Everything Should be Planted with a Purpose

Every plant and feature in your garden should serve a purpose. Otherwise, if you have planted plants just for the sake of having plants, it will be obvious that they don’t belong there. Think carefully before buying anything. Just because a plant looks pretty by itself, it doesn’t mean that it will fit good in your garden. This will save you a lot of money and ensure cohesiveness among the features in your small garden.

Benefits of Having a Small Garden to Design

Having a limited space for creating a garden can pose a conundrum as you can see above. However, there are plus sides on designing for a small space. Recognizing the advantages will make your work easier.

1. Design Takes Less Time

Less space means less items you can put in a garden. Thus, it will take you less time to design it once you do your planning.

2. It Takes Less Plants for an Astonishing Effect

You won’t need to buy all kinds of plants and spend a lot of money just to create a dramatic effect. Less is better sometimes. And in this case it’s definitely a better choice to restrict yourself on the number of different plants. You should grow a few plants by planting them in big clumps and repeating those clumps along the garden.

3. Tending for Every Plant is Easier

The less plants you have, the more time you will have to tend for them. You will be able to truly know every plant – how much water and light it needs, when to trim it, etc. It is easier to spot plants that are not thriving and need to be better taken care of or removed.

4. It Allows for Creating a Cozy Enclosure

Small garden patio with four white chairs and a table.

One of the main purposes of a garden is to create a cozy enclosure. Doing that is easier when your space is limited. You can put a stone wall or evergreen hedge in order to inflict a sense of a secret garden. This is perfect for adults who want to relax after a stressful day or children’s play.

Step-by-step Guide on Small Garden Design

Now that you know the challenges and benefits of having a limited space for a garden, let’s see how you can create your own personal secret garden in the following easy steps.

1. Assess the Physical Features

Lush green grass illuminated by the sun.

It is important to know everything about the physical attributes that affect your plants. You need to get familiar with the sun exposure, soil, weather during the year, etc. All that will determine what kind of plants you can put in your small garden that will last longer and won’t be badly affected by the physical features.

2. Visualize Your Ideas and Make a Plan

Creating a small garden is all about the planning ahead. This will not only help you create an aesthetically beautiful garden, but also will save you time and money. Keep in mind that, if you randomly start doing work on your new garden, it will be hard to make changes later. Put your findings from the assessment and your ideas on paper first. Brainstorm different small garden plans just like if you’re in a business meeting. Planning is key to all successful endeavours and it’s no different when creating a small garden.

3. Pick a specific style

Cabbages in a house vegetable garden.

Many of you are asking yourselves: “How can I design my garden in a creative way when the space is so small?” But there are numerous design styles that you can apply even in a small garden – cottage, Asian, formal, dessert, vegetable, rock and many more. While planning your simple garden design, make sure you pick one design style. Of course, it is your garden, and you can mix styles how you want. But, if you prefer an aesthetically pleasing garden that would impress your neighbours, it is better to stick to one style. The choice will be restricted by the weather conditions of your location, so that’s why we stressed earlier on assessing the physical attributes of your garden. Choose the one that will fit the location and your preferences.

4. Choose the plants carefully

Stick to a few plants that you know you can take care of and that can thrive based on the weather conditions. One of the basic landscape design principles is to start planning big to small. That will help you with the composition but also it is a practical move. Seeing the bigger plants first will give you a better understanding of the whole garden.

5. Consult with a professional gardener

Two hands holding a beautiful yellow flower.

Designing a small garden definitely has its challenges, so calling a professional gardener can save you money and time. If you are unsure about the physical attributes of your garden or you don’t know what plants will thrive in your place, it is better to talk to a professionalist who can create your landscape plan. This way you won’t buy unnecessary plants or tools that will end up in the bin. You’ll be confident that your small garden is the best looking in the neighbourhood.


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