Category Archives: Small Garden

Things you can do with small gardens

More often than most small gardens are in urban locations or built into larger properties as courtyards. Your small garden needs more thought and planning than a larger space, so take your time. In one of my other articles Small garden means clever small garden ideas – tips below I went through some small garden ideas on budget and small front garden idea, in this article I will give you more tips and pointers on ideas for small gardens, water features for small gardens some trees for small gardens that you could use as a focal point and I will give you 3 simple decking ideas for small gardens. Oh and in case you didn’t already know – how to pot a plant. So once you are finished reading you will have enough knowledge and information to tackle your garden and it will add value to your house and give you an added room to relax and unwind.

ideas for small gardens

Pot plant containers make ideal ideas for small gardens and gifts!

As you are limited with space you want to try and make your garden seem bigger than it is – most importantly you need to work out what the function of the space will be and choose plants and furniture that will match your needs. The best plants for small gardens are self-contained and not prone to overgrow and ideally will need very little maintenance


 A few quick tips to make small gardens appear larger:

  • Avoid large garden furniture
  • Keep similar themes – Try and keep your house and garden similar in theme.
  • Stay small – if using paving or brick or garden stones, keep them small also decking can be a good idea and try and keep it a similar colour to your interior flooring leading to the garden if possible.
  • Choose plants carefully – consider pot plants or even climbers as this will add height to the garden and also look beautiful. Your local garden center will have plenty to choose from.
  • Lighting – consider some garden lighting, lights especially white or cream lights reflect light back into the garden and give an illusion of space.
decking lighting -ideas for small gardens

Decking ideas for small gardens – lighting

Sticking to the points above and some features I mention I will just briefly elaborate on a few of these to give you a few ideas.

On the topic of staying small I mention decking, with a small garden you want to if possible use one surface material. Decking can blend inside and outside spaces perfectly.

3 decking ideas for small gardens:

  1. Insert grow boxes into the decking – this will allow small plants, herbs or veg to grow without having to be in the ground giving a lovely affect.
  2. Add bench seating – this will serve dual purposes – seating in an already confined space plus the seating can act also as storage with the seats functioning like a chest.
  3. Integrate lighting – this will add a visual affect plus help navigate the decking, it takes up no space but be subtle with lighting.

I might just contradict myself slightly here, I stress staying small above, yes in terms of the paving and or stone you use but if you look at any garden images or pictures while trying to come up with ideas for your small garden space most will have a focal point, as well as adding character this will also take the attention off the size of your garden.  A garden statue with some up-lighting or a water feature, maybe a garden gnome! Or why not a tree.

a nice garden ornament

A birdbath an ideal garden ornament and focal point for any garden.

A water feature can be many things: waterfall, rock feature or even a birdbath. Birdbaths obviously attract birds, generally small birds like robins so this will also add some life and nature to your garden.

Having a small tree as your main attraction is a great way to brighten up the garden also and at the same time not overshadowing the design of the garden. Depending on the type of tree you choose for example if you used a small evergreen this will also give you some added privacy from your neighbours while maintain their green foliage all year round.  But to steal the show and to have that real ‘focal point’ wow factor why not opt for a dwarf ornamental tree. – like a Japanese Maple, Weeping Spruce , Persian Ironwood or a weeping cherry tree.

If your garden is more like a yard and there is no soil and the last thing you want to have to do is carry buckets or bags of soil through the house to fill some garden beds you could opt for a container garden with lots of different sized pot plants. Pot plants have the ability to let you garden in bits and you can fill all sized nooks and crannies by choosing different pot sizes, styles and colours and best of all no wet or muddy shoes traipsing into the house!

So you have bought your pots, picked and purchased your flowers from the local garden center; so how do you get the flower into the pot?

How to pot a plant

  • Give your flowers or plants a good water in advance of potting so the soil is nice and moist.
  • Get a good potting mix – garden soil is not ideal for potted plants it is too heavy – potting mix from a garden center is best and also contains certain fertilisers.
  • To remove the plant from its original plastic pot, put your hand over the top of the pot with the stem of the plant between your fingers, and then turn the plant upside down; tap or shake the plastic pot to remove the plant – make sure not to damage any roots.
  • Use one plant per pot – even if you have a large pot this will prevent overcrowding and give the plant the best chance to thrive.
  • Make sure there is a drainage hole in your pot –if it is too big you can place some stones at the base of the pot to help drainage.
  • Place the soil in the pot – fill it to about 1 inch from the top and pat it down, this gets rid of any air pockets.
  • Create a hole for the plant to be placed in to accommodate its roots.
  • Fill the pot with remaining soil to cover the plant and pat down firmly with your fingers.
  • Water well and let it drain – all done.

One closing idea that is ideal for small gardens is a living garden fence – these can be used to grow vine crops like beans, pumpkins , cucumbers  or a clematis. They will add height to your garden as well as giving your garden a contemporary look. There are plenty of ideas for small gardens if you plan in advance and above all avoid clutter and keep it simple.

Small garden means clever small garden ideas – some tips below

Having a small garden doesn’t mean that you can’t have a nice garden or the garden of your dreams, you just have to be that bit more creative and use space cleverly and efficiently. Whether you live in a house with a small front garden or a small back or side garden you can come up with some great small garden design ideas to maximise the space you have and make the most of it. Because your garden is smaller it should cost less than a bigger garden to do right?

Small garden ideas on budget can be hard to achieve and if there are existing plants try relocating them to save money. Many homes and in some cases apartments come with very limited garden space especially if you are living in or near the city centre where space is at a premium.


small garden ideas

A great book for small garden ideas. Why not buy it now ?













Garden ideas for small gardens need to be thought out carefully and you should really pace out or measure your space and see how much you really need to use for plants and bedding.

What is the climate like?

What part gets most sun, if any?

Is there an ugly spot you wish to cover up?

Wall, drain or fence?

Do you have a feature or focal point you want to incorporate like any garden ornaments or maybe garden statues?

If it is a small space does it have soil already?

Is it sandy or clay?

Remember your budget, soil can be expensive. Keep an eye on local websites as often construction companies or individuals give top soil away for free. You need to determine a purpose for your garden. Is it solely decorative, low maintenance or would you like to have a herb garden mixed with some plants? Small flower garden ideas with some nice garden furniture can make a nice retreat to get away from things and escape to the outdoors.

Because you are limed in space horizontally doesn’t mean you can’t go up!

Try your hand at a vertical garden feature or even introduce a garden arch with some climbers to add some variety and scale, like using perspective – larger objects or plants to the front and small plants, flowers further back to give an illusion of ‘more space.’

garden arch - great for small garden ideas

Limited space doesn’t mean you cant go up with a garden arch!

You can research small garden landscaping ideas but because space is limited every plant or flower counts. Small gardens or flower gardens work best with a simple colour scheme, so try pick a colour and stick to it. To be greeted by a loud splash of similar coloured flowers as opposed to a mix match of coloured flowers has more impact. Too many colours leads to visual confusion. Choose what you like and if you are on budget you can pick up flower bulbs at the end of flowering season in most local garden centers.

Small garden ideas still need to incorporate balance and a good way of doing this is by having a border or edging.  Some gardens will run vertically or horizontally so you have to choose the depth of the border carefully. Borders or edging serve a real purpose, in that they keep flowers and plants on one side and the grass, weeds or stone work on the other. Having straight edged borders can have a very clinical appearance so perhaps introducing irregular shapes with curving lines will break things up, or even fill the edging with garden pebbles for variety, the space becomes more interesting and size not so important and also the edging will determine the tone of the flower garden or flower beds. Alternative to garden pebbles could be plastic edging, raw stone, railway sleepers partially buried, bricks, or logs. At the end of the day it will be a personal choice.

garden water features

Wood barrel – Ideal example of garden water features for any small gardens

For some the garden will be something nice to look out at when it is in full bloom, others it is another room to escape to and enjoy the aromas or if you have some garden water features it will be the tranquil sound of slow running water to help unwind and relax. Water feature can provide a great focal point for small gardens with some great unusual options available. When choosing your shrubbery or plants know in advance what plants grow to what size and how quickly? Pick the plants to suit your space. You don’t want to have your nice relaxing patch over grown with plants that require a lot of maintenance and attention. Know your maintenance limits. As the small will be small so will maintenance, initially, decide in advance what you will be willing to do. Instead of grass you can get artificial grass if cutting might be an issue or you could cover the space with garden pebbles of flag stones, all low maintenance options. You could do up many small garden designs to see what might look best but also think about budget and upkeep for further down the line.

Garden accessories - hanging baskets

Hanging baskets make ideal garden accessories for small garden ideas

Not all small gardens are rear or side gardens a lot out there might have front gardens …not all of us! Trying to come up with small front garden ideas can be hard, try keep things simple, this will be the first part of your house that people see when calling or coming to visit. Try arranging some planters around the front door or even a Trellis beside the front door to ensure maximum impact with minimum effort.  Revamping or having a great front garden isn’t all about the lawn or the flowers, a posh or wow factor path can make a really big impact too. The use if tiles, paving or garden pebbles can work well. Your garden will not just be viewed during the day so if budget allows invest in some lighting, especially near the front door. Simple things to make a small front garden look great include, nice big show off pots, hanging baskets, fencing, trellises, an inviting door mat and just try a beautify the uglies- if you have any that is!

An Insight to Indoor gardening

Indoor gardening can have many advantages and may depend on what part of the globe you live in from a weather perspective or what you are trying to get out of it. Having the garden indoors or even a few garden boxes indoors can soothe the souls of many green finger enthusiasts during the cold winter months, or if you simply grow or have a vegetable garden indoors to grow your own organic fresh veg to the extravagant indoor Hydroponic gardening or greenhouse gardener, indoor gardening can tick a box for all.

Indoor Hydrponic gardening system

A great Indoor Hydrponic gardening system to get you started

Indoor Hydroponic gardening has been around for decades but is becoming more popular as of late. This is basically soilless growing, instead the crops or plants grow in mineral nutrient solutions. You would need an equivalent to an indoor gardening system for this where the nutrient solution is kept flowing constantly passed the roots by pump and you have a lighting system also- not a cheap form of gardening. Hydroponic gardens are generally for people who are trying to grow a lot of plants in a small amount of space – indoor vegetable gardening is the most popular type.

Most garden centres now have a section for all this and of course the internet is full of indoor gardening supplies to cater for all needs, in fact you can get indoor gardening kits to cover such things as growing your own herb garden, countertop greenhouses and vertical indoor gardens (ideal if space is at a premium.)

Trying to replicate Mother Nature’s garden indoors can be harder than most people anticipate so try and decide in advance the type of garden you are after,  what we touched on above Indoor Hydroponic gardening or the more traditional indoor container gardening, which is like what it says , plants in standard containers with soil, the conventional way like pot plants. Both of these methods would also be ideal gardening gifts for someone who is looking to get started or someone who has started and is looking to add to their indoor garden/veg garden.

Once you have chosen the type of indoor gardening you wish to do, next you need to choose the right space either in your house or conservatory to position it. This is a very important stage as you want to give your plants or vegetables the best position in which to thrive. Choose an area that has lots of natural light preferably west or southerly facing, ideally beside a window. If this is not possible you can use indoor gardening lights. Never choose a cold room like a garage or attic with no natural light or any form of heating, this will either kill or hinder your plants from growing and developing. If you live in a climate that has air-conditioning try not to place them near a vent as this will just dry them out.

You control their environment – One of the main reasons for having indoor pot plants or a form of indoor garden is that you have more control over the process and the environment, this might mean more work but your plants will prosper.

The three main things you will be in charge of controlling are a) Temperature, b) soil condition and c) water frequency.

Once you know the type of garden or the process you will use next you need to decide on the plants to grow. Before you grab your garden cart and head off to the nursery or garden centre research and decide in advance or you could chat to the horticulturist in the nursery to give you some tips.

Good pointers for vegetables would be the likes of: tomatoes, beans, peppers, peas.

Herbs: basil, garlic, thyme, chives, parsley, rosemary.

Plants: lily, African violet, begonia, ferns and spider plants.

Indoor gardening growing dome

A tidy example of an indoor vegetable gardening growing kit

Having fresh herbs and vegetables home grown all year round especially if you enjoy cooking and gardening can be extremely rewarding seeing your veg and herbs being used in your dishes.Yum!

Plants like us humans get tired, old and die. If you have old plants in the house that have been around for a while and look jaded all the love and care in the world will not bring them back to life perhaps it’s time to replace them. Remember that dying and withering plants attract insects that can spread to your healthy plants so just make sure you don’t leave it too late to remove them. Something to remember is that gift plants like azaleas and amaryllis generally have to be discarded after the first flower as they can be very hard to nurse to a second flowering.

While on the topic of dying plants and something I should have touched on earlier is that when you are using tools for planting your indoor plants, herbs or vegetables try not to use the same garden tools as you would for outdoors use. The main reason is cross contamination of bugs and weeds that would wipe out your indoor crop.

Now that I mention indoor and outdoor a great way to have some of your favourite outdoor garden flowers indoors is to ‘force’ them to grow indoors. Forcing flower bulbs in winter is a great way to bring some spring into the house a little early. Almost any spring flower bulb that blooms can be forced indoors but some bulbs are more popular; for example: Daffodil, tulip and crocus. Choose flower bulbs that are full or fat and firm, the larger the bulb the bigger the bloom.

Vases for forcing flower bulbs

Some vases that can be used for forcing flower bulbs indoors

Steps involved in forcing. Firstly you need to chill or prechill your bulbs for up to 12 weeks. This can be in the fridge or a cold place in the house like a garage or attic. Once this is done then you can start to force the bulbs indoors in flower pots with soil (never use garden soil) or indeed you can use water. If using a soil like pot plants, make sure the bulbs are ¾ of the way in the soil with the pointed top of the bulb facing upwards out of the soil. Water and keep soil moist. If growing in water more or less do the same process except you want to have the roots of the plant in water, only the roots. To achieve this you can buy special pots or vases or you can improvise by using stones of pebbles to ensure that the core of the bulb is in soil with the pointy part facing upwards and only the roots dipped in water. Once they start to flower you can move them to a brighter part of the house but it is very important to keep the soil moist.

If you have read this far and it has given you some ideas to start your own indoor garden excellent but also there are plenty of ideas here to make up some garden gifts for special people in your life. Happy gardening.