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.

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