When you only have a small garden, it can sometimes feel as though there’s not much you can do with the space. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. With some creative design and the correct planting and layout choices, you can create a little haven in your home, even if you’re restricted in terms of the size of your backyard. Follow our top tips to make the most of a small garden.

If you’re looking for some inspiration for small gardens, especially given that we’re all spending a lot more time at home at the moment, then a post for Living Etc may be of help. The publication noted that, far from being difficult, these small outdoor spaces can actually be wonderfully low maintenance. Especially compared to larger gardens, which may have large lawns and long borders to attend to.

Small Garden

Patio Areas

If your garden consists of only a patio, don’t be put off. Start by looking at the patio itself - is it time to give it a facelift? Investing in new contemporary patio slabs could make a big difference to how the space looks and feels, not to mention giving you the incentive to keep it clean and tidy. Dreaming of sunny holidays in the med? Give your patio a Provencal makeover with our terracotta paving.

If a new patio isn't an option, try power washing and weeding the existing flagstones. A diluted bleach solution can get rid of stains and grime on your flagstones. Mix one part bleach with 10 parts water and use a sponge to gently scrub the surface.

One of the top tips from Living Etc is to explore how you can divide your patio into different zones. It can be useful to create areas at different heights such as a raised sun terrace or sunken fire pit. Split levels can make the space feel bigger as well as multifunctional.


“Creating built-in planters or tiered levels will also double up as seating, eliminating the need for bulky furniture,” 

Pallets are super versatile and can be used to create anything from wall planters to outdoor sofas and bars. When it comes to planting, there is a lot you can do with pots too. One of the advantages of sticking with potted plants is that they can be easily moved around, or replaced if they happen to die. You can also use the planters themselves to introduce a pop of colour to your outdoor space. Peppering it with terracotta pots for a rustic vibe or brightly coloured glazed pots for added fun.

Vertical space

In small gardens and outdoor spaces, it’s important to use the vertical space you have as well as the floor. Living walls can be a fantastic addition if you own the property, while renters could invest in some shelves on which they can place pots of herbs and other plants on.

Using shelves and wall-mounted or hanging planters will help to keep your patio free of unnecessary clutter, adding to the feeling of space when you’re outdoors.

Creative Ideas

The publication also shared some examples where homeowners have been creative with their small garden designs. Among them, is a swing chair, which not only looks cute but is a fun & practical addition to the space.

Coloured or patterned tiles on outdoor walls bring more colour and personality to a space too. While glossy tiles will bounce the light around and help to brighten up a space that can otherwise feel enclosed. A large decorative mirror is perfect for creating interest and the illusion of space.

House Beautiful, meanwhile, offered advice for homeowners on how to style gardens to boost mood during the lockdown. One of their top tips was to engage all of your senses. Choosing fragrant plants is a great way to do this, introducing different scents to your space. Try out a calming lavender or perhaps invigorating rosemary that you can also add to a roast. Making sure you have seasonal plants will ensure that your outdoor space looks fantastic all year round.