A small garden can be a challenge, a blessing or both. Smaller spaces are easier to maintain and less expensive to set up, but getting everything you want from a tiny space can be a bit frustrating. In this article, we will share sixteen great ideas that will help you plan and put together a comfortable, useful, beautiful tiny garden space. Read on to learn more.
How to make the most of a small garden space
1. Always take the sun into account. Being aware of how the sun hits your space at all hours of the day will help you choose and place your plants correctly. This knowledge will also help you arrange your furniture comfortably. If you live in the heart of the city and have tall buildings all around, you may need to plant shady place choices, even if your area is generally sunny. If your home is surrounded by big trees, but your garden space is on the roof, you may need to purchase all sun-loving plants, even if your area is generally shady.
2. Take the wind into account. Think about how exposed your garden setting is and make plant choices accordingly. It takes rugged plants and heavy planters to stand up to high winds. You may also wish to set up a section of solid fencing as a windbreak.
3. Take some time to imagine yourself in your ideal garden. Do you want to meditate, read, entertain, have space for you family, create a kitchen garden or perhaps all of the above? Jot down your thoughts to help you stay focused when you begin shopping for plants, containers and furnishings. Keep an actual or virtual scrapbook of images of gardens you love. Carry it with you when you go shopping.
4. Make the most of your surroundings. If your neighbours already have good looking gardens, take care not to conceal them. Instead, arrange your garden so that theirs make a nice backdrop. This will help your garden seem more spacious. Take some pictures of your garden and its surrounds to include in your scrapbook.
5. Plant vines. Make the most of vertical space. If you have tall garden walls, you can add a lot of colour and interest with vines such as flowering Quince or variegated Jasmine. If you have the sun and want both colour and edibles, plant some bean vines. Scarlet runners are a good choice.
6. Use hanging containers. Another way to make good use of vertical space is to make good use of wall hanging pots or pouches. This will allow you to grow many edible veggies, such as salad greens and tomatoes.
7. Coordinate your pots and containers carefully. Be sure to take measurements and then think about the colours and materials you want in your garden. Keeping things well-coordinated provides a sense of order and spaciousness.
8. Think about bloom times when choosing your plants. Choose spring and summer bloomers that provide interest and colour at different times throughout the growing season.
9. Be careful not to fill your little garden with plants that will only provide interest in the spring and summer months. Include some plants that will provide autumn interest with changing leaf colour, along with a few evergreens for some wintertime greenery. A nice holly bush provides lovely winter colour along with some food for visiting birds.
10. If you have space for a little lawn, give some thought to whether or not you actually want one. A lawn is a tremendous waste of water, and it takes quite a bit of work. If you don’t need space for kids to play, a rugged ground cover can be a carefree lawn substitute. If your potential lawn space is really small, consider using a bit of Astroturf or even a pretty (and changeable) indoor/outdoor rug. Also think about how to take care of your little lawn without piling up a large number of gardening tools – consider buying a garden multi tool 5 in 1.
11. Create the illusion of doubled space and interesting passageways by setting up a mirror or two in your small garden. Just as with small rooms, mirrors make small gardens seem more spacious and small collections of plants seem more full.
12. Know your plants! When choosing your plants, do a little research to determine how big they will grow and whether or not they will shed a lot of leaves, seeds or other detritus. Avoid plants that will consume all your space and/or litter your garden making lots of work for you.
13. Diversity is a good thing in the garden. Be careful not to choose plants that are all the same height or similar in appearance (unless you are going for a monotone look). A garden that displays taller plants around the edges and plants of varying heights and shades within a carefully chosen colour palette provides visual interest.
14. Diversity in plantings also attracts diversity in interesting garden fauna, such as butterflies, bees, dragonflies, hummingbirds and other birds. Providing a small water feature such as a fountain or a few carefully placed dishes of fresh water (with a stone for safe escape) can help attract interesting denizens to your tiny garden.
15. Furnishings should be chosen for both function and style. In a small garden you’ll want to make the most of your space. Have furnishings do double-duty whenever you can. For example, a raised bed can have a bench built around the perimeter. This provides more seating space and makes gardening easier. Deck boxes provide storage and seating. Storage ottomans provide storage and a place to rest your feet or set your drink.
16. Good (solar) garden lighting makes your small garden doubly usable. Having your space comfortably lit means that you can enjoy it in the evening during good weather and enjoy looking at it from indoors during inclement weather. A nicely lit small garden can be set up as a beautiful wintertime display during the holidays.
With a little planning and a little creativity, a small outdoor space can become a relaxing and enjoyable garden. Follow the tips presented here to make the most of your small garden space.