One of the fundamental realities of garden design is that, for most people, the space available for garden design is fixed and limited.

If you have a large space, this is likely not a problem unless you have too much space! In that case, you have to decide where your garden design area begins and where it ends – and what to do with the rest of it.

But what about smaller spaces? Well, the good news is that there are plenty of great garden design ideas to help you make the most of the space you have.


Creative Garden Design Planning for Small Spaces

The first critical step for garden design is to plan your planting. The one thing you want to avoid is to simply begin randomly adding various plants and structures. Planning will make everything go smoothly and ensure you create the best design for your space.

Here are some planning tips from the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural:


Know your yard

Think about your regional climate, the topography of your site, and your soil type when planning your landscape. Using the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is a great place to start.

Who will be using your yard?

Think about who will be using your yard and how they will use it. Will children be using your yard? Do you have pets? Are you hoping to use your yard for outdoor entertaining?

Think about themes

A theme can unify your landscape and help guide your plant and material selections. Themes can be as simple as using consistent shapes or forms throughout your yard or as complex as creating a relaxation garden or an Oriental garden

Make your plants work for you

Plants can be used in a number of ways, they can provide you with fresh and delicious fruits and vegetables, beautiful scenery, lovely aromas, and much more. Plants can be used as barriers to define areas within your landscape as well as identify where your landscape ends.

Pay attention to detail

Plants, hardscapes, and garden ornaments all have their own visual details, from various forms and shapes to an array of colors and textures. Taking into consideration the scents of the plants you select for your landscape can enhance the experience you create for those in your garden.

Think about the future

When selecting plants, make sure you consider the plant’s growth rate, maintenance needs, and its eventual mature size. Make sure you provide your plants with enough room to reach their mature size


Creative Garden Design Ideas for Small Spaces

Most great garden designs make use of structural plants such as evergreen shrubs at the end of each border, with inside areas filled with flowering plants. If possible, use no more than five or six different types of shrubs and arrange them in a pattern for a coordinated and harmonious effect. A few feet of depth is often perfect for a border, leaving enough space to put smaller plants at the front with taller ones.

With this in mind, let’s look at some creative garden design ideas for small spaces.


Consider Bold Paving

Paving can provide a strong design element for the entire garden. It can also establish the style of your garden design. For instance, depending on the type of stone or paving used and how they are laid out, you can create a French country look. a sleek and modern scheme, or an English country feel.


Use Your Boundaries

In a small garden, walls, fences or hedges can serve as garden boundaries. If you have some or all of these you should try to provide visual links between them. For example, using climbers to fill in with  coordinating colors. If you need to dress up old fences, you can add hanging planters or attach trellises.


Try a Living Wall

Living walls are popular in garden designs, providing a great way to embrace vertical planting and create maximum drama in your outdoor space. Mother Earth News notes,


“It can either be a simple planting of climbers, wall shrubs or trained fruit, or a more complex engineered system, using all manner of high-tech gizmos from hydroponic mats to automated irrigation systems. On a smaller scale at home, specially designed modules or pockets filled with compost are ideal.” 


Use Garden Ornaments (Wisely)

Garden ornaments such as water features, statuary or small arched bridges should be placed within the planting. Choose your garden ornaments wisely – if they’re too large they will overwhelm and detract from your design, but if they’re too small they will look lost.


Light Up Your Design

Outdoor lighting can easily provide an atmosphere for your garden and you can use a variety of light sources, such as standing lights, small table lamps or candle lanterns, and draped bulb strings.The lights you choose will bring character, ambiance, and atmosphere to your space, especially for entertaining in the evening.

Next Steps for your Garden Design

Don’t hesitate to contact us for your small space garden and landscape needs. We know that creating the best use of your available space is important to you and we’re here to answer any questions you might have about getting started on your garden design.

Get ready to spend more time enjoying your outdoor space with family and friends!

If you have questions, or you’d like to schedule a consultation about your garden or landscaping project, contact the professional landscape designers and plant installers at Northview Landscaping today.