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How to Design a Beautiful Small Garden

If you’re small on space but big on outdoor leisure, a small garden can be transformed

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By House & Garden | March 1, 2024 | Gardens

There are plenty of small garden ideas to make your patch of outdoor space a blessing, however tiny it may be. It's been proven time and again what a huge benefit having a garden makes to our mental health. No matter how small yours is, it can provide a space for growing flowers, harvesting a kitchen garden or simply relaxing on a sun lounger. A sprawling country garden full of flowers would be ideal, but even having a small garden, balcony or tiny roof terrace can provide solace in spades.

The only problem with small spaces is that they can be harder to design, but there's no need to be daunted; arm yourself with the right small garden ideas and design tips and tricks and you'll have the tools you need to make it a tiny sanctuary for you to enjoy all through the warmer months, which are here to stay (fingers crossed)! It doesn't matter if you have a balcony garden or a small patch of patio or even a small front garden, make it a space to be proud of with the right planning and planting.

How do you design a small garden?

Start by thinking about what you need from your garden and how you can plan it to fit those elements in. There are some excellent garden design apps out there that can help you with the basic structure. Chances are you'd like a pleasant place to sit on sunny days, so carve out some space and have a look around for some stylish garden furniture, set up a parasol and prepare for some outdoor dining. We also love using lighting in the garden, especially solar lights, which can help you make the most of the space after dark. And in a small front or back garden, if there's no room for a garden shed, you'll want some sort of garden storage to stow away your garden tools, toys and anything else that has a tendency to end up outdoors.

How do you make a small garden look nice?

It’s time to consider planting. Perhaps you just have room for some plant pots for pretty seasonal plants and herbs around your table and chairs. You may have room for a romantic border that will make your city garden look more like a country garden. Or it may be that you want to learn how to grow vegetables, in which case see our garden editor’s guides to creating a kitchen garden and making a compost heap.

However small your garden is, we believe you can make something beautiful and functional there, so read on for more inspiration. If you’re a novice gardener consult our our essential guide to gardening and landscape design.