40 Landscaping Ideas for a Small Garden

Trista - April 21, 2019

Not everyone can afford to have a luxurious sprawling yard with acres of spectacular landscaping. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t make your small garden look attractive. With just a few simple ideas, you can create the perfect outdoor oasis. Whether you want to sit in your small garden area and sip some wine or host a garden party with friends, you will adore the small garden space after you spruce it up with these fast and affordable landscaping ideas.


1. Hanging Flower Planters

If you don’t have the space to grow an entire flower garden of your own, hanging some planters can do the job for you. They bring your beautiful flowers to eye-level so that they can be appreciated more, you can more easily see when hummingbirds stop by for a meal, and you won’t have to bend over to water them.


2. Potted Fruit Trees

Small orange or fig trees can do wonders for sprucing up your back patio, and you can enjoy the tasty fruit when they’re in season. Your bees will appreciate it too, as they’ll fancy visiting your lovely flowers and gathering up the pollen. You’ll save a little bit on groceries and do your part to help aid the eco-system.


3. Small Fish Pond

Fish ponds don’t have to be broad and deep for your little swimmer to have somewhere to live; after all, think of the size of a fish bowl. Digging a tiny hole is all you need to accommodate smaller fish. Add some plants around the edges to provide some shade for areas of the water. Don’t forget to include aquatic plants as well to help keep the water clean.


4. Fairy Gardens

With just a clay pot, soil, few smaller plants, and stones, you can create a whimsical fairy garden. It’s effortless to maintain, and even your children can help you out with picking the accessories to go in this tiny garden. This simple DIY landscaping project is perfect for a sunny afternoon in the garden with the kids.


5. Vertical Vegetable Garden

You probably know about those plastic holders that people use to hold shoes behind the door. You can actually transform that same item into a vertical garden for your vegetables. Fill the pockets with soil and seeds. Make sure to water them regularly and provide appropriate sunlight. In no time, you’ll start to notice sprouts and leaves shooting out of the pockets.


6. Personal Garden Stones

Garden stones can add a lot of charm to your small yard. This little DIY landscaping project can be more personal if you and the kids make them. A bag of cement and some colored stones can really add quaint glamour to your morning walks to the garden.


7. Wall Planters

You can showcase the plants you have by adding wall planters on the exterior of your home. Plant succulents, herbs, or small ferns — really, anything you want. Just keep an eye on the soil to ensure they’re getting enough water.


8. DIY Window Boxes

Window boxes are a great way to provide a breath of color beneath to your exterior. Not only that, but you will have something pleasant to gaze upon out of the window of your kitchen or bedroom. They’re easy to make and maintain — a win-win!


9. Pallet Planter

Raise your garden off the ground and save your back with these pallet planters. It’s an excellent option notably to support cuttings from other plants that aren’t ready to be introduced into your garden yet. Easy to keep on your deck or near the side of your house for easy watering.


10. Ornamental Trees

Many ornamental or flowering dwarf trees are suitable for small garden spaces. They won’t overrun the rest of your yard, as long as you practice pruning regularly. Do some research about these kinds of plants and visit your local garden center to see what tickles your fancy.


11. Decorative Garden Paths

You don’t always have to go with slabs of stone to create a path through your garden. Exercise a little creativity, and you build e a stone path that’s unique to your personality. Consider different shapes and styles that fit the aesthetic of your garden.


12. Moss Graffiti

This small garden landscaping solution is easy to make and can be sprayed on almost any surface outside. Use a stencil to have your moss grow into a message or monogram. Alternatively, go for a random pattern for a more natural look. Be aware that moss can ruin stone walls, so if you want to preserve them, choose another surface.


13. DIY Twig Trellis

Are you tired of picking up sticks in your yard after a windstorm? You won’t have to break your back doing that yard maintenance anymore after this landscaping project. Create your own trellis with just twigs and twine for your favorite vine plants to grow. You’ll enjoy the beautiful vertical climb as they make their way from one rung to the next.


14. Water Garden

With just a bucket and some aquatic plants, you can create a small water garden in your yard. It will provide beautiful blooms throughout the warm months. You don’t have to worry about soil maintenance or over-watering this garden!


15. Companion Planting

You can save a lot of space by planting vegetables and fruits next to flowering plants. The flowers will also attract more pollinators so you’ll have even more fruit each season. Check your plants regularly for pests and harmful insects.


16. Wash Tub Herb Garden

You can find old galvanized wash tubs for very cheap on the market, and they make excellent containers to grow garden herbs. If you want good drainage, beyond the standard hole, you can always drill openings into the bottom of the tub. Next, pour in the soil and add savory herbs for future meals.


17. Plant Display Stand

Instead of spreading your pots around, you can get a stand to show them off. It keeps them out of the way while still putting them on display for your guests to see. Make sure you get one that’s sturdy enough to bear the weight of all your plant containers and soil.


18. Repurposed Shutters

Old-fashioned wooden shutters may not be in style anymore, but you can give them a more exciting use. Merely lean them up against a wall, add dirt, and introduce some hearty plants to the slats. The natural cascading waterfall of greenery will instantly add the character to your yard you’ve been craving.


19. Ladder Garden

An old wooden ladder can do wonders for your garden if you don’t need it anymore. Please give it a good coat of paint in a lovely faded color, add some 2x4s to serve as shelves, and wa-la! You have an excellent place for your planters. It’s a simple recycling job that maximizes the space of your small garden.


20. Toolbox Planters

Just like galvanized tubs, a toolbox can make an ideal small planter for your succulents. Remove the top and add some dirt. Organize your small plants to see what goes well together. The attached handle makes this planter easy to move around too if you need to take it inside when the rain is too heavy.


21. Climbing Plants

Wisteria is a great choice if you want a climbing vine with beautiful blossoms. Ensure that it doesn’t grow too close to the structure of your home, as it can quickly ruin your walls if they’re made of stone or brick.


22. Hanging Lanterns

These small candle-lit lanterns add a romantic feel to any porch. If you don’t have hooks, you can rest them on your table instead or directly on the floor around your seating area. The light and heat will draw moths and mosquitoes away from you too so that you can enjoy the outdoors pest-free.


23. Furniture with Built-In Planters

You don’t have to have a bunch of pots to show off your green thumb. Fun outdoor furniture that comes with an included planter in the middle is enough for your small garden. You can also plant succulents, small ferns, or even just some ground cover. Use seedlings that don’t have extensive root systems, as you don’t want them to ruin the structure of your furniture.


24. Bird Bath Planters

Old bird baths can be transformed into planters, so don’t throw them away. Succulents are hardy plants that work well in most kinds of soil and don’t require much watering. Make sure you include some stones and sand so that there’s proper drainage to minimize the risk of over-watering it.


25. Going Green

Your garden doesn’t have to be filled with flowers. Consider green, non-flowering plants instead. They’ll still provide bright color and won’t wither after pollination season is over. These plants are also low maintenance, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your outdoors instead of working up a sweat in the garden.


26. A Secret Garden

Creating a secret garden for yourself and your kids can be as simple as the kind of fencing you buy. Getting trellis-type fencing will allow vines to grow all over it, creating a wall of green instead of brown wood. This landscaping project is a great idea for creating privacy without having to build tall picket fences around your property.


27. Shade-Loving Plants

If parts of your yard are shady because of mature trees, then choose bushes and ferns that love the shade. They’ll not only thrive in these areas, but the shrubs will cover up any ground that is lacking water and sunshine.


28. Tiered Planters

You can save space in your tiny garden by creating tiered planters. Stack clay pots of different sizes on top of each other, gradually getting smaller as you go. This pattern gives you enough space to add dirt around the edges and plant little flowers to grow. You can make each layer have a matching color scheme for a charming, gradient effect.


29. Use your Windows

Your window ledges serve as a handy shelf for some of your potted plants, as long as they’re not too big. Even your vine plants will appreciate being able to climb up and around your window sills to get even more sun. This simple placement is a quick and easy way to enhance your landscaping.


30. Your Favorite Flower

If you have a small garden, you can save yourself much hassle by growing just one kind of flowering plant. Not only will this give your garden a cohesive look, but you’ll also have less to maintain overall. Instead of satisfying the needs of many different plants, you’ll only have one kind of plant to take to grow.


31. Planter Spiral

With just some rocks and a wire frame to keep it together, you can build this one-of-a-kind spiraling planter that makes a statement. What’s great about this idea is that it’s very versatile for whatever kind of aesthetic you’re going for: add a birdbath at the top, a water garden, or add a small fairy garden somewhere along the spiral. The DIY landscaping idea is flexible for any vision you have in mind.


32. Small Waterfall

If you have an incline in your yard, take advantage of the opportunity to create a waterfall down to a lovely fish pond. You can decorate the edges and sides with shade-loving plants and plants that love moisture. The trickle of the water provides tranquil white noise when you want to relax in your backyard with a book or a cup of tea.


33. Bush-Style Garden

Maybe you don’t want a fancy garden for dinner parties. Just some practical landscaping that shows you care about your yard. Grow a large bush of your favorite flowers to show you care. Not only does it add color, but if your hedge is tall enough, it can be a unique attraction for animals such as deer who need somewhere to sleep during the day.


34. Log Planter

It will take some work before you transform a log into what you need, but once it’s done, you’ll love the look of it. Whether you dig a shallow hole or carve out a deep enough wedge, add some dirt for your planters. Put everything in your garden for an improved, natural touch.


35. Minimalist Style

Are you more interested in relaxing comfortably in your yard than working hard growing it? Your greenery doesn’t have to be the central focus of your yard. Place a couple of small trees but make your seating the main attraction. Add some soft lighting to really set the mood for your outdoor area.


36. Seating with Storage

If your garden is small, you’re not going to have room for many things. However, you can keep them out of sight by choosing outdoor furniture that doubles as storage. Keep your garden tools close by or shield your pillows and cushions from the weather. There’s no reason your comfortable outdoor seating can’t be functional as well.


37. Different Heights

Choose planter pots that have different heights in order to add dimension to your garden. This landscaping tip will make your small garden look much bigger than it really is. Go for pots with different textures to create even more character in your yard.


38. A Gravel Path

A gravel path for your garden is both practical and aesthetic. The stones contrast well with all the natural green, and gravel doesn’t have to be fixed or repaired throughout the year. You can also choose gravel that matches with your home decor. It comes in a plethora of colors, so you are sure to make an interesting look.


39. Kiddie Pool Garden

Your kids are all grown up and too big to use that plastic pool anymore. You could throw it out or donate it to be used by someone else. Alternatively, you can fill it with dirt and create your own small, contained garden. The plastic liner is also handy for keeping out any weeds or encroaching grass; that you won’t have to pick them out every other day. Feel free to paint the outside of the pool a more natural shade.


40. The Grass is Greener

Be sure to allow for a little area for grass to grow. Bushes and flowering plants are lovely, but you’ll love the feel of fresh grass beneath your bare feet. Sprinkle grass seed for those empty spots and keep an eye out for weeds before they overrun your turf.