9 Landscape Design Tips for Small Gardens

For many of us, small garden spaces can feel like a lost cause – too small to make an impact. But that’s not true! You can create an outdoor oasis out of even the most postage-stamp-sized gardens with careful planning, creative landscaping techniques, and the right plants. This blog post will explore nine key landscape design tips to maximise your small garden space and bring life back into these often overlooked green areas.

Use colour to brighten up a dull space

small garden with potted plants of various colours

One of the most effective ways to breathe life into a small garden is to use colour to brighten up a dull space. Flowering garden bulbs, such as tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths, are a great way to add vibrant colours to your garden throughout the year. By choosing bulbs that bloom at different times, you can create a stunning, ever-changing display of colours and scents in your garden.

Regular maintenance is also important in keeping the landscaping vibrant, including pruning bushes and shrubs, trimming the edges of walkways and patio areas, or making sure weeds exit your landscaping vision early. Finally, use strategically placed decorations such as bird baths and wind chimes for extra visual interest to help draw more attention to your landscaping design.

Utilise plants to divide your garden into areas

Landscaping is a great way to make a statement in your garden, even if it is small. Utilising plants as dividers between different areas of the garden can create distinct sections and add a splash of beauty to any space. Many landscaping companies specialise in small gardens and can help you devise the ideal landscaping plan for your yard.

Experienced landscapers know how to pick out plants that work best with each other and the size and amount of sunlight available. Plus, with careful placement, you can use plants to divide your garden into smaller spaces while still enjoying uniformity across its design. Whether you choose natural hedges, flowering shrubs, or evergreens, landscaping with plants is easy to make your small garden look stylish.

Choose square furniture for corners

square furniture for the garden

One garden landscaping tip is choosing square furniture to fill the corners. Square furniture can be a great option for small gardens since it takes up less space than other shapes. It means you can fit more pieces into your garden and still have room for larger plants or decorations. Plus, since square furniture takes up less physical space, it can also create an illusion of openness and airiness in your garden. It will help make your outdoor area feel bigger and more inviting! 

Consider your walkways

a woman on a garden walkway

One vital element to consider when landscaping a small garden is the walkways. Walkways allow you to manoeuvre easily around your garden without tracking dirt or grass into other areas. It keeps the pathways neat and clean while preventing you from accidentally stepping on plants or trampling delicate flowers. Pathways also provide an easy way to get around so that you don’t have to worry about getting lost in your garden maze!

Walkways don’t just make navigation easier — they can also enhance the look of your outdoor space. Adding various materials like gravel or stone can create a unique look that adds visual interest and texture to your yard. You can mix materials for an eclectic feel or add various colours for a vibrant effect. Whatever you choose, having planned walkways will help tie together all parts of the garden design into one cohesive look.

Grow plants that flower throughout the year

When landscaping a small garden, one of the best ways to turn an ordinary yard into a blooming paradise is to grow plants that flower throughout the year. Varying colours and shapes can be achieved by creating an effective annual flowering plan using seasonal bloomers like pansies, dianthus and petunias, to name a few.


Additionally, consider adding evergreen shrubs for colour in winter and perennials that will gracefully expand the colour palette from one season to the next. Keeping soil levels consistent is also key for success in sustaining colourful landscaping. Finally, seek out experienced advice from local nurseries and landscapers who understand your climate’s growing cycle requirements to ensure long-term beauty in your landscaped garden.

Choose furniture with built-in storage

When landscaping a small garden, one of the best tips to implement is to choose furniture with built-in storage. It provides comfortable seating and additional storage space for practically anything you can think of. It frees up much-needed extra space in your garden area, allowing you to maximise each and every square inch of your landscaped surroundings.


For example, install a bench that provides seating and features a well-hidden under-seat compartment for storing gloves, pruners and other gardening essentials. Or, if you have more room to spare, build a combination storage unit for kids’ toys and materials for backyard landscaping projects.

Use lighting to illuminate the space

lighting for a garden party

Thoughtful landscaping can drastically improve the look of any small garden. One trick for boosting the aesthetic appeal is lighting to illuminate the space. A combination of overhead fixtures and ground lighting in various spots will draw people’s attention to specific landscaped elements. It can also be used to highlight paths or create soft shadows.

Moreover, strategic lighting at night can even turn a small garden into an enchanting fairy-tale landscape! To get started, research what fixtures are available depending on your budget and determine which areas need more illumination, before buying and installing – transforming the look of your small garden in the process.

Build an overhead canopy for privacy

Landscaping a small garden can be tricky, especially if you need a bit of privacy and would like to block out nosy neighbours. One way to achieve this is by building an overhead canopy that will provide the necessary coverage. Choose landscaping materials such as overhanging branches or fast-growing vines to build the canopy – they will provide the perfect shade while adding a beautiful natural element to your outdoor space.

Layer the garden using a patio

patio table and chair set on a garden

Landscaping small gardens can be challenging, and one of the best ways to get the most out of your outdoor space is by layering it. When you layer your small garden with a patio, you instantly create more functional space. You can use the patio for dining al fresco or lounging in the sun or shade. Adding furniture can help create even more usable space in your small garden. Consider adding chairs, benches, tables, and other pieces to have enough seating for guests and family members. A patio also helps break up the visual look of the garden itself, creating different levels where plants and foliage can be placed.

Similarly, layering your small garden with a patio makes maintenance easier by providing easy access to plants and flowers without stepping on them or walking through them. It means that you won’t have to worry about damaging delicate foliage when pruning or weeding around plants.

Plus, since patios are usually made from durable materials like stone or concrete pavers, they are less likely to become damaged due to bad weather conditions like heavy rain or hail storms compared to softer surfaces like grass or soil, which can easily become waterlogged during periods of heavy rainfall.


Although a small garden may have limited space, many ways exist to turn it into a beautiful and functional landscape. With the right design tips, you can make the most of your small garden and create an outdoor oasis that you will enjoy for years. Happy gardening!

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