8 Steps to transform a small garden

By Jessica Mcnamara

Mar 2, 2021

Small garden inspiration

Do you feel limited by the size of your garden? Have you got a tiny cottage garden? We can help! Garden spaces are getting smaller and smaller…have you been wondering how you can possibly fit a vegetable garden on your tiny terrace?  

Are you looking to create an amazing space to entertain? Let our growers’ transform your small garden or outdoor space into a beautiful green oasis with these simple garden ideas. 

  Garden landscape planning

Spend time planning 

Make sure you spend time planning your landscape design! Even if your garden, balcony or patio is small, there is still so much to consider. Choose plants that you feel comfortable maintaining and that will thrive in your climate.  

Choose a variety of plants and flowers that work well with your theme and compliment any existing structures. Envision how your space will be used and why who to create the perfect space.  

  Fences used for garden plant pots

Use fences for more than privacy 

We all know that fences are used to keep the nosy neighbours out but why not use your fence or trellis to display potted plants, lights or to create a green wall with a set of vertical pockets? You can also add a range of beautiful climbers, which add a pop of colour and some can also add beautiful scents too!  

Just as you'd paint walls in a light colour in a small room to make it feel bigger, doing so in a small garden will make it feel larger. Another small garden idea? Think 'up' and 'out' by mounting your container plants onto a garden wall or fence. The effect will be especially stunning if you choose trailing plants (trailing pelargoniums are especially appealing).  

 Heart shaped mirror hung up on garden fence

Create the illusion of more space with mirrors 

You must have heard of restaurants using mirrors to make their indoor space look larger. You can't beat a good optical illusion for making your space bigger! Just like inside our homes, large mirrors reflect light and space to instantly create the effect of a larger area.  

Why not use this principle in your garden? Locate your mirror near a dining or seating area. Be sure to place colourful flowers or structured plants opposite the mirror so that it reflects something beautiful, and your guests can enjoy a brilliant reflection of your garden and visually enhance your space.  

Garden plants in containers

Play with potted garden plants 

Potted plants can be used on shelves or on the steps of a raised deck, or anywhere on your patio. They can be used throughout your garden to add dimension, interest and pops of seasonal colour. Potted plants can even be used to create a makeshift and moveable privacy wall, using mature shrubs such as Buxus and bay trees. This makes potted plants the best plants for small gardens. You can even plant some small trees to grow upwards and create some privacy in your garden!

Container gardening is one of the best garden ideas, especially if your garden has a patio or decking. The trick is to go for as many different types and heights of garden as possible: this will help add dimension and texture to the space. For instance, mix and match large terracotta pots with tall and slender glazed pots. And if you have a really small space, stack them up like this or wall-hang them to pack more in. 

Small garden with garden furniture

Customise garden furniture to make it work for you

When you have a smaller garden, we are aware that every inch counts! Pick furniture that is multi-purpose. There are tables with plants or even BBQs in the middle.  

Storage benches can be used to store your garden tools. Consider floor cushions and hammocks if you have an especially small garden. We use our gardens for many things, from living rooms, to dining, to exercise, to sunbathing, to socialising. If you haven't got room to adhere to all of these needs at once, choose portable furniture that you can easily bring out, put away and roll around as and when you need.  

 Garden with honeysuckle climbers

Go vertical

Take advantage of climbing plants and build up a living wall! We recommend Madagascar jasmine in the Spring, star jasmine in the summer, Tropaeolum tubersum in the Autumn and Jasminum Polyanthum in the winter if you want to add a splash of colour to your garden all year-round. Climbers are some of the best garden plants for small spaces.  

Including raised beds into your small garden design idea is another way of building up and creates more space by using the space underneath as well as on top of the raised garden beds.

Another trick that emphasises the height rather than width of small gardens is planting a green wall. Choose fast-growing climber species such as jasmine, honeysuckle, and ivy to get that wall up fast!  

 Raised deck with garden furniture on

Build a raised deck or patio

Building a raised deck or patio, not only will utilise your small modern garden but will also make your garden appear larger. This is not for the faint-hearted but can make a huge difference to the space you have. Take advantage of steps by placing potted plants or lanterns. 


Water Features

Convert a wall into a water feature, featuring slate that the water can flow down. The sound of the water muffles the noise from the busy street on the other side of the wall. This provides a more calm space for those using the garden and a stunning focal point that will draw the eye. 

 Balcony with garden plants in containers

Take advantage of a balcony  

If you don’t have a garden but have a balcony then it’s very likely it’s small. In order to maximise your space, use sleek, modern materials like stainless steel and glass. Glass, like mirrors make the space feel larger and don’t obstruct your balcony views.  

With small spaces, it’s important to make use of every nook and cranny. Window boxes are great for aesthetic purposes, but they can also transform a modern garden into a functional vegetable garden. You can grow vegetables, fruits and even herbs!  

Using foldable tables are brilliant for small spaces to eat your breakfast and enjoy a coffee but can be folded away when it's not in use to open your space. opt for ottomans instead of a coffee table so it can double as a footrest as well as storage. You don't need to have an expansive balcony to put it to good use. opt for space-saving furniture.

While smaller urban gardens may present a challenge, don’t be discouraged and get ready to grow for it! Follow our Instagram page for more ways to make the most of your outdoor space and small garden inspiration.