Ideas for Landscaping a Small Area

Small spaces can present a dilemma for those with large-scale gardening dreams. Though certain landscaping ideas are a bit too ambitious for small spaces, tiny garden areas can offer a seemingly endless supply of ideas. Many plant species are suited perfectly for this type of gardening. You can even purchase outdoor furniture in a smaller scale that suits your small garden area.

Vertical Gardening

When horizontal space is limited, try growing your garden vertically. This means choosing vines to scramble over structures and trees, utilizing hanging pots for flowers and foliage plants or incorporating bonsai trees into the landscape. Try using pillars and other tall, narrow elements throughout the space. Choosing an item that has planting areas from its base to its top will give more gardening room in the same amount of space.

Garden for the Senses

Try to include plants and other items that do more than look nice. Using highly fragrant flowers, such as gardenias, can add massive impact to a small area. The scent may linger within it better than in a large, open garden. Choosing plants that have contrasting textures and colors will add variety to a small garden. Try painting walkways or arbors in bright colors. These occasional touches of pigment will give the eye a place to pause before moving on and will create the illusion of a larger area with more to offer.

Children's Garden

Try setting up a small garden with your kids in mind. Build a playhouse trimmed out just like a real house. Allow the children to landscape their yard as they see fit. Good plants for this type of landscape are nonpoisonous, spineless and interestingly shaped. Using various sedums, violets, evergreens and other perennials will keep kids busy during the growing season. Have the children plant fast-growing seeds such as sunflowers and bachelor's buttons. They are quick to bloom from seed, making them a fun project. This is especially helpful when homeschooling, as it can be part of a science project.

Groundcover Designs

Use groundcovers in contrasting hues and textures to create shapes. If kept trimmed and weeded, this landscape idea can add a cultured appearance to the property. Displays can include your favorite football team's logo, crosses, family initials, children's names, animal shapes and even an image of the Earth. Good plant choices for this are miniature sedum, Irish moss, true mosses, lichens, garden mums, moss phlox and any other short, spreading type plants.

Keywords: gardening in small spaces, small space gardening, landscaping small yards

About this Author

Izzy McPhee has been a freelance writer since 1999. She writes about gardening, nature conservation, pond care, aquariums, child care, family, living on a budget and do-it-yourself projects. Her paintings have appeared in the well known gallery The Country Store Gallery in Austin, Texas. Her work can be seen on and Demand Studios.