Small Garden Design Ideas

Just because your garden space is limited, doesn't mean you can't have a relaxing and vibrant flower-filled space. In fact, many perennial and evergreen plants are available in dwarf or low-growing varieties. Growing smaller, low-growing plants that don't take up a lot of garden real estate, and spatially planning the garden to maximize every space, helps to create a cohesive small garden design.

Small Patio

Create a focal point in the garden by building a small brick patio. Scale down the size to fit into the garden to create an area for nestling a grill, birdbath or tricking water fountain. Patio spaces help to open up a small garden space while creating an area for relaxing. Brick, a durable and long-lasting stone variety, when laid, creates a circular or square patio, depending upon the allotted space. Along the perimeter of the patio, tuck perennial plants to envelop the new outdoor living space. Low-growing creeping thyme and sedum grows in small tufts of green that complement the bright red brick stones. Euphorbia, another vibrant green perennial, has clusters of stemless leaves that have a mounding form, ideal tucked around the brick patio space.

Vertical Garden

Maximize your small garden by planting vertical vines along a wall-mounted trellis. Wall-mounted trellises don't take up a lot of room and provide another surface for growing plants and vegetables. Mounted against a potting shed or a fence, or stuck into the ground, trellises create height for an otherwise small space. Fast growing but not invasive are the ever-colorful jasmine and trumpet vines. Both have bright flower blooms that light up the trellis with color. Confederate jasmine, a variety of jasmine vine, is also an evergreen vine and keeps its color and leaves all season long to provide a constant pop of green along the trellis. Vining vegetable crops like tomatoes require a staked surface and thrive when grown up a trellis. Small cherry tomato vines or larger tomatoes like the brandywine and beefmaster produce a constant source of mouth-watering vegetables in the summer, but without taking up essential room in the small garden space.

Dwarf Evergreens

Keep the small garden green year-round with dwarf evergreens. Taking up limited space in the garden and grown in dozens of varieties, dwarf evergreen shrubs are a small garden essential. They grow in different shapes and sizes, some upright and erect, while others grow in small mounds. The dwarf hinoke cypress is an ideal evergreen shrub to grow in a small garden. Growing 1 to 2 feet tall, its compact branches are bright green and fragrant. Dwarf hinoke cypress shrubs have a slow growth rate so will take time to reach the maximum height of only 2 feet. The foliage is soft to touch and looks striking planted in a set of three. Dwarf hinoke cypress trees require full sun to partial shade and well-drained, moist soils.

Keywords: small garden ideas, brick courtyard, vertical garden, dwarf evergreen shrubs

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer, designer and photographer in North Carolina. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate your indoor and outdoor living environment. Her articles have appeared in and and her photography has been featured in "Automotive News" magazine and