How to Design a Small Home Garden


Create an inviting small home garden that ties the home and garden together to create a harmonious design. Bring in favorite plants and flowers to add your own personal style, but be sure they don't overpower the space. Dwarf varieties and low-growing plants and flowers are ideal in small spaces, because they don't hog the soil space. Never be afraid to alter plans when specific plant don't complement the space. Tweak the design, when needed, and have fun coming up with ways to accent the small yard.

Step 1

Draw a sketch of the small space before adding plants and flowers to the garden. Mark where the flowers, vegetables and plants are going, and include the maximum width and height to help determine the ideal placement within the garden.

Step 2

Observe the area where the plants are to be planted to determine the amount of sun and shade the area receives. Keep in mind that during each season, the sun is higher or lower and casts a different amount of light to the garden.

Step 3

Choose flowers that don't overwhelm the small garden but pack a lot of punch with color and texture. Grow upright, flowering plants like black-eyed Susan and purple coneflowers, both drought-tolerant and low-maintenance flowers.

Step 4

Plant small flowering shrubs along the perimeter of the garden to keep the small space looking open while bringing height to the garden. Tuck in bluebeard spirea bushes, deciduous bushes that only grow 3 feet tall and wide, along the back of a bed for their billowing yet small shape and size.

Step 5

Grow vining vegetables like tomatoes on a stake within the garden to save essential ground space for plants and flowers. Mount a trellis to a fence or garden wall to use as the primary surface for growing pole beans and other bean varieties.

Step 6

Add a focal point specimen like a small Japanese pixie maple to the garden space. Nestle the maple within a large container to move around the garden, when needed.

Things You'll Need

  • Flowers
  • Shrubs
  • Vegetables
  • Tomato stake
  • Trellis
  • Japanese maple
  • Accent plants


  • Fine Gardening: Purple Coneflower
  • North Carolina State University Extension: Bluebeard Spirea
  • North Carolina State University Extension: Perennial Selection

Who Can Help

  • University of Florida Extension: Low Maintenace Landscapes
Keywords: small home garden, desigining home gardens, perennial flower garden, vegetable garden

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