Small Sunny Garden Ideas

Small sunny garden spaces practically call out for the use of color and a dramatic display. Go the extra mile in your spot, no matter how small. Create an island of beauty that shows who you are or includes all of your personal favorites. Choose plants that not only tolerate but can thrive in full sun. Remember, sunny conditions can be drying. Your plants may need additional watering and mulch to encourage water to stay around the base of the plant.


Create a pathway to pass through an elongated space and visitors will be able to walk among your flowers. A winding path creates a sense of anticipation and encourages guests to linger. The materials do not have to be fancy or costly. A layer of mulch makes an inexpensive walkway. An informal grassy or ground cover path will allow you to remove your shoes and explore in your bare feet.


Include a form of simple seating. A bench or large rock gives visitors a place to rest and acts as a point of interest and a backdrop to blooms. Planting can be brought right up to the edge of the bench, immersing your guest in fragrance and tempting butterflies in for a closer look. If your sunny spot needs a bit of shade, consider an ivy or a climbing flowering vine like hydrangea. Even the bark of the vine holds the attention because of its peeling habit.

Focal Point

Build around a focal point. Whether you prefer a water feature, statue or reflective globe, a piece of garden art can draw people in. If maintenance is an issue, a dry fountain can be as interesting as one with flowing water. Add some rich soil and allow a spreading, low growing flower like sweet alyssum to drape and hang over the lip of the bowl.

Beyond Flowers

Don't limit yourself to flowers. Lots of garden fruits and vegetables enjoy similar conditions. Mix in a few herbs or choose a variety of plants that will give you both produce and something pretty to look at. Pair a tomato--trained to a trellis--with borage and strawberries. An everbearing strawberry will produce two sets of fruit, while the fuzzy leaves and blossoms of borage are both edible. Borage has brilliant blue flowers and deters hornworms that feed on tomato plants. According to the Michigan State University Extension, borage can strengthen strawberries in resisting insect invaders and disease and improve the flavor of the berries.

Keywords: small garden options, full sun plants, planning a garden, sunny garden

About this Author

Alice Moon is a freelance writer with more than 10 years' experience. She was chosen as a Smithsonian Institute intern, working for the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and has traveled throughout Asia. Moon holds a Bachelor of Science in political science from Ball State University.