Small Urban Garden Ideas

In a small urban garden, nearly every inch counts. Taking the time to plan your landscape in detail can help you use the space most efficiently, keeping your garden well organized and preventing it from feeling cramped and crowded. Prioritize the plants and landscape features you want the most so that you don't end up leaving out important items to save room.


Mirrors are handy tools that take up little or no space and help to open up a small urban garden. Place all-weather mirrors around garden walls. Angle them up slightly so they reflect the sky or angle them down slightly to show off attractive plantings in your garden. Mirrors can also serve a more practical use in urban gardens; place mirrors facing south or west to reflect sunlight onto plants in shaded parts of the garden. This will help you use areas that would otherwise not have enough light to grow the plants you want.

Texture and Space

Textures can trick the eye, making a small garden seem larger or smaller, according to Kansas State University. If you would like your small urban garden to look a bit larger, use coarse-textured objects toward the entrance, with finer or smaller textures further into the garden. For example, pave the path toward the front of the garden with large stones and use smaller stones further in, or use strains of Japanese maple with coarse leaves toward the front of the garden and plants with fine, delicate leaves at the back. If you'd like your small garden to appear flatter, smaller and more intimate, use the opposite technique. Use fine textures toward the front and coarse textures toward the back to flatten space out and make the garden seem more compact.


In a small garden, every plant choice is significant. Because they add texture and shape to the garden all year long, evergreen plants are particularly useful for small garden planting. Use bonsai evergreens or dwarf species as small specimen plants. Winter-blooming plants such as winterberry holly add winter color while maintaining summer presence, and evergreen azaleas bring a bright summer bloom and winter greenery. Use evergreen trees near the borders of the garden to add height and increase privacy in your urban space.

Keywords: small urban gardens, urban garden ideas, small garden ideas

About this Author

Isaiah David is a freelance writer and musician living in Portland, Ore. He has nearly five years' experience as a professional writer and has been published on various online outlets. He holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan.