How to Design a Small Garden


Small spaces tend to require less time spent on maintenance and allowing more time spent enjoying your blooming beauties. With small gardens, pruning and watering will also be an easy task, making them perfect for those who don't have a lot of time but love to garden. Investing time in the perfect choice of plants and flowers and looking at the garden site with an honest perspective will help you design a stunning small garden. Low-maintenance plants like creeping thyme and sedum will create a stunning and long-lasting garden addition.

Step 1

Research the plants ideal growing environment to help you determine whether they can be grown in the small area. Observe the garden to determine the amount of sunlight and shade the garden receives on a daily basis. Create a framework for your garden to help narrow down the list of plants.

Step 2

Create an outline of you garden to help guide you through the process. Blueprints allow you to make quick changes in the process as you go along and prevent a lot of unnecessary digging.

Step 3

Begin at the back of the garden bed and work your way forward; this will help you create a balanced design. Using a garden spade, start by planting perennials, which come back each year, fuller and healthier. Choose flowering trees and shrubs that begin their blooming season in the spring. For larger plants, use a shovel to assist in digging larger holes. This will guarantee colorful blooms throughout the growing season.

Step 4

Plant bulbs that come back each year and add vibrant color to a small space. Glory of the snow and grape hyacinths begin their emergence in the early spring and add variety to your garden.

Step 5

Fill in spaces with annuals like daisies and impatiens. Short-lived yet fundamental, annuals are ideal for filling empty spaces inside a garden. Add annuals to pots and containers, which can be easily moved around the garden.

Step 6

Experiment with containers in your flower garden. Containers allow the gardener to choose what to grow and where to situate the container, making them very adaptable. Essential materials like soil type and amount of light can be tweaked and easily manipulated.

Step 7

Plant a focal point in your small garden. Scale it down to prevent overwhelming the space. Dwarfed Japanese maples or spruce trees can create beautiful design without overtaking the space.

Step 8

Fertilize your small garden space to ensure the flowers and plants flourish and thrive. Refer to the fertilizer instructions for the correct application amount. Typically, plants can handle monthly fertilizing treatments.

Things You'll Need

  • Plants
  • Flowers
  • Garden spade
  • Shovel
  • Bulbs
  • Fertilizer


  • My Home Ideas
  • University of Illinois Extension
Keywords: small garden, perennials, flower garden

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer and photographer in North Carolina. Her work has appeared in Forbes and Automotive News magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.