Urban sprawl has allowed dense populations and expansive suburbs to hinder green spaces. Downtown areas only have parks as green space, and some suburban areas only allow for a small plot of land at the back of each house.
But, if you've spent any amount of time outside during the warm months in these urban areas, you've probably noticed plants growing in cracks of the sidewalks or pavement. If life can find a way in tiny crevices, imagine what it can do in a small backyard.
We've compiled 30 small garden ideas for almost any situation. Whether you want to grow vegetables or flowers or make a small yard look elegant, we're sure to have something that will inspire you to make the most of what you've got.
30 Small Garden Ideas:
- Artificial Grass With Plant Border
- Brick Paths Between Raised Beds
- Container Garden on a Roof
- Fountain Surrounded By Plants
- Fountain With Rocks
- Front Yard Flower Bed
- Garden With Rock Border and Waterfall
- Hanging Planters
- Indoor Garden With Artificial Grass
- L-Shaped Raised Beds
- Lawn With Plant Border
- Leafy Landscape
- Lounge Chair With Lush Greenery
- Mounted Pallet Planters
- Mounted Strawberry Containers
- Raised Beds and No Lawn
- Raised Beds On a Deck
- Raised Beds On a Platform
- Raised Beds With Herb Garden in the Middle
- Repurposed Plastic Bottles
- Repurposed Tires and Containers
- Seating Area Surrounded By Lush Foliage
- Seating Area With Circular Design
- Small Balcony With Potted Plants
- Small Garden With Lawn Space
- Small Lawn and Path With Containers
- Square Raised Bed
- Stone Path Surrounded By Plants
- Vertical Garden on Small Balcony
- Wooden Shed With Gravel Path
1. Artificial Grass With Plant Border
If you don't have the space for a lawnmower or you don't enjoy getting the chore done, consider covering your lawn area with artificial grass. You can surround the area with an attractive plant border so you can still attract pollinators and enjoy a piece of nature without having to break a sweat over mowing every Saturday morning.
2. Brick Paths Between Raised Beds
Raised beds are a great way to make gardening easy, especially if you have limited space to work with. If you don't want to worry about bringing dirt into your home, pave the walkways with bricks and rocks. Not only will it help your small space stay clean, but it will also prevent weeds from popping up too.
3. Container Garden on a Roof
If you have access to a rooftop, utilize small containers to grow a garden. The tops of buildings receive plenty of sunlight, so you'll be able to grow plenty of fruits and flowers that don't need shade. If you don't have personal rooftop access, consider speaking to the building owner to organize a community garden program.
4. Fountain Surrounded By Plants
Placing a small fountain in the corner of a small yard is a great way to add a bit of tranquility. Add a few plants around the fountain to maximize your space. If you choose taller fountains, you'll have more verticle space to work with, allowing you to choose plants of different sizes.
5. Fountain With Rocks
If you want to turn your small yard into a peaceful oasis, install a fountain. A rock border will give it a beautiful natural look, and you can always place plants around it, whether they're planted in the ground or in containers.
6. Front Yard Flower Bed
Any small lawn can be enhanced with a beautiful flower border close to the home. This border can have flowers, shrubs, or small trees. If a homeowners association allows it, you can grow fruits or vegetables in this space. Any plant will add texture, depth, and color to a beautifully manicured lawn.
7. Garden With Rock Border and Waterfall
If you don't mind using lawn space to create an interesting visual in your small yard, consider a waterfall setup. The waterfall can be built up with dirt to create a hill, which will allow you to place plants at various heights. Create various heights with rock borders to add texture to the scene and keep plants from spreading out of their designated areas.
8. Hanging Planters
Hanging planters like this are one of the best ways to maximize your small garden, especially if you're interested in producing a large harvest. The multiple tiers of containers take up vertical space, so you can line them along a fence to have an open space or fill up your entire yard with multiple rows.
9. Indoor Garden with Artificial Grass
Not everyone has the luxury of an outdoor garden, but you can mimic one inside. Lay down a layer of artificial grass and fill the room with containers and house plants. If you don't have much sunlight, fill the room with grow lights. Many plants that are considered “outdoor” plants can be grown inside, such as tomatoes or peppers, but you'll need to hand pollinate them to get fruit.
10. L-Shaped Raised Beds
An L-shaped raised bed can provide more room for plants. It's great to put in the corner of a small yard since you only need access to one side of it. The corner where the two sides meet has extra width, perfect for larger plants.
11. Lawn With Plant Border
If you need to reserve your limited lawn space for kids or pets, putting plants around the edges will allow you to keep both grass and plants in a small area. Plants will likely need to be shade tolerant since they'll be against a fence.
12. Leafy Landscape
Dense foliage is one way to fill a small garden with numerous plants. Choosing bright green plants will liven up the area, especially if it's shaded. Depending on how much room you have, you can leave a little space for grass.
13. Lounge Chair With Lush Greenery
If you'd prefer to use your small garden space as a place to relax, placing a lounge chair among many plants is a great way to do it. Plant a variety of trees, shrubs, and flowers for beautiful colors and cooling shade. You can place bricks or paving stones where you want the lounge chair so plants won't take over the entire space.
14. Mounted Pallet Planters
Repurposed pallets are a great way to reuse trash and put vertical space to good use. If you don't have yard space to spare, but you do have an empty wall, a pallet can be filled with dirt and plants. Small trailing plants are ideal for this kind of setup, but certain edible plants such as strawberries or herbs will grow well in this, too.
15. Mounted Strawberry Containers
Strawberries grow well in mounted containers because the berries grow on small vines that will hang over the sides. Strawberry plants will send out runners to start new plants, which you can stretch over to another container if you wish to do so. This is an ideal setup for those who have sunny apartment balconies because it won't take up too much space and it will add a pop of color.
16. Raised Beds and No Lawn
Sometimes you have to sacrifice a perfect green lawn to grow food or flowers. If you choose to go that route, several raised beds with gravel paths are a good way to do it. The gravel paths will limit the number of weeds that will grow, and the raised beds will allow you to have access from multiple sides, depending on how you set them up.
17. Raised Beds on a Deck
Raised beds or planters can look elegant on a deck and will be beautiful to look at while you eat or lounge outside. You won't have to worry about weeds as often, and water will easily drain out. You can use planters on the edges of the deck to serve as a guard rail if necessary.
18. Raised Beds On a Platform
Make your small garden a focal point by creating a platform to place raised beds on. It will help minimize weeds and may deter kids and pets from bothering the plants. It also creates a nice border between the garden and the lawn.
19. Raised Beds With Herb Garden in the Middle
If you're torn between dedicating your limited space to flowers or food, combine both with a central raised bed for herbs and flowers. Many herbs are as pretty as flowers, and many flowers are edible, so they go hand in hand together. Plus, they'll attract pollinators that will help bring them to the rest of your garden. If your garden area is too small for a central planter, try planting rows of herbs and flowers between your vegetable rows.
20. Repurposed Plastic Bottles
This small garden idea is perfect for those who don't have any outdoor space and have limited gardening resources. You can cut plastic bottles, fill half of it with soil, and grow small plants inside them. This is best used for herbs, flowers, or spring onions, but larger plastic containers will allow you to explore more options.
21. Repurposed Tires and Containers
If you want to give old items new uses, turn them into planters. Tires and containers can be mounted to the wall, hung from the ceiling, or placed on the ground. The bigger the vessel, the more you can plant. Using tires gives off an attractive urban-meets-rustic look that will help you bring the outdoors to any patio or balcony.
22. Seating Area Surrounded By Lush Foliage
A small garden is ideal for a seating area because of the privacy it creates. Surrounding the area with plants is another way you can make it feel secluded. Use small trees, big shrubs, and flowers of all kinds to brighten up the area and make it feel cozy. If you prefer to snack as you chat, grow fruits and vegetables alongside flowers.
23. Seating Area With Circular Design
Dedicate part of your lawn to a seating area with a paved walkway and flowers. The circular design makes this seating area a focal point and will bring elegance to your property. This design shows grass in the middle, but you could replace it with more flowers or a fountain if your budget allows.
24. Small Balcony With Potted Plants
Even the smallest balconies can hold some greenery, even if it isn't much. A few potted plants will liven the area significantly and give you something beautiful to look at. You can grow small edible plants such as strawberries, peppers, or cherry tomatoes. Small balconies may not hold much weight, so be sure to be mindful of how heavy the pots will be once they have plants and soil in them.
25. Small Garden With Lawn Space
Make the most of what you have by cramming everything into a small space. Have a small seating area with a lawn and garden all right next to each other. You can choose shrubs, flowers, or vegetables for the garden portion or mix them all together. Small spaces don't have to limit you!
26. Small Lawn and Path With Containers
The smallest yards can be enjoyed with a lawn big enough for a dog to use and a pathway lined with containers. Containers will help keep plants compact and not take over the walkway. If you have the space, a seating area will tie it together.
27. Square Raised Bed
Whether you're new to gardening or don't want a big commitment, a square raised bed is a simple but effective small garden idea. You can easily access it from all sides, and you can allow trailing plants to hang over the sides while the smaller plants stay in the middle. If you build it yourself, you can choose which size you to build based on your needs.
28. Stone Path Surrounded By Plants
If all you have is a slender yard that leads to your door, you can turn it into a magical path that displays several varieties of flowers. You can choose shrubs, flowers, or small trees to create a canopy. Line the entire walkway with paving stones or allow grass to grow to achieve the cottage look. Even edible plants or herbs will this setup look beautiful. Put up trellises and allow cucumbers or beans to climb the poles.
29. Vertical Garden on Small Balcony
This small garden idea should win a prize for being the most efficient with such a small area. Use containers on the ground and hang plants above them to make the most out of your space. With this setup, you'll need plants that don't require full sun since so many plants are trying to soak up the rays.
30. Wooden Shed With Gravel Path
A small yard can hold many plants, and you'll probably want a small shed to hold your gardening tools. You can make the shed a focal point with a gravel path and line it with as many plants as you can fit. This plan allows you to access your storage easily, but it still allows plants and beauty into the yard.