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How to design the small garden – Ideas for clever garden design in compact outdoor spaces.

If the small garden must be designed, making it more inviting, it is necessary to optimize planning. In this way, you can arrange even the most compact spaces so that they are both functional and more pleasant. Since not everyone can afford the luxury of several acres in the garden, there are some smart design options. So, such tips and ideas can definitely come in handy if you are looking for inspiration.

With what and how to design the small garden?

how to design the small garden in an urban environment and make it inviting

Usually, narrow spaces feel less inspiring. When faced with an empty patio or tiny balcony, you may wonder where to start. The good news is that any garden, large or small, such as a pretty balcony garden , is full of possibilities. In fact, it’s easier than you might think to create your own mini-paradise, as well as expand your living space and improve your quality of life in the process. In addition, small gardens usually require less costs and are basically easier to maintain than large garden areas.

vertical garden in the courtyard thrive with green planting

However, before you start decorating, you need to focus on getting the basic framework of your plot right. This means the layout, for which you have just as many options. From balconies to covered garden areas, the design ideas listed here can inspire you to find new ways to design your not-so-large property. Before you get to that, it’s also important to think about the zoning and layout of your small garden.

How you can divide a compact garden layout

this is a modern way to design a small garden and make it functional with planning

Besides garden design, using pavers for different zones in the garden is a smart strategy. However, there are many other ways to divide if you want to design the small garden. For example, try using small, clipped hedges that are either trimmed into neat rectangles or perhaps cut for more organic shapes. You can also use large planters for this purpose. Half walls made of stone are also a good option, as you can plant them as well. You can also work with levels by trying to raise a seating area higher or recess it to draw the eye and divide it into a separate garden area. Here are some examples that might help you do this.

Can a patio be designed like the small garden?

romantic corner and small garden design with pergola and green plants


Courtyards are typical of some urban homes and can feel shady, overlooked and uninspiring. However, with a few design tricks, you can transform a small, walled property into a stylish environment. In addition, sunlight should be an important aspect of this. This is especially true for small properties with built-up areas. Some patios may only get a glimpse of sunlight during the day, or in the evening it may last an hour or two. So if you enjoy sitting in the sun, make sure your seating is positioned to make the most of it.

how to make a backyard modern like the small garden

In this example, a built-in bench does just that – catching a dose of evening light before the sun sets behind the house. On the other hand, those who prefer to sit in the shade should position their seating accordingly. This contemporary design also benefits from artificial turf, which adds a welcome splash of green to the area. At the same time, it requires no maintenance, which eliminates the need to mow the garden. Both of these are big pluses so that the modern and small garden can be designed this way. Also, small gardens with high perimeter walls are often shady, which can be problematic when it comes to growing green grass.

Multiple zones in the garden area

combine paving stones and wood for modern garden paths


Regardless of the shape of your garden, zoning is a great way to add visual interest and functionality. The small garden in this case demonstrates the approach perfectly by creating three distinct zones with soft hedges, light pavers and decorative stones. Laying the patio planks horizontally to the pavers also helps to expand the space. Paradoxically, if space allows, dividing the garden into different zones can make it feel wider, give a sense of depth and create an intriguing effect.

cover narrow garden areas with wooden planks and insert seats

Use plantings, screening, walls or material changes to create different areas. Hide a seating area with planted dividers or incorporate different sized pavers to give the impression of width. It would also be possible to use different materials such as pavers to create a sense of transition from each area. For example, try a paved pathway to a stone patio or a lawn to the patio area.

Compact urban garden on your own balcony or patio.

mini urban garden on your own balcony or terrace with garden furniture and planter on gravel

A place to sit is a priority for most outdoor spaces, regardless of size. So with carefully considered design ideas for small gardens, you can create the perfect setting for entertaining, breakfast al fresco or relaxing with a good book. Use large planters along the border and not only can you enjoy the floral backdrop, but they also serve as a subtle privacy screen. A look like this works if you’re also looking for design options for small front yards.

Here’s how to make a modern balcony look like your small garden

create a balcony garden and bring more green into the city apartment

Perhaps the scale of your outdoor space extends to a tiny balcony. There are still many ways to turn the balcony garden into an outdoor oasis. You just need to plan the space carefully. You may be lucky enough to have a view of water nearby or fields on the other side of your property. By using minimal fencing instead of solid panels, you can make the most of the outdoors.

view of lake from small balcony garden with lush plants

Also, remember to position your seating towards the view to make the most of it. It will instantly feel like your backyard is more spacious. If you are in an urban setting, adding privacy may be better suited for such a garden. A balcony can also be home to your own mini jungle if you wish. A few eye-catching plants in pots can play a key role in your layout, while smaller pots can be hung from railings or used as centerpieces for your table.

Place seating lower with privacy screens

privacy and privacy next to sunken seating area in the garden

Living in the city can often come at the expense of privacy. Therefore, it is important to first determine which areas of a compactly designed garden will provide a more private space for comfortable seating. A structure like this, which can be used to design the small garden, allows for a sunken seating area bordered by decorative dividers. Working with levels like this is perfect for making the most of slightly sloping land. Plus, a garden screen can be a stylish feature itself. Patterned designs keep light coming in and create an airy, open feeling between garden areas. Choose a color that matches your decor to tastefully tie the color scheme together.

Design a small patio garden

terrace garden with comfortable garden furniture designed as a dining area or for relaxation

A patio in the garden at a higher level would be a great design option for an outdoor extension of the home. In addition, the small garden can be designed by adding a fireplace, a comfortable sofa and even storage space. If you raise the whole thing slightly on a deck, it will be separated from the lawn edge . This will create an inviting and cozy outdoor living space. Accordingly, this garden area is also suitable as an outdoor dining area and can be converted to regular use in this way. Find a corner for your dining table that you can enhance with small garden fireplaces, as well as water sounds and lighting. Clever garden lighting will encourage you to enjoy the garden late into the evening. To do this, choose fairy lights, which usually fit perfectly into any color scheme.