Small Garden Design Plans
Planting schemes and ideas for how to design small gardens
This is a collection of some our own small gardens, yards, and landscape designs that we've designed and built over the years. Feel free to use any ideas you can get from them for your own projects and plans.
Most of these designs address specific problem areas of small yards, patios, courtyards, and planting schemes, and then provide solutions through various means of landscaping techniques.
Designing small gardens and landscapes requires special attention to detail. While the principles of landscape design do apply, a small garden isn't necessarily just a miniature version of a larger landscape. Not only is the amount of materials fewer, the number of different elements may also need to be smaller. Try to resist the temptation to add too many different elements and materials.
Simplicity in design is often a key to small spaces. This front entry garden uses a simple combination of pavers, plants, and decor ideas, to create flow and balance.
This is a simple, easy to create idea that can be used almost anywhere with any type of garden. Even though it's for a shady area, it's not limited to that. The plants can be adapted to almost any location that just needs a little something to take up some space.
This design uses a network of curves to transform an odd shaped wasted space into an extension of the home. Using a small pond waterfall, paver patio, and a few plants, this front entry is an inviting entrance as well as a nice place to relax in the front yard.
In this example we transformed the unwanted swimming pool into a sunken, brick patio, small garden. Although not many people will do this with an old pool, these are still cool ideas for creating a sunken patio.
Although this garden was created for a circular drive, it can be adapted to almost anywhere. It uses very little space while using different levels to maximize limited space.
There's not a lot involved in this driveway landscaping. The design uses simple ideas, plant selection, and elements to create unity and balance.
There are actually several versions of this square backyard design. Ranging from a simple sidewalk and lawn area to a complete planted in garden with a little lawn, there are several ideas that you may find useful.
Patio And Courtyard Designs
Patio designs offer some great inspiration for landscaping small spaces. Generally confined to limited areas themselves, you can get some great ideas for planting schemes and decor from patio gardens.
Courtyards also offer some great inspiration. Generally enclosed and limited to space, courtyard gardens demonstrate how to use decor, wall colors, plants, furniture, and other materials to design a small space without feeling cluttered and cramped.
Tips For Landscaping Small Spaces
- Curves create flow and the feel of extended space. They often make smaller areas appear larger than they really are.
- The trick to creating lush thick vegetation in a small garden is to use fewer varieties of plants in mass and repetition. You have very little space to work with and a large variety of plants can seem too busy and cluttered.
- To use plants to create a sense of depth in your flower beds, place darker colored rough textured plants in the front of the planters and lighter finer textured plants to the back of the planters.
- Color can be a very useful tool if your garden is confined by walls. Darker colors create depth and a sense of extended space where lighter colors can appear closer and closed in.
- Creating different rooms or sections of the garden can also give the illusion of extended space. Simply patitioning the area with an arch or arbor can make the landscape feel as if it's bigger than it really is.
- Fountains and water features aren't out of the question for small garden ideas. Wall mounted fountains are perfect for this and take up very little space.