30 Small Garden Ideas, Designs and DIY Inspiration
Having a small garden can be a bit of a nightmare at times. How are you supposed to make the most of such a sparse area and still make it feel like your own?
Not to worry, we decided to put together a list of our top 30 small garden ideas, designs and inspiration, everything from space saving garden furniture to space enhancing lighting – just for you.
This post will include ideas for small gardens in the following areas:
Space Saving Furniture
Perception Enhancing Lighting
Use the navigation below if you’re looking for something specific, otherwise, scroll along and enjoy our top tips!
1. Corner Sofa
Many assume that corner sofas are only made for gardens with lots of space, when in fact they are hugely space saving.
By placing your seating in a corner of the garden, this leaves the rest of the space free to roam and ready to use in whichever way suits you.
Purchase in a number of shapes and sizes to best match the dimension of your small garden space.
2. Folding Chairs
Fair enough, folding chairs aren’t always the most comfortable and that puts many people off purchasing, but if you’re really struggling for space then they’re a great option to have.
On the plus side, you’re able to add cushions or seat covers to increase comfort and folding tables and chairs are available in many styles – from rustic to shabby chic, take your pick.
3. Picnic Table
Picnic tables offer another, easy, cheap and effective way of reducing space in your garden area, particularly useful for those with a narrow space (like below).
4. Oval Sofa
Picking the perfect seating for your garden can be daunting, especially when space to even stretch your legs is limited.
In which case you should consider the purchase of an oval shaped sofa. They slip perfectly into corners and double up as both a seating and bathing area, a perfect summer accessory for any garden.
5. Pallet Seating
Going DIY with your seating plans is the best way to save space and is the perfect option for those on a tight budget.
Using wooden pallets to create seating is a genius idea. You can make them as long or as little as you need them to be, and because of there shape can fit nicely into corners.
Watch this step by step video if this idea takes your fancy.
6. Hanging Egg Chair
Depending on your budget, a hanging egg chair could be exactly what you need for your small garden space.
It’s design and structure means that it takes up hardly any room and they’re known to be rather comfortable.
7. Cinder Blocks
Another low-cost option is to make seating or garden benches with the use of cinder blocks.
Easy to get old of, cheap and the customisation possibilities are endless for you. Use your DIY seating area for relaxing or as a mantle piece for garden accessories and small decorative plants.
Watch this step by step video to see how you can create your own cinder inspired seating.
8. Plant Stands
For those who dream of a garden packed with scent-ridden flowers, plants and aromatic herbs – make this dream a reality with a plant stand.
With a choice of plant stands to choose from, you can begin to add all your personal touches to your garden without taking up tons of room.
9. Use Walls
When you have a garden area which is really tiny, you need to be creative and make the most of all the space around you.
Don’t have enough room for a plant stand or a trellis? Not to worry, use old tins, jars and what ever else you can find and use them to plant your flowers and herbs.
There are many different ways to do approach this, but we recommend this article to get started.
10. Tiered Herbs
If you’re an avid foodie and love to get stuck in with planting your own herbs, then a tiered DIY herb garden could be exactly what your garden needs.
There are options to buy pre-made herb gardens online, but if you’re on a budget on want to be precise with the space you allocate, we’d recommend making your own tiered herb garden.
Watch this video for a greater insight into stackable planters and vertical gardens.
11. Potted Plants
This may seem like an obvious choice, but they’re a great accessory to be reminded of every now and then.
Garden planters come in various shapes and sizes to suit the dimension of your garden and the amount of space your garden holds.
12. Garden Trellis
With the vertical garden revolution in full force, it’s time that you got in on the act and made the most of a garden trellis.
The versatility of these products means you can install it on a wall, drainpipe or within a planter (see below).
The options are endless with a garden trellis and most importantly, they save tons of room.
Here’s a video worth watching which boasts a host of creative garden trellis ideas.
13. DIY Vegetable Garden
Planting vegetables at home is a great hobby to have, you get to see your gardening work go to good use and you also save money on groceries.
But is there room to plant vegetables in a garden?
The answer is yes. You may not be able to grow all the vegetables you like, but there are many creative ways to grow veggies without tons of space.
Check out these 10 Inspiring Gardens for Growing Food in Small Spaces for further inspiration.
14. LED Fairy Lights
One of least expensive and decorative garden lights available are LED fairy lights – a simple, effective purchase that will transform your garden at night.
15. DIY Candle Jars
Remember what we said earlier about making the most of all the space in your garden? The same can apply for your garden lighting.
Putting candles in jars and attaching them to your wall or fence are a cheap way to add ambient lighting to your garden area, no space required!
Kathy at The Garden Glove wrote a great article on using mason jars for lighting.
16. Braziers & Fire Pits
If you’re looking for a lighting idea with a wow-factor, consider a cast iron fire-pit.
Fire pits are compact, long-lasting and affordable. They’re a unique accessory to have in your garden and offer a lovely source of heat for an evening garden session.
17. Exterior Wall Lamps
Wall lamps are another great way to make the most of a small garden space.
Available in a range of styles, wall lamps help to increase the space perception in your garden and are a great space saving tool, allowing you to make the most of the space you have.
18. Floor Lanterns
Floor lanterns double up as a cheap light source and a romantic addition to any garden – particularly useful for small garden designs.
Available in many forms, including solar powered, lanterns fit just about anywhere in your garden and offer a powerful light source when positioned correctly.
19. Plant Lighting
Kill two birds with one stone and install lighting within your garden planters.
The options are endless, you could plant some LED path lights, solar powered bulbs or even place lanterns within for a unique touch.
20. Bird Bath
Gardens that include a water feature will often invite nature into your garden, and if this is your intention then a bird bath is a good place to start.
Bird baths are a great idea for small gardens and also one of the cheapest if you’re looking to introduce a water feature as a priority.
21. Slate Falls
Adding a wow factor to a small garden is often considered difficult, but many water features take away the worry having a small space, including a slate fall.
Slate falls are a wonderful feature to add to your garden, and there vertical structure means you aren’t taking up masses of space, but they do come at quite the cost.
There are several ways to create your own garden water fall, but slate falls are considered unique and are best purchased – rather than trying to recreate it yourself, this will actually save you money!
22. Water Fountain
Water fountains are another beautiful accessory perfect for gardens of all sizes.
They are best decorated with plants alongside and lighting already installed if possible, this adds a special dose of lighting to your garden area.
23. Water Bowl
If you’re a big fan of all things nature and want your garden to thrive with tons of life, then a water bowl could be a meanwhile investment for you.
They come in many shapes and sizes and admittedly can take up a bit of room, but if you’re looking for just one garden feature, then it may be worth investigating further.
24. Tin Bath Pond
If you like the idea of a water bowl but space is sparse, you might want to consider a smaller approach.
Atin bath is small, easily accessible and a lovely water feature to add to a small garden.
Who needs a pond!
25. Small Corner Shed
Introducing a shed in the right type of garden can be a great way of saving space and storing various different items from bikes to gardening gear, but how do I know if it’s right for me?
Using your judgement is one thing, but remember to figure out the dimensions of the space where it will be installed as bespoke sheds like these can be quite costly.
But when you get it right, they can add real character to your garden…
26. Hang Gardening Tools
Once you buy a few gardening tools, you just have to have them all. In case you become a tool collector, you may be wondering if there is a simple way of storing so many tools with such limited room.
By installing a tool cupboard, you can hang your tools up with ease and safe yourself tons of garden space.
To start, watch this video on how to build a small tool cabinet.
27. Hose Storage
So you’ve planted a generous amount of your favourite flowers and you’ve bought a hose pipe, but it’s making the garden look a bit messy.
Simple solution, create your own hose pipe storage unit within a planter. Get the full details over at DIYcandy.
28. Storage Ladder
Storage ladders are another great invention that allow us to stack our favourite plants, herbs and any other accessories that don’t have a home yet.
They slot perfectly into a corner or against any wall in your garden, a dream for those looking to save on precious garden space.
29. Seat Storage
Finding storage room for certain items can be quite challenging in a small garden.
One option is to purchase seating that also seconds as a storage unit, or if your creating your own seating, make storage room available!
A savvy way of creating more space in your garden for the things you want.
30. Raised Planter Shed
Our last tip is a rather inventive way of storing equipment whilst also making room for additional planting.
We’re not entirely sure if this is available to buy as a standalone product, but either way this would make a great DIY project and once again be saving tons more space in your garden.
Kiran Singh In garden design, focal points are used to draw and direct the eye of visitors. While filling your outdoor space with an undisturbed collection of plants is bound to look beautiful, people will be unlikely to study it. But, if you give people something to focus on initially, their attention will be grabbed and they’ll move on to notice the smaller details of your garden. This can help your garden to appear much larger to them. So, if your goal is to make your outdoor space seem bigger than it is, creating a focal point is a great idea.
Lauren Gilberthorpe I think the key with any garden space is to make it feel like an extension of the indoors. Treat it like an extra room and consider soft furnishings, lighting and furniture with as much care and attention as you would a living room to create a seamless transition from the indoors out. That being said I think there is a tendency to believe that a small outdoor space restricts your ability to be creative. In actual fact smaller gardens are a lot easier to make cosy and relaxed as they require much less accessorising. Often outdoor furniture can become lost in a larger space making it harder to create an inviting cocoon for entertaining. My top tip would be to really consider the use of the space you have. To overcome a seating shortage opt for colourful floor cushions, their flexibility allows you to adjust the area depending on the number of guests and they look more inviting than chunky overpowering furniture.
David & Mark Any small garden can be instantly transformed with lighting. Whether it be outdoor hurricane lanterns lining the borders, candle holders hanging from branches or fairy lights glistening overhead. Using lighting can make your outdoor garden feel like an extended space and will ensure that even when the sun goes down, the party doesn’t have to stop!
Anna Kovalchenko Even in the smallest garden you still can find a place for a little patio, where you can sit with your family and friends, have some drinks and snacks, play table games and enjoy warm summer weather. There is a vast variety of outdoor furniture available on the market but some cool pieces for your patio you can actually make yourself. For example, you can buy some stumps at a sawmill, leave them to properly dry, then polish and cover with protective varnish – cute coffee tables for your patio are ready! Full tutorial on how to make stump coffee tables can be found here.
Natalia Peel A cantilever parasol is a great option to give some protection from the sun in a small garden. Because they are designed to hang over furniture, they offer much more flexibility. Having the parasol base out of the way frees up valuable space as well as a potential trip hazard! A cantilever parasol is also much easier to move around to angle the shade just where you need it without having to drag a heavy base around. So one minute you can have the shade over a BBQ and then swing it around over the garden table.
Alison Gibb In the Pink – if concrete is a bit too brutalist for your little piece of paradise – paint it pink and add some lime green cushions for extra zing. A concrete bench is a great way to deal with a split level in a small space and painting it a bright colour adds prettiness to a new garden until the planting has matured. Should you ever want a change you can paint over it, fresh spearmint, deep indigo or lavender would provide an instant update in a couple of years.
Sarah White Mini garden makeover with colour – inject some life all year round by planning your scheme not on flowers alone. I used a blend of colours to create a serene mini outdoor Zen space, both tranquil in the day and at night all year round.
Discover 30 amazing small garden ideas and designs that save precious space including furniture, plants, water features, lighting and storage hacks.