After recently moving into a home that has a small but amazing outdoor space, I have been going a little crazy thinking of small garden ideas. The garden at present is beautiful, with a little lawn and a good balance of shrubs, small trees, leafy greens and flowering plants. But what I am daydreaming about is turning it into something a little wilder (and a lot simpler).
Here in Cape Town, South Africa, we have a climate that is not unlike many parts of California. Summers are hot and dry, and water restrictions are often put into place during the dry seasons. With this in mind, my overall goal is to work towards a minimal effort, water wise garden that is filled with native plants. Luckily, this plan is achievable with a small garden. The trick is to first start by getting some inspiration on small garden ideas that more or less convey what I want to do…
Gorgeous, Inspiring Small Gardens
Some of the little gardens that I am loving right now include the following:
1/ CliveNichols 2/ BHG 3/ Houzz 4/ StyleMePretty 5/ ThisOldHouse
Top Tips for Small Space Gardening
A few things to keep in mind when planning a small space garden…
- Use the space you have, not the space you wish you had. It’s all very well dreaming of a charming country garden, but unless your current space would work with this style, it may not be practical. Some gardens are small and narrow, while others are teeny and square shaped. Consider factors such as patio, lawn, fences, current beds and paths that may be present, then work around those factors to plan your garden.
- Start with a carefully thought out plan of action. What plants work best for your climate and garden conditions? Do you have shade, sun or a bit of both? Do you want perennials (seasonal plants), evergreens (year-round plants) or both? Start planning and plotting so that you have a clear mission in mind.
- Get creative with space saving strategies. Even if you only have a balcony or a small patio, you can plan a gorgeous garden. You don’t have to limit yourself to ground space. Use containers, vertical gardens, hanging gardens and other strategies to use your space wisely.
- Remember to consider the environment. Wherever possible, aim for a garden that has plenty of plants native to your country or area. This will ensure that your garden is water wise and beneficial to the environment. Alien or invasive species may be pretty, but they may end doing more harm than good.
- Aim for balance and visual appeal. You could have the tiniest garden ever and it will still be amazing if there is the right balance. Plant tall bushes, flowering plants and shrubs alongside creepers, ground cover and medium height plants. Use rocks, water features, pots and other features to add visual appeal. Mix up the colours, textures and varieties of plants.
Save Space with Container Gardens
A fantastic, super simple way to create a garden with limited space is to opt for container gardens. These can be as minimal or elaborate as you like. You can grow almost anything in containers… fruit, veggies, flowers, bushes, trees and so many different plants. What makes this option ideal is that it allows you the freedom of being able to move plants around easily. It also helps you use available space smartly – on the ground and above ground, but also against unused walls or fences.
Vertical gardens are great for herbs, but can also be used to grow food crops or decorative plants. Hanging gardens are lovely for porches, patios and balconies. Potted plants help to add colour and greenery in even the most tiny gardens. And, of course, indoor plants are a great way to bring the garden inside!
Some ideas to get you inspired about container gardening include the following…
1/ WhiteOnRiceCouple 2/ BalconyWebGarden 3/ FourGenerationsOneRoof 4/ BHG
I am looking forward to getting my own small garden ideas into action soon. What ideas do you have for your small space?