The Best Small Garden Ideas to Maximise Space
April 08, 2022

If you’re the owner of a small garden you may be dreaming of something larger so you can do all the things you long to do in it. But there’s no need to be downhearted – with some creativity and innovation, there’s lots you can achieve in a small space. 

We have plenty of small garden ideas to really help you make the most of your outdoor space and make it feel bigger. If you’re on a budget too, check out our blog on how to transform a garden on a budget – we have some great ideas for small outdoor spaces. 

Simple Tips for Small Gardens 

There are some very simple and easy ways to enhance your garden, so if you know nothing about gardening or have no time to invest, you’ll benefit hugely from these top tips.

Keep Garden Furniture Small

Bistro sets are your best buds. Metal varieties tend to be particularly slim, though this LifestyleGarden Nassau bistro table and chairs is nice and compact. They’re also fantastically eco and ethical as they’re made from 100% recycled Social Plastic® – click on the links for more info on this exciting furniture, or read our Garden Furniture Buying Guide to help you decide which type is best for you. 

Use Folding Furniture 

Using folding furniture like this metal bistro set means you can get it out only when you need it, and store it away compactly afterwards. 

Plant in Pots

Instead of taking up valuable lawn space, a few pots on a patio area are perfect for adding some splashes of colour. Compact potted trees like this hibiscus tricolour tree are fantastic for adding colour and fragrance without the bulk of bushes and shrubs.

Choose the Right Lighting

String lights draped prettily over fences or branches are perfect for small gardens as they can be hung up high, as opposed to lanterns and stake lights which take up ground space. 

Ideas for a Small Garden 

For those who have a little more time to spend, here are our top small garden ideas. Remember, less is more!


Use Vertical Space

Trellises are fantastic for climbing plants as you can enjoy your favourite plants without taking up much floor space. For veg, sow seeds in pots and create conical wigwams from bamboo and twine for climbing plants like peas and cucumbers, to encourage them to grow upwards. If you’re keen to grow veg that needs extra warmth, set up a temporary greenhouse like this Gro-Zone, which you can pack away in winter to gain some space back. 

Choose Narrow Garden Buildings

Slim garden sheds are a must for small gardens. This Outsunny model has shelves inside and hooks on the door to help you pack in as much as possible. 

Use Multi-functional Furniture

Multi-functional furniture will save you heaps of space. This sun lounger day bed can switch from a comfy sofa with a pull-out side table and footstool (that doubles as a storage box), to a lie-down bed for two. The footstool can even be used as extra seating for guests. So that’s a sofa, bed, storage and guest seating all in one handy package. 

Things to Avoid…

  • Clutter! Keep things simple to maintain a spacious feel. 
  • Big trees. These will take over your space and make it feel even smaller. Go for compact potted trees instead, as mentioned earlier on in the blog. 
  • Single-purpose furniture. Swing seats and hammocks are out; bistro sets (somewhere to both sit and eat) and multi-functional furniture is in. 
  • Plants that have a tendency to take over, like nasturtiums or squashes (if you’re growing veg), or any with explosive seed pods! These plants, like euphorbia, spread seeds like wildfire so they’d be popping up in other areas of your garden, making it look cluttered. 

How to Make Your Garden Feel More Spacious 

Along with choosing the right furniture and plants, some clever tips and tricks will help you make your garden look bigger. 

Create Zones

Dividing spaces for different purposes will add interest and create the illusion of a larger garden. Try creating a specific area for lounging, one for growing veg and another for your best floral displays. Outdoor rugs could help perfect this idea.

Play with Perspective

Trick the eye into seeing a larger space. Place large pots at the front of your garden and smaller pots at the back to create the illusion of greater distance between them. With plants, place finer, delicate plants like ornamental grasses or small-leaved varieties further away as they fade into the background. Larger, more ornamental plants are more effective in the foreground.

Add Height

Adding height will work wonders – try hanging baskets, slim garden arches, bamboo, tall narrow trees on boundaries and even living walls with the help of a trellis or two. 

Add Mirrors

Mirrors on walls will reflect your garden and create the illusion of it being much bigger than it is. The larger the mirror, the better, as more space will be reflected. 

Pave Diagonally

Up-and-down paving can look quite boxy so pave diagonally to create a lengthier-looking path, and the illusion of a longer garden. 

Use the Right Fence Paint Colour

Fences are great for privacy, though are often quite dark and can make gardens look a bit enclosed. But what colour fence paint makes a garden look bigger? Opt for fence paint colours like sage or white to make your garden look more spacious, and avoid deeper colours like slate grey and dark brown. The lighter your fence, the more spacious it will feel. This ‘Wispy Willow’ light grey-sage colour is a gorgeous choice. 

Use the Right Coloured Plants 

Just like with fences, light plant colours are best when it comes to making a small garden look bigger. Pale colours fade into the distance, creating depth, so place pastel coloured plants at the end of your garden. Bright, bold colours have the opposite effect, so place these nearer the front. 

All in all, there are heaps of ways to help your small garden look bigger. Use of colour, furniture, vertical planting and clever tricks of perspective are all great ideas for your small space – not to mention the other tips we’ve recommended. Take your pick from our small garden ideas and browse our huge garden range for further inspiration. 

Then get set to create the garden of your dreams!