Small Garden Design

How to design a small garden

MiniPlots, small space gardening – call it what you will, not everyone has space for a traditional garden.

We believe that every corner deserves a garden, even if it’s only a small one. The tiniest plot can still be ‘greened’ with bit of thought and the right plants.  It not only looks better, it also provides a welcome food source for foraging bees and butterflies.

Small space gardening does require little more thought however. The right plants are essential – plants that grow too quickly or ones that are really messy are not much use in a small space.

To help you get started, visit the shop; we have created a range of small space planting designs; called MiniPlots.

All can be planted in pots or in a small space in the ground. We use plants that grow tall – but not too wide. Our designs are meant to last and all use butterfly and bee friendly flowers.

So your little patch will not only look good – it will do good too.

(Although this does assume you remember to water!)

Tips for growing in small spaces:


Balconies can be sun traps or shady caves, getting the planting right can be difficult.

The most important factor to consider before you plant anything on a balcony is watering. Plants will invariably require much more watering because of the effect of the wind drying the soil out.

balcony garden

If you have a really small spot, then use all the vertical space you can to grow. Add a mirror, it adds not only interest it helps make the space feel wider.  Use tall thin planters to raise the planting where you can see them easily.

Narrow Spaces:

Everyone loves to have a views, but in narrow spaces, you will have to create your own.

Light levels can be low so it is important to raise the plants up. The increase in light will help them grow much better & you can see them from the kitchen window.

Think tall, light and airy – you will create privacy using a more delicate climbing plant but it will not stop light getting into your windows.

design small garden

Small Back Yards:

The ‘design trick’ here is to make what’s in the garden more interesting to look at than everyone else’s windows and walls outside the garden. Be bold, have a really strong theme and stick to it.

small space gardening

Brighter colours will always capture your attention more than pastel, but so does movement. If the garden is shady or you don’t want bright colours, then choose foliage that moves with the wind – it’s a lot less boring than a fence panel!

If there’s only space for one border:

Well make it eye-catching! In any garden space you need to think in 3 dimensions, length, width and most importantly height.

Using taller plants in a small garden is a great way to make the space more interesting. It also give you something to look at from the back window.

small space gardening3

For more great advice on gardening in small spaces – buy our amazing new book. It really is a garden changer! Available at Amazon and other online book stores

best garden design book - I Want to Like my Garden by Rachel McCartain