Small but perfectly formed: Design ideas for tiny gardens

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Even though I don’t fancy going out in the cold to dig my plot at the moment, I’m certainly starting to feel a buzz of excitement about getting stuck into tackling my new garden next spring. This is the perfect time of year to draw up some designs and start dreaming about what could be achieved. Good ol’ hubby drew out the garden to scale for me so that I could start doodling and planning during long winter evenings, giving me the perfect excuse to trawl the internet for ideas. If you too have a tiny garden and would like some ideas to make the most of the space you have, look no further, because that’s what today’s blog post is all about…


Let’s start with planning out your plot. If you’ve got trees or borders that you want to work around, add them to your garden drawing and then let your imagination run wild with the rest of the space. What hard landscaping do you want to include? Do you need walls or fences? Access points or paths? And if you want to be planting a veggie patch in your garden, where will it fit in best? I’d like to grow-my-own salad, herbs and vegetables just as I did in my previous home, so I expect we’ll be making some more raised beds like we did below. If you need a lawn for the kids to play on make sure that’s included in the design but remember that it doesn’t have to be a rectangle of grass. What about a sweep of lush green lawn with country-cottage style flowering borders instead? I’m hoping to create a circular lawn in the centre of my garden to turn it into a separate ‘room’ within the space. I’ve found so many design ideas for small gardens online, so have a look around and get pinning your dream plot. By the way, even if you only have a tiny space to play with, you can always add a vertical garden like the one below – don’t let lack of space stop you!

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When you’re working with a small garden, the plants and trees you decide to include in the design are key. Anything too big will overshadow the garden, and I mean literally too – big branches and tall hedges will block out the sunlight and create a shaded spot rather than a sun trap. I’ve done my research and found this list of 33 best trees for small gardens, so it IS possible to add some dappled shade without throwing out the scale of a small garden.

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If you want your trees to work harder for you, why not include a few fruit trees? Many of these are deliberately kept small so that the fruit is easier to reach and pick. And while you’re at it, how about choosing a selection of flowering trees and shrubs so that you’ll always have colourful flowers or foliage in your garden whatever the season. Try magnolia to mark the beginning of spring, and the autumn flowering Prunus Pandora to add a burst of colour when other leaves are dropping.


If you’re anything like me, you’ll love the idea of having guests over for meals and celebrations. And if you can have entertain your friends in the garden during the summer, all the better! I therefore want to include a patio, a spot for the barbeque and some all-important furniture for al fresco dining. If you’re looking for furniture for small gardens, I found some great ideas in this article. Having somewhere to sit so that you can admire your garden while sipping a glass of something chilled is essential for me (you can see I’ve made the most of my only garden bench in the photo above) and the list I linked to above just goes to show that you can fit seating and dining into even the smallest of spaces.

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Let me know how you’ve made the most of your garden by leaving me a comment below with you tips and tricks. I’d love to hear your own plans for your garden too so please get in touch or tag me in photos of your plot on instagram @Cassiefairy.

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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