Designing a small garden may seem like a simple affair compared to designing a very large garden that is seen in many public gardens. Space in a large garden allows for whimsy and certain elements can be seen from a distance. If there are some weeds or other imperfections they can or will often be overlooked by the viewer, but in a small garden space every bit of the design will feel like being under a magnifying glass. Nothing is hidden because it is so up close and personal. The space must be well planned and have strong bones. Thought must be given to how much the garden will be used throughout the year. Notes must be taken as to where the sun falls during the day. This information will dictate the placement of certain plant choices and seating choices. Decisions will have to be made like if a stunning stone wall is going to be kept and what needs to be added to it. It is not a difficult process, but it just takes a little thought. 

Garden design tips for small gardens

Flower gardens

Flower gardens are a sure way to create a nature filled space. They can consist of terraced flower beds, a log border flower bed, a rocky flower garden, or floral containers. New life is represented by colourful blossoms. Planting flowers in a terraced flowerbed will create layers of landscaping options. In these layers blooms can be mixed with interesting greenery to create a modern effect. Common flowerbed borders include stones, concrete, and horizontal wooden beams, but think out of the box.

The use of vertical logs as borders can inject unexpected height and delights to the senses. Another unexpected design element is the use of substantial rocks combined with low-lying blooms, and lush vegetation to create a feast for the eyes. Floral containers can also make a powerful impression in a small garden design. Using an assortment of rich tone flowers with a careful arrangement can create a work of art. Floral sculptures can come to life with a bit of intentional planting.

Garden seating

Some great options for garden seating include simple seating, tree trunk seating, curved benches, and outdoor dining. Nothing promotes thoughtfulness in a quiet garden like the perfect place to sit down and relax or contemplate. The seating can be kept quite simple, using just a slab of concrete to create a modern bench. An unexpected seating option that is quite solid and natural is the sturdy statement of a tree trunk.

Even better are these tree trunks arranged around a wooden table to create a group of seating. While the simple bench or tree trunk is great seating, a unique curved shaped, stacked stone bench makes for an ideal resting place. The spaces surrounding the seating are just as important when creating a pleasing sanctuary. Garden seating may also involve eating in outdoor dining spaces. They need to be clean, flat surfaces like slatted furnishings. Privacy can be added with tall bamboo, while sculptural elements can add intrigue to the space.

Water features

Water features can add a calming presence to any garden, especially in small gardens. The feature can be a tropical pond, a boxed pond on a green, a square Koi pond, bird baths, and fountains, among others. In a small garden it is important to decide where and how the water feature will be installed. It takes a bit of thought and planning, considering the space available, the types of the surrounding vegetation, as well as the budget and a practical time frame that fits with your lifestyle. A pond could be a simple rectangular, contemporary pond that complements lush tropical plants.

It could be a boxy pond that sits surrounded by a flawless lawn or manicured hedges. The shape of a square Koi pond can be reinforced by planting a delicate boxwood boarder around its perimeter. Other elements can be added to the middle of such a water feature, like a birdbath or statuesque. If there is no room for these types of ponds or if they are too complicated or too expensive then birdbaths and fountains can be great options for lovely garden additions. Give these water features a prominent placement like, for instance, using a layer of polished stones to create a perfect bed for a ground fountain.