Small Garden Tips: Indoor and Outdoor (Photo: Woman and dog in urban outdoor garden)

Who Says Your Small Garden Can’t Pack a Big Punch?

If you’re a small space dweller who feels the pull of the great outdoors, well-designed greenery can be a testament to your gardening prowess.

Life in the heart of the city is a dream for many. Events, places to socialize, and jobs are all within a stone’s throw from apartment blocks and inner-city properties. However, given how limited space is in most cities, outdoor areas are only granted to a select few properties. They also tend to be pretty minimal. But it’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you don’t have a green thumb, for instance, a tiny outdoor area is a great way to enjoy the sunshine without feeling the pressure of a big garden project.

If you do feel the pull of the great outdoors, a well-designed small garden is a testament to your greenery prowess. After all, it takes true skill to create a breathtaking display in a tiny area. All you need to do is consider how your tiny patch of land can make a big impact. And, lucky for you, we’ve got a few small garden tips to help you to achieve it.

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Small Garden Tips to Maximize Your Outdoor Space

Create a rainbow

Given that you’re working with limited space, you probably don’t have room to play around with uninspiring plants. At least, not if you want to have fun here. Generally speaking, bright and bold planting projects offer a splash of much-needed color that your neighbors will appreciate, too. 

When choosing your plants, keep an eye out for bright choices such as sunflowers, coralbells, begonias, and more. In each case, opt for variations of color that bring as many splashes of the rainbow into your small space as possible, including reds, blues, purples, oranges, and so on.

See the sky as your limit

Vertical gardening is popular, and it’s great for tiny spaces since it makes the most out of even the smallest outdoor area. By growing plants up a trellis, for instance, you can get far more plants into your outdoor area without taking up floor space. Hanging baskets or other above-ground planting methods can also help.

While you may think trees are out of the question, it’s possible to plant a small species. Redbud trees work well for keeping the ground clear and ensuring a color explosion up high. Simply consider your options, remember the power of height, and play around with the possibilities. 

Layer up

Mix it up by layering your plant beds, and don’t take height or floor coverage for granted. Triple-layered beds are especially popular as the vibrant array of foliage wouldn’t be possible if you planted them separately. Creating a triple-layered flower bed involves using low-growing groundcover like rose flower carpet or sweet woodruff on the bottom layer, shrubs like hydrangea or azalea as a middle layer, and then taller plants like the redbud trees or sunflowers at the top. 

Remember that when you have a range of plants in one bed, you should be especially mindful of topping them with a growing mix or fertilizer so everything gets its necessary nutrients. Be careful, too, with the order in which you plant things to ensure each plant still has space to thrive and look neat when it starts to grow. 

Keep your plants in check

Wild, untouched gardens are popular thanks to their wildlife benefits. You can certainly get away with wildflower meadows and thriving bushes if you have space to play with them. However, letting plants grow wild in a small space will very quickly make your tiny garden look like an unruly mess. Instead, be pretty avid with keeping your plants in check within the boundaries that you’ve laid out for them.

Growing trellises can be great for garden organization as they train your plants themselves. Still, you should trim and prune your plants accordingly. You may also benefit from getting ahead of the game with shaped shrubs and bushes that are more likely to look good for longer and grow in the direction that you’d like them to. 

Pair indoor and outdoor styling

Your small outdoor space can’t get bigger, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t create the illusion. In fact, you can make the smallest garden feel much bigger by simply tying it in with your interiors. Patio doors are by far the most obvious option as you can open them when the weather’s warm enough to enjoy your garden without actually setting foot in it. Large, sliding patio doors also create the illusion of space both indoors and outdoors by simply forming a glass divide between the two areas.

You can also take this indoor/outdoor styling further with your color choices, furniture styling, and more. By integrating direct tie-ins, like window baskets and wall trellises, you can make your garden feel like an extension of your home. That’s sure to add the impression of more space. 

Build in seating

Fitting bulky outdoor furniture into a small garden sounds like an impossible goal. That’s especially true when even a two-seater table takes up most of your floor space. It leaves you with room for little more than a few container plants if you’re lucky. Negate this issue by building seating directly into your outdoor space. Above-ground seating that can be attached to your walls is especially useful for this purpose. It provides you with somewhere to sit without taking up any floor space at all.

Another option is to install large planks around the edge of your raised beds. Outfit them with waterproof cushions so they double as a seating area. You may also find it useful to use sturdy trellises or trees to hang swinging seats or hammocks that fit easily into your space and can be removed during the colder seasons.

Gardening is an undeniable challenge no matter the size, but you can easily rise to the occasion. With these small garden tips, your outdoor and indoor flowers and greenery can pack a significant punch. 

Header: Smrithi Rao

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