How to design a small home garden

Written by jasey kelly
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How to design a small home garden
Small gardens can be as captivating as larger ones. (watering plants image by david hughes from

Even a small garden is able to make a large impact. Knowing which plants and materials to use gives you an edge in creating a tranquil garden. You can add flowers, trees, shrubs and even herbs in a small garden depending on your preferences. Mixing textures, sizes and types of plants allows you varying degrees of flexibility in your planning. Several tricks can be used to make a small garden seem much larger.

Things you need

  • Notepad
  • Sketching paper
  • Coloured pencils or crayons
  • Decorative materials such as stepping stones, retaining blocks or fencing

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    Designing the garden

  1. 1

    Make a note of your future garden's sun accessibility and dimensions. Your garden may have shady and sunny areas, and the dimensions help you decide how many plants you will need.

  2. 2

    Research online or go to a gardening centre to look at plants. Make a list of the plants you like along with how much sun, space and care they require.

  3. 3

    Draw a sketch of your garden area, along with the plants. This is just a rough sketch and does not need to be artist-quality, but having a sketch or several for different ideas will help you visualise your finished garden. Using coloured pencils or crayons can help you differentiate the different plants in your garden.

    Choosing materials and plants

  1. 1

    Adding curved walls or decorative additions allow the small garden to flow better. Consider retaining stones, pavers or decorative garden fencing.

  2. 2

    Choosing two to three shades of one colour (e.g., light pink, dark pink and crimson) makes a larger impact.

  3. 3

    Add light coloured or white flowers to the back wall of the garden to create the illusion of a bigger space. Also, keep rougher textured and darker plants in the front, getting lighter and finer as you work your way back.

  4. 4

    Create different areas within your garden. Consider adding a small bench for a sitting area or a fountain or separate your garden into sections by adding pathways in between different areas.

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