15 Small Garden Ideas That Make the Most of Your Growing Space

15 Small Garden Ideas That Make the Most of Your Growing Space

A small garden with a raised garden bed, several trellises, and a tiny greenhouse

You can do a lot with a small garden— as long as you’re willing to get creative. Sure, you can’t really plant a forest of large trees, and you probably shouldn’t throw seeds in your soil willy-nilly. But with a little intention and imagination, you can turn your tiny garden into a thriving oasis. Your garden can become a cozy haven for birds and critters, a dreamy wild of flowers, or a flourishing vegetable farm that puts food on the table every night. 

Not sure how to pull off the transformation? We’ve rounded up 15 small gardens that will show you how to make the most of the space you have. These small garden ideas will help you dress up your yard, craft a bountiful garden, and sneak in extra planting space anywhere you can. And all of them are sure to leave your outdoor space feeling lovelier—and more complete.

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Invest in a Few Trellises

A small garden with a raised garden bed, several trellises, and a tiny greenhouse

You may not be able to make your garden any bigger. But you can definitely make it taller. How? Snag a couple of trellises, and encourage your plants to grow up. These trellises can be lattice boards or full-blown archways, but we suspect a couple small, triangular trellises will get the job done.

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Build a Pyramid Planter

A pyramid planted filled with strawberry plants

Running out of spots to plant seeds? Build a pyramid planter. The easy DIY project will add levels to your garden, giving you more planting space—without making your garden any longer or wider.

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Mix and Match Your Plants

A house flanked by two small gardens—one of which is filled with flowers, the other of which is filled with small bushes and trees

Make the most of your small garden by growing a few different plants. Put flowers in one spot, bushes in another, and trees in another. By grouping like with like, you can ensure every bunch of plants makes an impact—even if there’s only a few of each kind.

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Put Different Plants in Different Beds

A small garden segmented into tiny, vegetable-filled raised beds

When your garden is big, you have lots of room to space out your plants, but in a small garden, you don’t have that luxury. Use raised beds to keep your plants organized.

Segment your garden into a series of small raised beds, then, plant a different vegetable in each one.

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Mix in Pots and Planters

A small garden filled with some planted plants and some potted plants

When space is tight, you can’t afford to let plants sprawl. Don’t plant aggressive herbs, like mint and bee balm, in your garden. Instead, plant them inside cute pots, and let those pots live in your garden alongside the rest of your plants.

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Build a Mini-Greenhouse

A garden with two small raised beds—one of which has been converted into a mini-greenhouse

Worried you don’t have the space for a greenhouse? Think again. With a DIY garden bed cover, you can turn any raised bed into a mini-greenhouse—creating the perfect shelter for plants that hate pests and love humidity.

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Set the Scene With String Lights

A raised-bed-filled garden decorated with string lights


One easy way to dress up your garden? Hang some string lights. The twinkly addition will make your garden more romantic and fairytale-worthy—no matter how small it is.

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Plant a Tree in Your Garden

A small garden with bushes, flowers, and one flowering tree

Putting a tree in a small garden may sound like a recipe for disaster, but it’s a great way to use the space. Why? As the tree gets older, it will grow up and out, making your garden feel bigger without crowding out the other stuff you’re hoping to plant.

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Score a Cute Birdhouse

A small garden filled with grasses, a tree, and a small birdhouse

Once you’ve stocked up on pretty plants and flowers, invest in a cute birdhouse. The fun find will bring new life to your garden, filling it with birds and other welcome critters.

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Make Your Garden a Fun Shape

A yard with a small, zigzag-shaped garden

Your garden may be small, but it can still pack a punch. By lining your garden with jagged edges—instead of traditional curved or straight edges—you can ensure your garden makes a statement, even if it’s filled with classic flowers and plants.

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Let Vines Grow Up Your Walls

A patio flanked by two small gardens, which boast vines that form a criss-cross on the wall behind them

If your garden is close to a fence or a wall, take full advantage. Plant a couple vines, and invite them to start climbing. Over time, your garden will get bigger and bigger—without taking up more space in your yard.

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Plant a Massive Cactus

An outdoor space with a small garden filled with one massive cactus

One unexpected way to maximize your small garden? Invest in a single plant. The surprising choice will make a statement. Just be sure to choose the plant carefully. You want something that will grow bigger and taller over time—like a small fruit tree or a bushy cactus.

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Space Out Your Flowers

A narrow flower bed filled with spaced-out flowers

When you have a small garden, it’s tempting to pack it with plants, making use of every inch you have. But consider spacing out your flowers, instead. The negative space can make your garden look bigger—and give each plant more room to flourish.

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Mount a Flower Box Under Your Window

A small garden tucked underneath a flower-box-lined window

Look for creative ways to expand your garden. If your garden is tucked below a window, consider. The accent will fit right in with your garden, and it will give you more planting space to work with.

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Label What You’ve Planted

A small flower bed and herb garden labeled with an "herb garden" sign

Put the finishing touches on your garden by labeling everything you’ve planted. The cute touch will bring your garden together. Plus, your future self will thank you when your seedlings start sprouting.