Small garden ideas to maximize space

We all want to create the best possible garden with the space we have available. And just because you may have a small space, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out. You can master the art of maximising a minimal area with small garden ideas. From carefully observing and arranging the best garden for your needs and space, you will realise that there are strategies to get your tiny lot terrific.

Small garden idea basics

For many gardens, they can seem restrictive depending on ground space or the surrounding walls closing it in. To these we say “never fear” — your advice for small garden ideas are here. Some simple methods and strategies include first observing what type of space you have. If it’s compact and surrounded by walls, you can take a horizontal gardening plane and flip it vertically. We have some great tips on how to create your own vertical garden. This creates an illusion of dynamic space and tricks the eye by directing it upwards instead of seeing a dead end space. Another well used technique, called zoning, carefully plots out the best use of your garden. Many landscapers use this in their planning – and it is something you can use too.

Creating zones: where, what and why

Zoning is where organisation meets convenience. If you had to envision your home as an area, it starts at zone 0 and then spreads out, ending at zone 5 at the furthest reaches of the garden. Each zone enables making the most of the space available, while still creating purpose and function.

Zone 0

This zone is the general living space within a home. This area is best utilised with containers and window sills. Here, a great idea is to make a compact herb garden with the help of our video tutorial. This area is for the everyday access, for snipping salad greens and your favourite herbs for dishes or drinks. The novelty of Zone 0 is that it has a dual purpose: provides decorative greenery and delicious garnish! 

Zone 1

This area moves away from zone 0 and into the immediate area around the home. These areas have a lot of foot traffic like a pathway, the patio perimeter or driveway edges. In addition to greens and herbs, there are more regularly harvested items like green beans or tomatoes.

Zone 2

This zone is one step further away from the home and radiates out towards property lines and fences. These areas are not so accessible and require less attention for longer harvests. Fun ideas include using levels with raised beds, keyhole gardens or applying mid-level vertical gardens. The best plants to cultivate here are once off harvests, like sweet potato or cabbage, which you can store for some time afterwards.

Zone 3

This area is the borderline just before the edges of the home property, like the back corners of the garden and the sides of the home. This area benefits from dwarf plants and vines or climbers, to emulate privacy with hedging and green walls. Great ideas for this zone would be passion fruit vines, berry bushes or fruit trees.  

Zone 4-5

This area ranges from the semi-wild growth of zone 4 to the wild beyond the home of zone 5. These areas extend beyond the home’s cultivated regions and allows nature to thrive in its own wonderful way. 

Additional ideas, tips and tricks 

Besides creating zones, there are wonderful additional small garden suggestions to enliven and make the most of the space. A great idea is to create a carefully plotted veggie garden, with the help of our tips on kitchen garden ideas. Other great options include using optical distractions like sound and movement, perhaps a water feature or a wind chime in a corner to give the eye a focal point in the small space. If you want to include garden furniture, go for a set of fold-up bistro style table and stools instead of bulky wrought iron or chunkier designs.

What will you use in your garden?

Whether you decide on zoning, creating illusions or crafting a handy hack for your space, there are so many options to choose from. For more small garden ideas, contact your nearest Plantland branch and speak to one of our experts.