Skip to content
Small patio garden with wooden circular table and chairs and white parasol

Design ideas for a small garden

When it comes to garden ideas, limited space needn't be a cap to originality and comfort. While small gardens, terraces, decking and patios undoubtedly come with their own set of design challenges, even the most economical of plots can be reworked into impacftul and elegant outdoor havens. Think small but perfectly formed.

Whether you're looking to transform an inauspicious roof space or balcony garden into a stylish urban garden, create the ideal alfresco dining area complete with dramatic lighting or go all out with quirky features and accessories, we've selected a variety of our favourite design ideas to inspire.

Using space intelligently is the key to making a small garden work; seats that double up as storage, wall-mounted flower pots or herb planters and even folding furniture will all help free up precious square-footage. Likewise, mirrors designed specifically for outdoor use will go even further, creating the illusion of space where there simply isn't any. Look for small-scale garden buildings, such as gazebos and arbours, which can bring shelter and structure without needing lots of space.

Don't forget, a small garden can work in your favour - they are easier to maintain and, with some cute lighting solutions and soft furnishings, will function as cosy enclaves akin to outdoor living rooms. A patio design can work really well in a small garden space.

Remember, solar-powered lights and lanterns are the safest and the most long-lasting option. If you have the room, wood-burning fire pits and bowls will heighten atmosphere as well as give out heat when the night's eventually draw in. Attractive planters and ornaments will spruce up decking or patios and you can even opt for a more natural aesthetic - we love the idea of adding a zinc bathtub for the ultimate in rural charm. Remember, sometimes a limited set of parameters can be a boon for ingenuity and the same holds true here. Be creative!

Alfresco summer dining

Create an outdoor living area for the summer months. Even if you have a small plot with not much natural greenery, you can create the look of a colourful garden with flower-filled pots and planters. Just like indoors, opting for neutral walls and flooring can make a small garden feel lighter and brighter.

Similar dining set

Similar garden parasol
John Lewis

After more design ideas? Take a look at our Japanese gardens article and patio ideas for inspiration

Chosen by

Photograph by Robert Sanderson