Brilliant Ideas on How to Make Your Small Garden Look Bigger

make your small garden look larger

Does your charming little garden feel more cramped than cosy? Don’t despair! Even the most petite garden plots hold hidden potential for creating an illusion of spaciousness. By incorporating clever design techniques and strategic plant choices, you can transform your bijou garden into a visual oasis that feels expansive and inviting.

Below, garden design expert Fiona Jenkins at has created a guide on how to make your small garden look larger. This guide unlocks the secrets to maximising your small garden’s potential. Fiona explores clever tricks to create the feeling of abundance, demonstrating how to utilise vertical space, harness the power of light, and choose plants that enhance rather than overwhelm your precious outdoor haven. Get ready to transform your small garden into a delightful haven that feels anything but cramped.

Add shelves

Shelves in the garden can create additional storage space and can be a great place for adding more plants to the garden without taking up any additional floor space. This is perfect for a smaller garden as it allows you to add more life to the garden.

Use foldaway furniture

One of the largest things that can take up space in your garden is the garden furniture. If you don’t plan on using your garden furniture every day, opt for foldable furniture that can be moved out of the way when it’s not in use. This will allow you to enjoy your garden without taking up permanent space.

Mix and match landscaping materials

It may be tempting to stick to one landscaping material to make your small garden seem bigger, but this can often have the opposite effect. Subtle changes in materials around the garden can create different zones and add interest. These subtle differences will help to enhance the feeling of space in the garden. Consider creating a good mix of turf, flower beds, decking, and paving stones.


Add privacy

If you want a place to relax in the garden, think about adding a privacy screen so that you can achieve a concealed area away from everything else. It’s also important to consider how to create privacy from your neighbours. Fencing is one of the best ways to create a border between your garden and your neighbour’s garden. Alternatively, you may want to choose a trellis, brick wall, or hedging to create privacy in the garden.

Create contrasts

One of the best ways to zone your garden is to consider using different materials and colours for separate areas. You could also consider adding pathways between each of the garden zones. Adding various areas in a small garden can help to give the illusion of a much larger space. Plus, it’s also very practical to have different zones in the garden.

Add a water feature

A water feature in the garden can make your garden seem like a natural retreat. The sound of running water can create an extremely relaxing ambience, and the appearance of water can provide a lovely calming effect. Water also creates reflections, which can help to give the illusion of more space in the garden.

Focus on a dining area

There is nothing better than an outdoor dining space when the warmer weather comes around. Place a dining area in a space with existing hedgerows so that you can enjoy privacy and eat your meals outside without any interruptions.

Go bright

When choosing plants for your small garden, consider choosing plants with a lot of bold colours. This will allow you to create a garden space that really pops. Light and bright colours always make a space feel much larger and airier. This is true for the outside of the home just as much as it is for the inside of the home. This can apply to the plants you choose. However, you can also make your garden look bigger by painting the fences in a lighter shade. You can even go a step further and paint your garden furniture in a lighter shade to help make your garden look much bigger.

Consider your needs

When planning your small garden, consider the elements of the garden that are most important to you and focus on those. For example, if you plan on sitting out in your garden, focus on creating a beautiful seating area. If you want to have lots of plants in the garden, focus on creating planters and dedicated areas for flowers.

Add a tabletop herb centrepiece

A tabletop planter is a great idea if you’re planning on entertaining or eating outside. This will allow you and your guests to choose which herbs to use to accompany meals. It’s best to use a small pot or planter filled with cuttings from a wide range of herbs such as rosemary, bay, sage, basil, and whatever else you like to use with meals if you’re looking for something a bit more long-lasting, plant around two or three low-maintenance, easy-to-grow herbs in a pot or planter.

Use large planters

When you’re limited on space, using planters is a great way to get more plants in less space. You can plant multiple plants in each large planter. So it makes a lot of sense to use large planters rather than small pots. Large planters also look very tidy and stylish, so they’re a great way of making use of the space.

Plant vertically

Since the horizontal space in your garden is limited if the garden is small, you can add more plants to your garden by planting vertically. This will make your garden seem much fuller and, therefore, bigger. Try using a vertical rack where you can place some small and medium-sized planters. Plants that remain small are best for vertical use so that they don’t grow into each other.

Use blue flowers at the edges

Planting blue flowers and plants at the edge of the garden can recede into the distance and make the garden appear more prominent. Lavenders or blue agapanthus are great options for planting at the sides of the garden. Try to avoid planting red or orange flowers near the fence, as this can make the edges appear closer.

Grow some tall plants

Sometimes, it’s better to think big when it comes to a small garden. Many homes have tiny plants. Adding taller plants and flowers can make the space look amazing. You have so many options with tall plants, such as Verbascum, foxgloves, wild irises, honeysuckles, and jasmine. Make use of these tall risers and plants around arches, walls, or fences.

Divide the space into zones

If possible, try splitting the garden up into various zones with the space you have. For example, you could create a relaxing seating area close to the house, separate from the plant area. A small winding path through the plants can help to slow down the journey for those travelling through your garden, giving the illusion of more space.

Keep clutter at a minimum

Clutter can create an illusion of less space than there actually is. If you clutter the garden with plants, there will be less space for you to move around, and this makes the garden seem much smaller. Be smart with the placements of plants and the types of plants that you use.

Use levels

Creating some different levels in a small garden can make the garden space seem much more interesting and can also help to make it seem bigger. A sunken area can be used as a relaxing seating area. A raised area can be used as a secluded deck area at the end of your garden. All the different levels will add depth to your garden.

Keep everything trimmed

No matter how small or large your garden is, long grass and overgrown plants can make it seem much more cramped. Keep on top of cutting the grass to make your garden seem much neater. This will add to the sense of more space. Just a few minutes of simple tidying could help make a huge difference in making your small garden appear bigger.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are many things you can do in your garden to make it appear bigger. With a touch of creativity and these space-maximising techniques, your once-cramped garden can blossom into a delightful haven that feels like an extension of your living space.

Remember, a small garden doesn’t have to limit your design possibilities. By embracing verticality, playing with light and colour, and selecting plants that complement your space, you can create a personal oasis that feels both intimate and surprisingly spacious. So, step outside, grab your favourite gardening tools, and get ready to transform your little plot into a flourishing paradise.

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