How to plan a small-space garden

Here are some suggestions to maximize garden space
How to plan a small-space garden
Nikki Hansen

There are many ways to plan a small-space garden, whether you’re planting near a private patio or along a busy urban thoroughfare. Here are some suggestions:

Measure the space

This helps determine the types and number of plants you can add. One effective technique is “square-foot” gardening–one plant per square foot. This method doesn’t work in every setting, but it can be a good start. Include space for any decorative elements, such as sculptures and pathways.

Analyze the site

What’s the style of the nearby buildings and walkways? How will your little garden best complement the setting? Also consider the lighting: Is it shady, sunny or a mix?

Determine the theme

The approaches are truly limitless–from vibrant, multicolored and complex gardens to simple and graceful designs that use only a few plants and colors. Your approach will vary based on the site and your preference.

Select the plants

Unless you’re going for a completely uniform theme with only one plant, include plants with a variety of heights, growth patterns and floral and foliage forms. Your selections will vary based on how much sun reaches the garden. A south-facing, full-sun location demands entirely different plants compared to a deeply shaded garden.

Have fun

Garden planning is somewhat subjective. Gather photos of gardens you like and emulate them. If you’re planning this little garden for your own property, go for it! A small garden is a great way to start without spending great amounts of time and money, and you’ll learn from the experience.