19 Very Small Garden Ideas On a Budget – How to Create a Pocket-Sized Paradise

a small garden
Very small garden ideas

Gardening in a very small space can be both challenging and rewarding. With limited area, you need to be creative and strategic to make the most out of every square inch.

But don’t let the size of your very small garden deter you. With some ingenuity and a little bit of budget-friendly magic, you can transform it into a beautiful, lush haven.

Sometimes I think you can be more creative with a small garden, than if you have a lot of acres to play with. The key is to plan and follow these very small garden ideas.

17 Very Small Garden Ideas on a Budget

1. Plan Your Space Efficiently

The first step in creating a stunning small garden is to plan effectively. Measure your space and sketch out a rough layout. Consider the sunlight patterns, as some plants will require more light than others. Think vertically as well as horizontally; utilizing vertical space is crucial in a very small garden.

The above example is a garden that is 7m x 6m (23ft x 19ft), so it is a good example of how effective zoning and planning of a garden can help you make the most of your space.


  • Use graph paper to create a scale drawing. I used the free floorplanner to create my image, it is simple and easy to use.
  • Consider the height of plants and how they’ll grow over time.
  • Plan for pathways and access points to avoid overcrowding.

It may look expensive, but you can create this garden on a budget by working with what you already have and recycling items.

a portable bbq on top of garden crates
  • Mark out an area where your lawn is going, if you are adding one. I love having a patch of grass in the garden as it provides much-needed greenery at little cost. If you don’t have a lawn, you can dig out an area and check places like Facebook marketplace and local garden centers for cheap turf. We picked up our turf from a neighbor who had excess grass when they created their garden. So ask around!
  • If you already have a patio, give it a clean and add a border between your turf and patio area. If you don’t, gravel is a cheap and effective way to create a living space in your garden, just like we did in our last house.
  • You can add planters to create a natural border, but try and use what you already have. Terracotta pots can be lined along your patio with plants, or look for old farmhouse sinks in the free ads, or thrift stores.
  • A BBQ area doesn’t have to be a new, expensive purchase. Find old wooden pallets to create a makeshift table, and add old tiles on the top as a countertop. You can then place a disposable BBQ, or buy a camping BBQ and place it on the top.
  • If you want to add flowers to your garden, again, ask around. We get a lot of our flowers from the mother-in-law, she gives us cuttings and we place them in planters.

2. Multifunctional Furniture

Even in a small garden, having a place to sit and enjoy your efforts is essential. Choose compact, multifunctional furniture that fits the scale of your garden, such as;

  • Benches with a hinged seat that can be lifted to reveal a storage compartment inside, perfect for keeping outdoor cushions, gardening tools, or other supplies.
  • A small outdoor ottoman where you can place outdoor cushions and throws in and use as a coffee table.
  • Patio tables or coffee tables that have a built-in fire pit or fire bowl. It can be concealed when not in use, providing a cozy heat source when desired.
  • Fold-down bar-height tables can be folded up for easy storage and transportation, but when opened, they provide a convenient surface for serving drinks or food while entertaining outdoors. You could attach one to a wall and fold up when not in use.

3. Get Creative with Planters

a barrel repurposed as a planter

You can pretty much make planters for your flowers out of anything!

  • Old wooden pallets can be repurposed to create a planter crate
  • Old farmhouse sinks have ready-made drainage and weather beautifully with time
an old farmhouse butler sink being used as a planter
  • If you’re not using that wheelbarrow, paint it and fill it with plants.
  • An old barrel or water butt can be repurposed and filled with soil and plants

4. Use Your Walls and Fence

a bench made out of bricks and wooden planks on top

If you are short of space in your garden, place your seating area up against your garden wall or fence to save space. Again, you don’t need to go and buy new seating, you could create a bench out of old bricks, with some planks of wood balanced on top.

a flower bed with a wooden bench on the end

Many small gardens already have flower beds against the garden wall or fence, so you could add wood on the end of the bed to create a ready-made seating area.

5. Vertical Space

If you have a small patio with little space to add plants, use your vertical space, like your property, garden walls, and fence. Place a trellis against your wall or fence and grow climber plants like roses and clematis. This provides a beautiful backdrop to your patio without taking up much space.

6. Create a Container Garden

One of the easiest and most effective ways to add color to your garden is to create a flower bed with containers and planters. Terracotta pots are cheap and robust and are one of my favorite types of planters to add to a garden.

Mix and match different plants like tulips and primrose and evergreen plants such as ferns and ornamental grass so that your garden stays green all year round.

7. Ditch the Lawn

a small garden with a decking area, table and chairs and a bbq in the corner

Ok, probably a controversial subject when it comes to your small garden, but if you are left with little space to play with, having a lawn may not be high on your list.

I do think it’s important to have a bit of grass in your garden, but you could place ornamental grass in planters around your patio.

Digging up your lawn and replacing it with a patio, gravel or decking will give you more room to add items like garden furniture and a BBQ area, without the upkeep of a lawn that is constantly trampled on.

a small garden decking area

The above example is a 4m x 4m small garden that still manages to pack a lot in. The garden has decking laid, with planters along the fence to place flowers and plants in. There is a small tree in the corner, a bench to enjoy a morning cup of tea, a bistro table, and chair set with a chiminea to keep you warm, and a small water fountain placed next to the planters.

Finish your little patio area with string lights hung from the back corner of your garden to the corner of your house.

8. Add Lighting

festoon lights hanging from a fence

Adding lighting to your garden can extend its usability into the evening, especially in a very small garden. Lighting will transform it into a cozy living area with candles flickering and string lights highlighting seating areas.

Festoons can easily be hung from your fence and lanterns can be placed around your garden furniture, with candles on a table.

9. Install a Small Path

a small garden path made out of stones

Creating a charming pathway in your garden doesn’t have to break the bank. This also helps zone your garden and provide a walkway from your house to your back gate.

Opt for budget-friendly materials such as gravel, mulch, or reclaimed bricks or stones. These options are typically cheaper than purchasing new paving stones or concrete.

You consider utilizing natural elements like stepping stones or wood slices. These can often be sourced for free or at a low cost from your local environment or fallen branches.

10. Use Small Patio Furniture Sets

In a small garden, sizing is crucial. You don’t want to place a huge outdoor dining table and chairs if everyone has to back up against the fence to get around it!

There are plenty of patio or bistro sets to choose from, perfect for enjoying your garden with a cup of tea!

11. Use Color to Divide Zones

a yellow bench with sunflowers in pots

Using a cohesive color scheme can make your garden feel more planned and help delineate different areas without the need for physical barriers.

Introduce colorful focal points or features in each zone to draw the eye and anchor the space. This could be a brightly painted bench, a colorful sculpture, or a striking container garden.

Incorporate colorful accessories such as cushions, rugs, umbrellas, or decorative pots into each zone to enhance the color scheme and tie the space together. These accessories can be easily switched out or rearranged to refresh the look of each zone.

12. Hang a Hammock From Trees

a hammock hanging from trees

If you have trees in your small garden but lack space, hang a hammock from the trees to provide a place to relax and read a book. As a hammock is off the ground, it helps to make your garden feel bigger as you can see more ground space.

13. Inside Outside Living

a kitchen leading out into a small garden

Maximizing inside-outside living in a small house and garden involves blurring the boundaries between indoor and outdoor spaces to create a seamless flow and enhance the overall living experience.

This is such a good idea if you are also lacking space indoors, as your small garden can provide extra living space.

To achieve this:

Create a Seamless Transition: Use consistent flooring materials between indoor and outdoor spaces, such as hardwood or tiles, to visually connect the two areas. Consider installing sliding glass doors or folding patio doors to open up the indoor space to the small garden completely.

Extend Living Spaces Outdoors: Designate outdoor areas as extensions of your indoor living spaces. Set up outdoor seating areas with comfortable furniture, dining tables, and lounge chairs to create outdoor living rooms, dining areas, and relaxation zones.

If you have a small kitchen, extending your living area out into the garden and creating a little dining area is the perfect way to create more space. You could place a small garden sail above to keep it dry when it rains.

Utilize Multi-Functional Furniture: Choose furniture that can serve dual purposes both indoors and outdoors. For example, opt for collapsible tables, stackable chairs, and modular seating that can easily transition between indoor and outdoor use, maximizing flexibility in small spaces.

Add Greenery Indoors: Bring the outdoors in by incorporating houseplants and indoor gardens throughout your home. Consider placing potted plants near windows and doors to blur the line between indoor and outdoor spaces visually.

14. Create a Water Feature

a small water fountain in a terracotta pot

You don’t need a lot of space to create a water feature in your small garden. There have been a lot of posts on Instagram recently, where people have created a little water feature for their garden table using waterproof containers and a water pump.

This is really simple to do;

  • Find a garden planter with no holes in the bottom. Anything will work, as long as it is waterproof!
  • Fill the container or pot with water
  • Place a Solar Fountain Pump on top of the water

15. Use Mirrors

Mirrors are a simple way to make your garden appear bigger. Place mirrors where they can reflect the most greenery and light. Make sure you choose mirrors that are made for the outside and are secured.

16. Repurpose an Old Ladder as a Vertical Planter

a ladder painted in sage green with terracotta pots and plants

Using vertical space in a very small garden, an old ladder is perfect for hanging planters and adding plants and color to your garden. You can paint the ladder in pastel colors to help create a feature in your small garden.

17. Incorporate Wildlife-Friendly Elements

Attracting wildlife can bring life and movement to your garden, enhancing its beauty and ecological value.

  • Bird Feeders: Attract birds with feeders filled with seeds.
  • Bee Hotels: Provide shelter for bees and other beneficial insects.
  • Water Features: A small pond or birdbath can attract a variety of wildlife.

18. DIY Garden Decor

painted rocks in a small garden

Adding personal touches to your small garden doesn’t have to be expensive. DIY projects can be fun and budget-friendly ways to enhance your garden’s aesthetic.


  • Painted Rocks: Use rocks as markers or decorative pieces by painting them with fun designs.
  • Wind Chimes: Create wind chimes from old silverware, keys, or seashells.
  • Garden Signs: Craft signs from reclaimed wood to label your plants or add whimsical messages.

19. Choose the Right Plants

tomatoes and lettuce in a metal container

Selecting plants that thrive in small spaces is crucial. Opt for compact, dwarf, or slow-growing varieties that won’t outgrow your garden.

You don’t need to dig out a vegetable garden or create a dedicated flower bed. Use planters, metal containers, or planters made out of old pallets and place them on your patio.


  • Herbs: Basil, thyme, mint, and parsley are great for small gardens and can be used in your cooking.
  • Vegetables: Cherry tomatoes, radishes, lettuce, and spinach are space-efficient.
  • Flowers: Marigolds, petunias, and pansies add color without taking up too much space.
  • Succulents: These require minimal care and can be planted in small containers.

Creating a pocket-sized paradise in your very small garden is entirely achievable on a budget. With careful planning, creative use of space, using these ideas for very small gardens, and a bit of DIY spirit, you can transform even the tiniest outdoor area into a lush, welcoming retreat.

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will receive a very small commission if you click through and make a purchase. These links help to pay the editorial costs of writing a blog. For more information, please read my full affiliate disclosure here.

I also use Artificial Intelligence Image generators to create some of my images. These are to show you examples of my ideas and inspiration when I cannot produce the real images myself.

17 Very Small Garden Ideas On a Budget pinterest pin

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *