Transforming Small Spaces: Creative Landscaping for Tiny Gardens and Balconies

Transforming Small Spaces: Creative Landscaping for Tiny Gardens and Balconies

June 28, 2024

Small Garden Ideas

Turning small spaces like tiny gardens and balconies into beautiful, functional areas probably seems challenging, and in some cases it’s more difficult than large landscaping, but with a bit of creativity, it is possible.

In Lincolnshire, where space can sometimes be limited, making the most of your garden or balcony is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and even grow your own plants. With the right strategies, you can transform even the tiniest spaces into green havens.

Imagine stepping out onto your balcony and picking fresh herbs for dinner, or enjoying a cup of tea in your own little garden sanctuary. Here’s how to make the most of every inch with our small garden ideas.


Step 1: Assess Your Space

Before you start planting, take a good look at what you’ve got to work with. Measure the area, and as always, pay special attention to how much sunlight different parts of the space get throughout the day. This is key because virtually all plants need sunlight to thrive.

For instance, if your balcony gets full sun for most of the day, you could grow sun-loving plants like tomatoes and peppers. If your space is more shaded, maybe some plants like lettuce, spinach, or herbs that don’t require as much light. I mean, who doesn’t love fresh salad?

Knowing your space helps you choose the right plants and plan where to place them. Our 3D Garden Design Service could help you with this, but it’s usually called upon for smaller spaces.

Step 2: Plan Your Layout

Sketch out a simple plan to maximise your space. Think about vertical gardening techniques, such as hanging baskets or wall-mounted planters, which are perfect for small areas. Vertical gardens allow plants to grow upwards instead of outwards, making the most of your limited floor space.

Consider a tiered shelving unit for your pots, which can provide ample planting space without taking up much room. Place taller plants or trellises for climbing plants like beans or cucumbers at the back and shorter plants in front. This layering effect not only looks good but also ensures all your plants get the sunlight they need.

If you’re struggling with the plan, why not pop down for a visit to our new Show Garden and have a chat with one of the team. There’s always someone on hand to help! Or if you’re time poor, give us a call on 01522 303 044.

Step 3: Choose the Right Plants

Selecting the right plants is essential for a successful small-space garden. Compact, dwarf, or trailing varieties are ideal. Herbs such as basil, thyme, and parsley are great for beginners and thrive well in pots. Vegetables like cherry tomatoes, radishes, and peppers can also do well in containers.

Don’t forget about flowers! Marigolds, petunias, and nasturtiums can add colour and also attract beneficial insects to your garden. Mixing edible plants with flowers can create a beautiful and functional space. Make sure to choose plants that suit the local climate in Lincolnshire to ensure they thrive.

We talk more about native planting in our blog Wildlife Wonders, where you’ll also find a link to the RHS’ Plant Selector Tool. Definitely worth a read in our opinion.

Step 4: Use Containers Wisely

Containers come in all shapes and sizes, making them perfect for tiny gardens and balconies. Use pots, hanging baskets, and window boxes to maximise your planting options. When choosing containers, ensure they have good drainage to prevent waterlogging, which can harm your plants.

Think creatively with your container choices. Repurpose old items like wooden crates or metal buckets as plant pots, we love reusing and reducing waste! Grouping pots of different heights and sizes can create an interesting visual effect and make your space look more dynamic.

Step 5: Incorporate Multifunctional Furniture

In a small space, furniture that serves multiple purposes is a game-changer. Look for benches with built-in storage or tables that can fold away when not in use. Stackable or foldable chairs are also excellent options for saving space.

Consider using furniture that can double as plant stands. For example, a sturdy table can hold pots of herbs or flowers, providing both a place to relax and an extra planting area. This way, every piece of furniture has a dual purpose, helping you make the most of your space.

Step 6: Create a Focal Point

Even in a small garden or balcony, having a focal point can make the space feel more cohesive and inviting. This could be a colourful plant, a piece of garden art, or a small water feature. A focal point draws the eye and gives your space a sense of order and design.

For instance, a bright red geranium in a decorative pot can serve as a stunning centrepiece. Alternatively, a small birdbath or a stylish lantern can add interest and charm. The key is to choose something that stands out and enhances the overall look of your garden.


Step 7: Use Mirrors to Enhance Space

Mirrors can work wonders in small spaces by creating the illusion of more space and reflecting light and greenery. Place a mirror on one of your balcony walls to make the area feel larger and brighter.

When positioning a mirror, angle it to reflect your plants or the sky to maximise the effect. You can even frame the mirror with a wooden or metal frame to match your garden’s aesthetic. This simple trick can dramatically change the feel of your space without taking up any additional room.

Step 8: Add Lighting

Good lighting can dramatically transform your outdoor space and make it usable even after the sun goes down. String lights, solar-powered garden lights, or LED candles can create a cosy and inviting atmosphere.

For a small balcony, fairy lights draped along the railing can add a magical touch. Solar lights can be placed in pots or along pathways to illuminate your garden without the need for electrical wiring. Lighting not only enhances the beauty of your garden but also extends the time you can enjoy it.

Step 9: Keep it Simple

In small spaces, simplicity is key. Avoid overcrowding your area with too many plants or decorations. Choose a few well-selected items that have a big impact rather than trying to fit everything in.

Stick to a cohesive colour scheme or style to make the space feel more unified. For example, using pots in similar colours or materials can create a harmonious look. Keeping the design simple and uncluttered will make your small space feel more open and relaxing.


Transforming small spaces into beautiful gardens or balconies is all about creativity and smart planning. With these small garden ideas and tips, you can turn even the tiniest area into a lovely, functional outdoor retreat.

Whether you’re growing herbs for your kitchen, creating a mini flower garden, or simply making a relaxing outdoor nook, you can make it happen.


1. What are the best plants for a small garden or balcony?

For small spaces, choose compact, dwarf, or trailing varieties. Herbs like basil, thyme, and parsley, and vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, radishes, and peppers, thrive well in containers. Adding colourful flowers like marigolds, petunias, and nasturtiums can enhance both the beauty and functionality of your space.

2. How can I maximise space in my tiny garden or balcony?

Use vertical gardening techniques with hanging baskets, wall-mounted planters, and tiered shelving units. Choose multifunctional furniture, like benches with storage and foldable tables, to save space. Use mirrors to create the illusion of a larger area and add good lighting to make the space usable in the evenings.

3. What are some tips for maintaining a small garden or balcony?

Regularly monitor soil moisture and water your plants as needed, as containers dry out faster. Swap plants seasonally to keep your garden fresh and productive year-round.

Incorporate personal touches like garden art or colourful cushions to make the space uniquely yours. Keep the design simple and uncluttered to make the area feel more open and inviting.

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