Sumo Gardener

Garden Design Ideas to Help You Make the Best Use of Space

A garden can come in all shapes and sizes. Besides being a Zen corner of your home, cultivating and nurturing it is akin to meditation. Many international fashion houses such as Versace and Dior along with other creative minds have accepted the power of gardening.

Here are small and big garden design ideas to help you make the best use of your garden space.


Small and Big Garden Design Ideas

Many people find gardening akin to Yoga and meditation and that it puts the things into perspective for them. Do you also love gardening?

Do you have a garden and looking for some garden design ideas and inspiration? Or you would love to have a home garden but due to space issues, you can’t have one?

Here, we bring you garden set up ideas that you can adopt and put into practice, whether you live in a cramped apartment or a spacious villa. Make the most of the space and welcome the green to your living space.

Small Space Garden Design Ideas

Space can be a real issue you are living in an apartment or share your house with another flatmate. But don't let this rob you of having a peaceful refuge for a garden.

You can try these space-saving garden set up ideas for your apartment garden. These garden design ideas let you fulfill your hobby as well as.

Container Gardening

Container gardening is a wonderful way to make the most of the space available

For apartments and smaller spaces, container gardening is a wonderful way to make the most of the space available. Containers can be placed in a horizontal line in the balcony or the entryway.

If you don't like to cram the driveway or entrance any further, go for hanging gardening design ideas where you can hang the garden without letting them in your way.

Besides, you don't have to worry about spending on containers as you can use any spare bottle or container from your house.

Vertical Gardening

Vertical gardening is a great way to optimise space

When sitting on the patio, it is sometimes pleasant to have plant life that is closer to you. Instead of having to walk down the garden to see greenery, why not do some vertical planting too?

There is a growing interest in vertical gardens. These can be purely decorative plants that grow within containers attached to a wall or fencing, or it can be edible plants like strawberries.

It depends on the outdoor climate what types of plants will grow well on or hung to a wall or a fence. You can also have a wooden or iron rack installed in the balcony or in the corners and keep the planters there. This will also help you to save water.

Here are 4 ways on how you can start your balcony gardening.

Pallet Gardening

You can also try pallet gardening and sow some kitchen herbs

If you have some time at hands, you can also try pallet gardening and sow some kitchen herbs, to begin with, the gardening spree.

Windowsill Gardening

Go for a windowsill garden and get the plants that don't require much sunlight

Often Sunlight is a problem with apartment gardens. To counter this, you can go for a windowsill garden and get the plants that don't require much sunlight.

Money plant, Rubber plant, Aloe Vera and kitchen herbs can thrive in shade as beautifully as in sunlight.

Outdoor Garden Design and Backyard Landscaping Ideas

There is no dearth of garden styling ideas when you have plenty of space. You can choose from one of the many front yard and backyard landscape designs to spruce up your living space.

Having a garden not only brings a dash of green to your home but also helps you eat organic. You can plant vegetables, flowers and fruits in the garden and enjoy nature.

Here are some backyard design ideas you can choose from. 

1. Build a Fire Pit

Fire pit area will transform your garden and will create a very calm, warm atmosphere

Firepits are great for gatherings and cookouts. If you can legally have a firepit where you live, why not put one in? They are great to have during the spring, fall, and winter. And can even be enjoyed on cool summer nights.

The features of an elegant fire pit will transform your garden and will create a very calm, warm atmosphere. If you don’t want to pay a lot of money – since one professionally designed will cost you $5,000 or more, you can make one yourself.

Or you can choose a portable fire pit, which is also less expensive and there are many options out there. Check out the best fire pits in 2024 reviewed.

Don’t forget to also check out fire bowls that can stay on the top of a table, that will add some fire to your garden - and it will cost a lot less.

Portable fire pits are really cost-effective, and they are quite attractive, which means that it will make your home more welcoming and appealing.

2. Garden Furniture for Relaxation

Garden Furniture to relax in your garden

Define a sitting area in the garden. Use vintage furniture or wooden couches for those Sunday mornings when you would like to do nothing. This can help you to make your garden the perfect spot to spend some quality time with your family.

You can also create a floating seat bench for sitting. You could plant the flowers in free space to make you feel like you are sitting within the flowers. Look into adding more garden furniture based on how you prefer to enjoy your garden space. 

Take a deep breath and feel fresh air in the morning with flowers in your garden. Make it your weekend escape for a morning tea or candlelight dinner on Valentine's Day.

3. Build a Pavilion

How to Build a Pavilion


Pavilions are ideal for patios and gardens. They provide shade and look amazing. And they are the perfect place to have cookouts and parties. Or you can just sit back and relax. 

4. Small Waterfall Backyard Design

Add a Small Waterfall


You do not need a big garden to have a waterfall. You can buy them in a wide variety of sizes or make your own. And by adding moving water to your garden, you are adding a way to relax and attract birds. 

5. Fun Gaga Ball Pit

A fun gaga ball pit can be an exciting addition to your backyard space. This fast-paced, high-energy game is perfect for promoting physical activity, enhancing coordination, and offering tons of entertainment.

Your fun gaga ball pit can be customized as per the available space, and it also provides an interesting talking point when entertaining guests.

This trend enjoyed by kids and adults alike would not only add a recreational touch to your outdoor space, but also promote social interaction and friendly competition.

6. Make a Raised Garden Bed

Raised garden beds help with drainage and they do not require you to bend down as far. They are great for people of all ages. And to make them even better, you can elevate the beds even farther creating a stair step design. 

Here is our roundup of raised garden beds for more options. 

7. Install Outdoor Fairy Lights

Do you want your garden to be a magical place? String up some fairy lights. The twinkling lights will instantly add to the ambiance and create a festive atmosphere.

 8. Add a Pergola or Day Bed Swing

Pergola Swing


Add some additional seating by building a pergola swing. Kids will love hanging out on the swing during the day. And you can enjoy some relaxing swing time in the early morning and evening hours.

9. Build an Outdoor Fireplace

Outdoor Fireplace


It is always peaceful sitting by a fireplace. If it is nice outside, why not sit outside? The addition of an outdoor fireplace will not only give you an additional seating area, but it will also add character to your garden backyard design.

 10. Secluded Beer Garden Design

Secluded Beer Garden

Source: Dale Horchner

Do you like a little privacy? Or want to create your own little getaway? Make a secluded beer garden. This fun backyard design feature will make it feel like you have your own personal pub at home.

11. Privacy Screens for Outdoor Spaces

Backyard Design Ideas

Backyard garden ideas always add privacy screens. It comes as a low-cost option for making spaces in your back garden, especially when it comes to covering up those unattractive areas.

Why not grow one of the fastest growing hedging plants? Check out what suits you best here

The most worth and inexpensive item is a trellis, which will let you plant ivy or any other kind of vines that grow fast, or you can train them to simply grow up when you want to create an attractive screen.

After the screen is established, you will be able to get the privacy you want from your neighbors, and you will also be able to create an intimate entertaining space.

Also, you can block the view of the trash cans or any other place that’s less attractive on your garden. You can find trellises in home improvement stores and they will be good for your budget. Or you can simply build your own and save more money.

 12. Install a Flagstone Garden Path

How to Install a Flagstone Path


Create a stunning walkway through your garden with a flagstone path. Not only does it look beautiful, but it is also easy to walk on.

13. Brick Edging for Flowerbeds

Brick edging will make your flowerbeds pop. And it makes it easier to cut your grass. You will not have to worry about weed eating next to the edging.

14. Spilled Flower Pots Garden Design

Spilled Flower Pot


Spilled flower pots can add a lot of color and interest to your garden. And they are easy to create. Simply plant some flowers in the pot and around it to create the spilled effect

15. Spiral Brick Garden Beds

Do you have a lot of room to work with? Make some spiral brick garden beds. These beds add visual interest and height. 

16. Replace Your Lawn with Native Plants

Replace Your Lawn with Native Plants


Get rid of your grass and replace it with native plants. Grass lawns are not the best choice for the environment. While native plants provide food and habitat to native animals and insects. And they are easy to grow since they are local to the area.

 17. Living Willow Garden Decor Structure

Are you looking to add a romantic element to your garden backyard design? Add a living structure. It will provide a shady place to sit and enjoy your company. Or simply sit outside and listen to the sounds of nature.

 18. Outdoor Garden Lighting

Outdoor lighting is a must. Not only does it add to the atmosphere it helps with safety. You can add lighting almost anywhere.

Refer to our guide on outdoor lighting ideas to help you get started

19. Native Meadow Garden

Create a meadow of flowers and native plants or plant them on a slope that is hard to mow. The plants will help keep the soil in place while attracting birds and pollinators.

And once the plants have had time to take over the area, they make it hard for weeds to grow.

 20. Bench and Pebble Path

Bench and Pebble Path


Place a bench next to your path to give you a place to get away and unwind. Surround the area with native plants and flowers to provide privacy and attract wildlife.

21. Build a Rock Garden

Rock gardens are a way to add depth and dimension. Rocks are rugged and natural. They create a raw earthy feel while being a manmade landscape structure.

Here is a list of gorgeous rock garden ideas and design for you to choose from

 22. Craft a Low-maintenance Garden

Do you want a garden, but do not have the time to care for it? Craft a low-maintenance garden. Instead of working all day long and then coming home and working on your garden, you can take the time to relax instead.

 23. Build a Garden Arbor

An arbor is multifunctional. It can be used as an entryway or frame a focal point. You can keep it clean or plant climbing plants on it.

24. Topiary Garden

Topiaries add height and drama. You can create spirals, geometric shapes, animals, and more. If you are creative, you can make a topiary garden with a little time and patience.

If you don’t have the time, you can buy reshaped topiaries and even faux plants that look real.

25. Decorate Old Tree Stumps

Tree stumps can be an eyesore, but they don’t have to be. Decorate them flowers, make them into a bird bath, or turn them into a fairy house.

26. Design an English Garden

An English garden is ideal for small homes and homeowners that love flowers. Plant climbing, blooming plants along with shrubs. Install a simple gravel path and strategically place a gazebo or statue.

 27. Large Outdoor Chess Board

Do you enjoy chess? Do you have a large garden? An outside chess board is one of the top large garden design ideas we have found. It is fairly simple to do with regular pavers.

The chess pieces can be found online in a wide variety of materials and price points.

28. Create a Japanese Garden

Create a Japanese Garden


Japanese gardens are all about peace and serenity. To make a Japanese garden add features such as a zen garden, water features, Japanese garden statues, cherry blossoms, and wisteria.

29. Multi-Zoned Garden

Multi-Zoned Garden

Source: Colin Poole

Design a garden your whole family can enjoy. Create sections in your garden design that will give everyone a place to hang out and have fun.

Take into consideration lighting and separate space with tall plants or topiaries.

30. Pollinator Garden

Pollinator Garden

Source: Carson Downing

Be environmentally friendly and add color to your garden by planting a pollinator garden. You want to plant native landscaping grasses and flowering perennials.

31. Japanese Zen Garden

A Japanese Zen garden is made of meticulously placed moss, trees, rocks, and white gravel. The gravel represents water. The waves can be made with a wooden Zen rake. You will want the garden to be viewable from a place of medication.

32. Outdoor Daybed

Outdoor Daybed


If you love the outdoors and enjoy soaking up the sun or feeling the summer breeze, add a daybed to your garden design. There are several kinds of beds you can use from swings to permanent structures.

33. Build a Water Wall Privacy Screen

Build a Water Wall Privacy Screen


Do you need a privacy wall, but you do not want to put up a fence? Creating a relaxing outdoor water feature that will provide a little privacy and add to the ambiance.

34. Backyard Grill Gazebo Design

Your grill should not be left open to the elements. If you enjoy a good backyard BBQ, and have a grill, protect it with a gazebo. You can build a simple gazebo or add a bar top to give you more room to work.

35. Relaxing Garden Patio

Relaxing Garden Patio

Source: Minnesota Historical Society Press

A garden does not have to be big and extravagant. If you have a simple patio space, you can make a comfortable and beautiful place to sit.

36. Rose Garden

Rose Garden

Source: David Austin Roses

Who does not love roses? Surround yourself in the beauty of these flowers with a rose garden. You can go as simple or extravagant as you want.

37. Block Wall Garden Design

Build a Block Wall


You can use blocks to build a tall privacy wall or a short separating wall. Use them between properties or to separate your patio from your yard. You can even make a wall that follows along your path.

38. Moon Garden

Moon Garden

Source: Proven Winners

If you are a night owl, you want a garden you can enjoy at night. When creating your moon garden design plan include plants that can be seen in the moonlight.

Choose flowers that are white or very light in color that stay open at night. You will also want to use light-colored landscaping stones and accessories.

39. Greenery Around Swimming Pool

Do you have a swimming pool? Add some greenery around it. Just do your research and use plants that will not cause issues such as trees with large roots or plants that shed sharp needles.

40. Backyard Butterfly Garden Design

Attract a wide array of butterflies to your home with a butterfly garden. You will want to research the butterflies native to your area to determine which nectar and host plants you need.

41. Garden Gate

Add a gate. It can be something simple to add to the design or a solid door for privacy. You can also add a gate to an arbor.

42. Freshwater Rock Pool

If you have been working on your yard and getting it ready for a garden, you have probably gathered plenty of rocks. Put these rocks to use and build a freshwater pool.

If you do not have enough rocks, you can often find plenty at a local quarry or ask your neighbors.

43. DIY Macrame Hammock Stand

When your garden design has come to fruition and you are ready to enjoy all the beauty, you need a place to unwind. Find a place to hang a macrame hammock or two. You can hang them from pergolas, trees, or even simple hammock stands.

44. Brick Courtyard Design

Brick Courtyard

Source: Mary Palmer Dargan

Design a brick courtyard. Use the bricks to create a patio and walls. You can even create a fountain, seating, and flower beds.

45. Outdoor Privacy Screen

Outdoor Privacy Screen


Sometimes you do not need a full privacy wall. When you only need to block a small area, install a privacy screen.

46. Water Fountain

Water fountains provide a lot of benefits to a garden. They are calming, provide the sound of running water, block out unwanted noises, attract wildlife, and are great focal pieces.

Here's our guide on things to consider before building a water fountain in your garden.

47. Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor Kitchen

Source: Annabelle Rogers

Outdoor kitchens can be a wonderful addition to your garden. Instead of cooking indoors during the summer months and heating up your house, make dinner outside.

They are also great when you have guests over. They do not have to keep going in and out of the house. You can have everything they need outside.

48. Dry Creek Bed Backyard Design

I think most of us would love to have a small creek flowing through their yard, but we are not all that lucky. Instead of creating a large water feature that runs throughout your property, install a dry creek bed.

49. Gravel Garden

Gravel Garden

Source: Holly Lepere

Gravel is low maintenance and drought resistant. If you live in an area that sees very little rain, or you are looking for a garden that is easy to take care of, think about using gravel.

50. Circular Stone Arch

Circular Stone Arch

Source: Jonathan Buckley

Stone archways are gorgeous features to add to your garden design. They add visual interest and charm. Use a stone archway to break up two separate areas or use it as a seating area

51. Bird Friendly Design

Bird Friendly Design

Source: Bob Stefko

Bird watching is relaxing, and it has been proven to reduce stress and improve your mood. If you are looking forward to birds visiting your yard, make sure to make it a bird friendly design with native plants. You will also want to add a feeding station and a bird bath.

52. Build a Stone Grill Surround

Grill surrounds can be expensive. Instead of shelling out a ton of money on one, make your own with retaining wall blocks.  

53. Landscape Lighting Garden Design 

The perfectly installed landscape lighting can add drama and impact to your garden design. If you are looking at lighting up your garden check with your local electrician. They can often advise you on the best places to install lighting for the perfect effect.

54. Build a Tree Bench

Build A Tree Bench

Source: Matthew Benson

Circular benches are charming and comfortable. They provide seating all the way around a tree. So, you can move if the sun gets in your eyes. You can even add lighting under the bench to light it up at night.

55. Shade Garden

Shade Garden

Source: Janet Loughrey

You may think you cannot have a beautiful garden if your yard is mostly shade. This is not true. There are countless shade-loving plants that you can use.

56. DIY Garden Swing

DIY Garden Swing


Everyone enjoys sitting outside on a cool day and swinging. When creating your garden design ideas look for a place to hang a swing. They do not take up much room and are the ideal place to enjoy your morning cup of coffee.

57. Pallet Wood Garden Walkway

Old wood pallets can be used for a lot of things including walkways. And you can often find them extremely cheap and even free from your local hardware stores and construction sites.

58. Front Yard Prairie Garden

Front Yard Prairie Garden

Source: Carson Downing

Your front yard does not have to be grass. If you hate mowing or are interested in creating a wildlife habitat, plant a prairie garden. A prairie garden will save you time and money while being beneficial to the local wildlife.

59. Elf House

People of all ages love elf houses. If you have a large tree on your property, add a little door and windows. You can even go a step farther and add a pathway, mailbox, and flowers.

60. Make Small Square Beds

Are you looking to grow vegetables or cooking herbs? Make small square beds. They are easier to take care of and walk around. And they add to the garden design.

61. Make a Garden Chandelier

Make a Garden Chandelier


You can hang a chandelier in a gazebo or pergola. You can even simply hang one from a tree. Add candles or rope lighting so you can use it at night.

62. Create a Seating Focal Point

Seating Focal Point


Plants and flowers do not have to be the focal point of your garden. Create a large, seating area that everyone will want to use. You can decorate the area with potted plants, outdoor furniture, statues, and a firepit. Or get really creative and add a water feature.

63. Vine Covered Pergolas

Vine covered pergolas are elegant and mysterious. When planning your garden design see how much room you have. You can install small pergolas almost anywhere.

If you have a lot of room, install a large, long vine covered pergola to add drama and interest.

64. Backyard Design Wall Fragments

Instead of installing a large, ugly privacy wall, crate a combination using fragments of 2 types of walls. This will break up the monotony of a wall and add an artsy vibe.

65. Build a Garden Brick Walkway

Build a Brick Walkway


Brick walkways are classic, attractive, and durable. If you have a pile of unused bricks or recycled pavers laying around, build yourself a path.

You can line the path with lavender or sunflowers. Lavender is soothing and low on maintenance. It grows almost instantly and looks very attractive.

It is one of the flowers that have stress-busting properties and can help you calm down. If you decide to go for lavender, then you'll find our lavender ultimate growing guide quite useful. 

66. DIY Hanging Lanterns

DIY Hanging Lanterns


Balconies and railings are the perfect places to add hanging lanterns. You can buy several lanterns or make your own. DIY lanterns are super easy and economical to make. Especially if you already have a bunch of empty glass jars.

67. Build an Outdoor Garden Bar

Build an Outdoor Bar


When friends come over do you always gravitate to the garden? If so, build an outdoor bar. This will give you a place to sit and talk. You can even install an outdoor fridge to keep your drinks nice and cold.

68. No-Sew Patio Curtains

Do you have a pavilion that is perfect for entertaining until the sun hits just right? Install some curtains. There are all types of outdoors you can buy or make your own.

69. Garden Seating Area

Benches are nice to have in your garden, but they do not provide shade from the sun or protection from the rain. If you have the room create a seating area with a roof and a wall.

You can even decorate the area with some outdoor wall art and potted plants.  

70. House Mural Garden Design

Use the sides of your buildings in your garden design. One artsy way to do so is by painting a large mural. You can paint a large tree, sunflowers, mandalas, and more. The design is only limited to your imagination.

71. Stacked Rock Walls

Stacked Rock Walls


If you have access to a lot of large round rocks, create a wall. The wall adds to the design elements and lets water flow through with ease.

72. Mosaic in Garden Paths

Mosaic paths are becoming very popular in outdoor garden design ideas. They bring charm and beauty using natural materials. You can create paths with small designs or create large intricate designs.

73. Create a Backyard Outdoor Dining

Who says dining rooms must be indoors? Set up a place in your garden where you can enjoy your breakfast, lunch, and dinner while being outside. It also creates a wonderful place for hosting parties.

Keep Your Patio or Terrace Clean and Fresh

You will be amazed by how much-accumulated dirt and debris gets ingrained in patio stones and the spaces between each laid stone. If you don't have a patio or one you like maybe get a new patio landscape design.

It is very difficult to clean it by hand and make much of a dent, plus all the crouching down on your hands and knees on a hard surface is not much fun either!

Consider either hiring or purchasing pressure washing equipment that is designed to work on outdoor stonework. Check out the best pressure washer reviews on the market. Have your patio or terrace look like new in no time!

Garden Design Ideas Conclusion

We hope you are inspired by our garden design ideas and they help you transform your patio, yard and garden into a well used and enjoyed space.

About the Author Ann Katelyn

I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.

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