Sumo Gardener

9 Interesting Ways On How to Make a Small Garden Look Bigger

Even if you are not blessed with a vast outdoor space, knowing how to make a small garden look bigger when maximizing the sense of area can work wonders. 

With a few creative tips and tricks, you can turn even the most compact plot into space where you like to spend time. 


Whether you have a small backyard, a large patio, or a little city lot, there are ways to make it feel like a bigger space. 

A garden can be a relaxing place to break from the busy, hectic world outside, but sometimes it can feel a little too quiet and isolated. 

How to Make a Small Garden Look Bigger

There are times when you might be wishing for a little more noise or a few more people to visit. If you have a small garden, you can easily make it feel more significant with a small amount of effort. 

Different garden designers have different approaches, but here are a few suggestions to get you started.

How to Make a Small Garden Look Bigger

Choose Plants Wisely

One of the most important things to know on how to make a garden look bigger is plant a variety of different-sized plants.

Whereas a row of shrubs or full-grown trees creates a foliage wall, a collection of small trees and shrubs scattered around the garden will appear to stretch the space. 

Hide the Boundaries 

Borders can make a small garden feel obviously smaller. Making it clear where your garden begins and ends, you are drawing unnecessary attention to its size.

By hiding the boundaries, you will create a space that make small garden look bigger than it is in reality. 

However, you should be aware of some caveats. For example, use individual plants that rapidly overgrow or don't maintain them properly. You will find they encroach on what little space you have, giving it a claustrophobic feeling.

Slower growing shrubs and wall climbers like ferns and ivy's are ideal for this task.

Create a Small Rockery Area

Garden rockeries have been around for many years, but more and more people have begun to create them because they are such a popular item to have. 

The gardens are made of natural materials, which look great in the backyard. They come in many different sizes, so they can be used in nearly every garden. The best thing about these rockeries is that you can make them from reclaimed material. 

One of the most important things to know on how to make a garden look bigger is plant a variety of different-sized plants

They can also be made from natural materials, which are known to be better for the environment. 

You can decorate them by using a succulent planter box to provide shape and color, thus making your small garden even more aesthetically pleasing.

A grocery will give some height and layering to a flat garden and make it seem larger.

Design the Layout from the Start

It is crucial to plan the garden layout correctly; otherwise, the finished space may look disorganized and cluttered, but it is worth it. 

This creates more space to move around and more room for plants, flowers, and other plants to grow and thrive. 

Make the most of the area you have in your garden by creating a secret garden or outdoor area that feels classic. 

Paint your outdoor spaces in bright colors (pastels seem to be popular these days) with charming details and create an outdoor home where you can relax.

Create perspective

This is a classic trick that has been used for centuries, both inside and outside. Essentially, you will want to layout your plants so that they trick your perception into thinking that your garden is either longer or shorter than it actually is.

You want to lead your eye to see the entire journey of your garden's length or width, rather than merely having it look straight to the endpoint. 

You can do this very naturally by placing larger plants and trees in the foreground and gradually decreasing their size as they go down to the end of your garden.

Use Mirror Reflection

This may sound like an odd suggestion, but as the perspective trick, mirrors have also been used to increase the feeling of size.

You can place them strategically throughout your garden space, but the best method is to place one either at the side or at the end. You should make sure that you cover the mirror's edges to make it less evident that it is a mirror. 

You should also try to make it look like a garden feature rather than something you have placed there for a purpose other than decoration.

Use Smaller Sized Furniture

Use Smaller Sized Furniture

If you enjoy sitting out in your garden when the weather permits (who doesn't!), then you will evidently need furniture.

Most garden furniture is designed with more extensive gardens in mind, so if you purchase the first items you see, you could find it taking up an extraordinary amount of space.

However, some manufacturers specialize in creating smaller furniture which will be more at home in smaller spaces.

By reducing the amount of space taken up by your furniture, you will be able to make it seem more extensive when you are admiring it from inside your home.

Another furniture related tip is to consider all-weather furnishings. You probably don't have the luxury of storage, so being able to keep these items outside all year is a real lifesaver.

Plan Out Your Lighting Game

Now that we have covered how to make a small garden feel bigger in the daytime, it is time to move onto the night!

Lighting can have a significant impact on making your backyard look fantastic and help it seem grander.

Lighting your garden can make it look bigger than it actually is. You can use lighting to make it appear more space around the home and make the garden look more open and airy. 

Place the lights up and around the periphery of your garden, making you and your guests look up rather than straight ahead. This adds a height, which means that you will be moving your head and eyes more subconsciously, making you think that space is more significant than it is.

Grow Vegetables and Herbs

Grow Vegetables and Herbs

When people think of vegetables or herbs, the image usually conjured up in the mind's eye is a farm. Farms are often big, and therefore, by planting a few useful veggies in strategic locations, you will make it seem that your garden is so large you have enough space to grow your own!

This also has the added benefit that you can use them for your home cooking. The simplest options are to grow things like:

Tomatoes: Great for adding height as they grow on vines.

Zucchini: Simple to grow, and when they get big can be quite impressive.

General herbs: Any assortment of herbs is acceptable, including the staples of Thyme, Rosemary, and so on. They also smell amazing, so anyone walking past will immediately be awestruck.

How to Make a Small Garden Look Bigger Summary

Having a garden of smaller size doesn't mean that you don't have to enjoy it. These simple tricks are easy and cheap to implement, and what better time to get started now that we will be coming into Spring soon. 

Now you know how to make a small garden look bigger! 

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.

follow me on:

Leave a Comment: