How to Make a Small Garden Look Big Like the Experts

A small garden benefits from foliage plants in the same way that large gardens do from grasses. Foliage plants will help to calm down the liveliness of the border and produce somewhere for the eye to rest.

This is important in a small garden packed with plants, as the overall appearance can become overly busy. Another use of foliage in any garden, but particularly in a small garden, is to surround a single flowering plant with green or silver leaves so that it makes the flowers stand out, accenting them with a posy effect.


Every bit of space in a small garden is at a premium to a plant lover, so it is important to remember that a garden is three dimensional. Climbing plants can be used against walls or fences. It may also be possible to use one or two posts or tripods, if there is space, to add to this vertical accent. As well as climbers, annuals can be used in hanging baskets and window boxes to add color at or above eye level.

It is possible to use a few optical tricks to make the garden look bigger. Cover the fences with plants so that the margins of the garden cannot be seen. This tricks works particularly well if there is a neighboring garden with shrubs and other plants peering over the fence as it will look as if your garden continues.

Use a winding path that disappears around a corner at the bottom of the garden so that it seems as if your garden continues out of sight. Paler colored plants set towards the end of a short garden will deceive the eye and appear farther away than they are.

Large mirrors covering a wall can give the impression that the wall does not exist and the garden carries on, though the mirrors must be angled so that anyone approaching cannot see their own reflection.

Another idea is to erect an arch, which can be covered with climbing plants, just in front of a wall, and then back the arch with a mirror to give the impression that the garden continues under the arch.

Similarly, using a trompeloeil painting in a wall perhaps a picture of a gate opening into another garden will deceive viewers into believing that more lies beyond.

How to Make a Small Garden Look Big Like the Experts

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