Limited by space? No need to worry. There are many plants that are perfect for smaller spaces and will transform the area into a green haven in no time.

Research by Ipsos Mori for the Horticultural Trade Association, found that the average garden size is 14m2 with this reducing to 12m2 for those aged 22-44. But how much space do you need to make a fantastic garden? Not as much as you might think. Even with as little as 4m2 you can create a green urban escape but finding the right plants is key.

Importantly, the space doesn’t want to be overwhelmed or dominated. With this mind, you should pick the plants to match your space. Not only that, each plant you choose should give you the best return for the garden space they take up.

When planning a small space, here are a few things to consider:

Paving is an opportunity

Firstly, gaps between slabs or the edges of paths can be prime garden real-estate. As well as softening edges of stone or bricks, the plants can be a wonderful air freshener. This is because they release scent as you step past. With this in mind, try herbs, they’re perfect in and around paving, but you will want to consider hardy varieties that can withstand the odd wayward foot. Consider Thyme, Marjoram or Chamomile; their scents can help boost your mood.


Secondly, pots and containers come in all shapes and sizes, and open up opportunities to add plants to paving, door steps or balconies. Either opt for traditional materials or scroll through Pinterest for inspiration for an up-cycling project. Bear in mind that almost anything can be transformed into a planter but it is best to find plants that will be happy in their new abode. For instance, smaller plants that are happy in containers include but not limited to: Armeria, Ajuga, Dianthus, Phlox, Sempervivum, Carex.

Pots and containers are perfect for renters, no need to worry about investing in a garden you don’t own, when you move just pick up and take your garden with you!

Another dimension

Thirdly, small plants doesn’t have to mean short. Some tall plants can have a small footprint which mean they don’t take up huge amounts of precious space but can add impact and interest. For example, Aquilegias, such as Spring Magic series, or Delphinium Magic Fountain add wonderful height and colour.

Evergreen climbing plants not only add vertical interest but can help mask unsightly areas. Try Hedera or Trachelospermum.

If you are limited by space, look at walls and fencing as another opportunity. Don’t limit containers and pots to the ground and look how you can add plants at eye level around your space.  For more inspiration on vertical planting, read our blog

Don’t forget your other senses

Finally, sight and smell are top of the agenda for a lot of gardeners but don’t forget sound or touch. Sound plays a key role in creating your garden getaway. Grasses can add a relaxing sound and their memorising movement are sure to create a calm oasis. 

For touch, think about plants such as Saxifrage and Sagina. They are so tactile you just have to touch them. As a result, adding their wonderful texture to the space will help you to connect to the garden.

Need some small plant inspiration?

Garden centres are creating inspiring displays to show different ways to use small plants.

Fonthill Garden Centre, Bitton

Also, our Small Plants for Small Spaces range is available at UK garden centres and is packed full of plants to make the most of your space.

To summarise, do not feel your space is stopping you creating a green escape. By thinking slightly differently about how and what you plant, you can transform even the smallest of spaces.