Categories: Recommended Flowers

Plants for a small garden


For the past 7 years, I have had to adapt and limit my gardening aspirations. Rose cottage’s rear garden is a meager 14ft by 12ft in size and the front garden is not much bigger. I love variety in the garden; plenty of colour, texture and scent, so what have I found works in such a small space? Here is a list of plants that you may find best suited for a tight spot to get the most out of your small garden.

Grow Vertical!

Tall Plants

Taller plants, slimmer plants can be put at the back of borders for maximum effect in a small garden.

  • Bamboo ‘Shibataea chilensis’ – Chinese Dwarf Bamboo
  • Columbine (Aquilegia)
  • Campanula pyramidalis
  • Dwarf Hollyhock
  • Dwarf Iris
  • Echinops ruthenicus
  • Sunflower
  • Foxglove
  • Stocks (Matthiola)
  • Verbascum
  • Canna indica
  • Gladioli
  • Verbena bonariensis
  • Agapanthus
  • Belamcanda
  • Delphinium
  • Larkspur
  • Lobelia cardinalis
  • Nicotiana suaveolens
  • Evening Primrose
  • Eremurus

Vertical Space – Climbers

If your horizontal space is a little ‘area challenged’, then make the most of the greatest, limitless expanse in your garden – the sky! A good strong trellis will not only add more growing area to your garden but also add plenty interest and privacy.

  • Sweetpea
  • Clematis
  • Climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala)
  • Chilean Glory Vine
  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Morning Glory (Convolvulus)

Borders & Containers

Work in miniature. If you have only a limited area for bedding plants, then choose wisely. I’d recommend a mixture of alpine plants and smaller annual flowers.

  • Thymus vulgaris ‘Aureus’
  • Bacopa
  • Lobelia
  • Mesembryanthemum (Livingstone Daisy)
  • Verbena
  • Aubrieta
  • Begonia Semperflorens
  • Candytuft
  • Cosmos
  • Cyclamen
  • Dahlia ‘Figaro’
  • Delosperma
  • Impatiens (Busy Lizzie)
  • Limnanthes (Poached Eggs)
  • Linanthus
  • Nemesia
  • Tagetes
  • Viola
  • Dwarf Aquilegia
  • Saxifrage
  • Alyssum
  • Sempervivum
  • Stonecrop (sedum)

Hanging Baskets

You can always depend on hanging baskets in a small garden…even if you have no garden at all! In my mind, one of the best ways of getting maximum colour in a limit space.

  • Trailing Violas
  • Trailing Sweetpea
  • Bacopa
  • Trailing Begonia
  • Dichondra
  • Ivy Geranium
  • Diascia
  • Lobelia
  • Fuchsia
  • Mini Petunia Calibrachoa

Vegetables for small gardens

You don’t have to convert what little space you have in a vegetable patch. Certain vegetables in the right settings can look great as feature plants and provide plenty of fresh food.

  • Potatoes – grow in tubs and buckets!
  • Runner Beans – grow up against a trellis, garage or shed.
  • Carrots & Parsnips, Beetroot – grow in grow-bags.
  • Sweetcorn – use as screening.
  • Lettuce & Salad crops – grow in tubs.
  • Onions – grow in amongst flower border.
  • Asparagus pea – Plant in hanging baskets.
  • Strawberry- Plant in hanging baskets.
  • Leaf Beet (Swiss Chard) – grow in amongst flower border.
  • Chives – grow as alpine or in a flower border.
  • Chili/Hot Peppers – grow as container/pot plants (very ornamental).
James Middleton

An obsessive gardener since 1982. Day-time job - web designer and developer and University lecturer.

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James Middleton
Tags: Cottage GardenGarden DesignGardening TechniquesSmall garden

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