Designing Small Gardens that Make a Big Impact

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Designing small gardens can be a challenge, but even the smallest spaces can serve as tranquil respites from the busy world! In fact, small gardens have plenty of advantages over larger ones, from less upkeep to lower water use. Here are a few ideas for designing small gardens in Southern Florida that pack a punch!

Bringing Nature Closer to Home in Fort Lauderdale

In larger yards, we tend to spread our plants out to make the most of the space and allow certain ones to really shine. In smaller gardens, however, we don’t have that option. Instead, a great way to pack small gardens with plants and create a lush, soothing space is by designing with nature as your guide! In nature, you’ll find multiple layers of different plant varieties in a forest. From the ground up, you’ll find a diverse collective of groundcover, grasses and herbaceous plants, shrubs, vines, and trees, all happily coexisting and–in some cases–relying on one another. By designing your garden in a similar manner, you’ll not only make the most out of your space with a wide variety of plants, but you’ll also create a tiny but mighty functioning ecosystem that’s sure to have the butterflies and bees buzzing!

Small Footprint, Big Impact

When you’re extremely limited on space but desperately want a lush garden, you have quite a few options. For instance, bring some life back to a bland wall or fence by installing a living wall! Living walls are beautiful, unique, and work for many different kinds of plants, meaning you can style your wall to your own personal taste. If that feels like too large a project, a vining plant with colorful flowers and lush year-round foliage is an excellent alternative that will instantly liven up any small space. 

If you’re looking for more small garden inspiration, remember that gardens with small footprints benefit from plants with small footprints, too! Another great way to add height without taking up too much space is to include our favorite Southern Florida staple, the palm tree! Palms don’t need a whole lot of real estate and will add vertical dimension and light shade to your small yard or garden without blocking too much sun, meaning they’ll grow happily alongside all your other plants. 

Year-Round Plants for Southern Florida

Gardens with year-round blooms are sure to attract pollinators, which will liven up any space. Picture it: a small patch of lawn or pavers versus a garden teeming with flowers and cheery bees, birds, and butterflies. The choice is obvious! With just a small selection of perennial plants that bloom in all four seasons, you’ll ensure happy pollinators and a garden with year-round appeal!


If the area you have isn’t plantable, consider potted gardens. Pots are rearrangeable and versatile, allowing you to easily change up your garden’s theme whenever the mood takes you. Even vegetables, herbs, and fruit trees grow wonderfully in pots! We have a vast array of stunning pots and planters to choose from here at Living Color Garden Center, allowing you to let your personality shine and your plants flourish, no matter your garden’s size!

Varying Textures and Forms

Even small gardens can make a big impact when you include various different textures, shapes, and sizes of plants and decorative elements. As you begin designing your small garden, remember that limiting your variety of plants can create a boring space that feels even smaller. Your small garden is also an excellent opportunity to consider xeriscaping, as drought-tolerant plants tend to be rich in texture, while rocks and pebbles add even more contrast and visual 


Garden Decor

A great way to get you and your guests fully immersed in your small garden space is by adding extra pieces of decor. Hummingbird feeders, wind chimes, small water features, and other decorative elements are amazing ways to infuse gardens with extra life and sparkle!

Smaller Plant Varieties for Southern Florida

You wouldn’t try to grow a massive oak tree out on your patio; it would completely dominate your space! The same principle applies to anything you plant or place in your small garden. Be mindful of the space you have to work with and select plants that will fit well within it. Be thoughtful about what patio furniture and decorative items you select as well, and opt for delicate and comfortable pieces that won’t overtake small gardens the way big, bulky pieces might. If you have your heart set on a specific plant, but are worried it may not fit well within your small garden, don’t fret: many plants have dwarf varieties! Just ask anyone at Living Color Garden Center, and we’ll point you in the right direction!  

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For everything you’ll need to start designing your small garden, come visit us at Living Color Garden Center in Fort Lauderdale today! We have the plants, products, and expertise to help you make the most out of your small space, and our experts will help you select the very best products for you based on your space, taste, and desired level of effort. Make a big impact in your small garden today!

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