How to Have a Million Dollar Garden in a Small Space

Image: Michael Stange CC by SA 2.0

Sometimes the process of decorating your luxury home with an equally luxurious garden means thinking small, and targeting specific ideas and themes. For example, you may want beautiful perennial flowers along the front of your home. You may want a small track of herbs or your favorite vegetables in the rear forty.

Many luxury homeowners are also hobby gardeners, but find that local homeowners associations restrict the amount of gardening space allowed. If your community has a groundskeeper, you may have to restrict an area from getting mowed over. Here are a few tips and ideas for how to have that million dollar garden in your luxury space.

The Where

The first step in having your small space garden is determining where it will be. Measure all the dimensions of your space to determine how much there really is. You may have more or less space than it appears to the naked eye. Take note of the environmental conditions. How much sun does it get, and at what times of the day? What is the soil like? If it’s heavy clay or sandy silt, you will have to do some extra consideration.

Will your garden be covering or concealing something like a utility box or unsightly wall? Is there, conversely, something you would like to accent or highlight, like a tree or rock garden?


Unique Locations

Some ideas for unique locations include:

  • Driveways: If you have a long driveway, carving out a rectangular, oval, or other regular space in the center and planting it can create a stunning accent. You’ll need to choose low-growing plants that can handle the stress of cars passing over.
  • Vertical Towers: Climbing plants or a potted garden can be planted in a vertical garden tower, taking up very little space in a corner of your yard, but still beautify your overall space.
  • The Patio: Again, planters and boxes can be strategically placed to grow everything from colorful flowers to small batches of your favorite vegetables. All you need is a space about four feet square to grow a broad range of veggies, including tomatoes, cucumbers, chives, basil, squash and many other tasty, healthy and beautiful plants.
  • Along the Walk: If you have walkways, pathways or other landscaping features, planting flowers along the sides can increase the aesthetics of these areas while providing pleasant aromas to further enhance the experience of those leisurely outdoor strolls.
  • Tables, Chairs and Stands: Many people get creative by growing gardens right in the middle of their tables, in unused chairs, or at the base of umbrella stands. These ideas are unique and clever uses of space that can enhance the beauty of those areas where you entertain.



If your garden is going to be located far from the main building, how will it get water? Will you carry a can out every day to water it? Do you have a long enough hose to run a sprinkler? Will you have an in-ground sprinkler system installed? Irrigation is an important aspect of your garden and something that has to be considered. Your plants will need to be watered regularly.

Focus and Theme

One of the most important aspects of the small space garden is focus and theme. You cannot plant random flowers mixed with vegetables in the same space. Some plants love to grow together; others will compete for resources and choke each other out. Also, different types of plants grow in different types of soil, so your space evaluation should play into the kind of garden you want to plant.

It’s best to know if your garden will be decorative or functional. If decorative, how will it look and from where will it be viewed? If functional, are all your vegetables compatible? Nothing is worse than accidentally creating a hybrid pepper that’s hotter than a ghost pepper!

The Perspective Advantage

Make sure that you use the range and distance of your garden to your advantage. You can make perspective work for you by placing smaller features and those flowers and leaves with muted colors farther way, while placing the bigger and brighter flowers closer to the edge of your viewing area. This will make your small garden look much bigger.


Avoid Fences and Hard Borders

Fences and railings are very hard borders that create a somewhat industrial look. It’s better to border your garden with plants and flowers. This doesn’t mean you should rip out your fence. Try placing flowers along the railing or fence. The right plants just along your fence line can soften the overall look and even make it look like you have a much bigger space, while attractive climbers can disguise the railing. Just be sure community rules allow the plants you’re placing!


Paths and Walkways

If you are set on multiple themes, plant them in different areas and create walking paths between them. Add benches and rest spaces along the way so people (including you) can stop, relax and enjoy the natural setting. Make the adage about stopping to smell the roses literal!


The Vertical Garden

Using a tower structure that has multiple mini-beds built in can be a great way to maximize a small horizontal space. Create a container that extends up, and place several boxes at multiple levels. Such gardens are great for small, colorful flowers, herbs, or even small perennials like strawberry plants which will yield fruit every year.


The Potted Focus

If you don’t have the space or gumption to create an in-ground garden, try a large pot in a visible area planted with a variety of complementary flowers. This kind of garden adds a gorgeous and wild look to your property and there are tons of hanging plants, flowers of different colors and shapes, and decorative grasses that can create a beautiful, complementary look.

There are a lot of unique ideas you can use to create a pot as well — it needn’t be a traditional terra cotta planter. Old benches, bird baths and unused fountains are all popular choices for a “potted” garden. Many people have even turned old bathtubs into planters and garden beds! The sky is the limit when getting creative with this option.

The options for creating a million-dollar small garden for your million-dollar home are limitless. All you need is a bit of imagination. From small beds, to tower gardens, to potted options, you can create a look that is not only interesting and unique, but shows off your personal sense of style. Take a drive into the city and gather inspiration from urban gardens. Look for unusual solutions to create beds. With creativity and ingenuity, you can have a gorgeous dream garden in a small space that will be the awe of your entire neighborhood!

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