Small Garden Design Ideas: 10 Ideas to Get You Started With Outdoor Pl — Box and Sprout Skip to content
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Small Garden Design Ideas: 10 Ideas to Get You Started With Outdoor Plants in Pots

We know it can be difficult creating your dream container gardens. So we've decided to pull together a few starters for 10 for you.

You can use these ideas as inspiration as you plan your garden. Walk around your space. Think about which of these might work for you. And let us know if you have any questions.  

1. Arrange in 3's

There's something about the number 3. Everything just sorta feels better like that. Veni, vidi, vici. Small, smaller, smallest. There's a rhythm to it. And that' the same when arranging containers.

 three pots

2. Create Clusters

Clustering pots is more of a maximalist approach. It creates the feel of a full blown garden, even though the area the pots are on might be paved. You can treat clusters like little gardens, with a mix of plants, edibles, succulents, trees and everything in-between.

cluster pots

3. Plant a tree or statement plant

Trees or statement plants can be used to create a focal point in a space. Or they can be used to create lines by planting in a row.

statement tree

lined trees

4. Pick a high impact pot or container

The pots themselves can have a real impact, even if the plants themselves are somewhat more subtle. Choose unusual shapes and materials to get this effect.

statement pot

5. Create perspective with plant heights

Use different heights to create perspective and layers, which are visually appealing. You can plant on stairs, or get creative using upside down plant pots or stands. We generally recommend putting the tallest plants at the back of displays for this very same effect.

plants at different heights

6. Disguise your ugly pots (or nursery pots) behind your best pots

If you're clustering your pots, typically the pots at the back won't be visible. So why not save some money and keep your plants at the back of the display in their nursery pots, while saving your best pots for the front.

hidden plant pots

7. Keep a rotation scheme

With lots of plants in containers, and with the plants being portable, you can easily rotate them. Some of your pots might be in flower, while some might not. That's no problem, just bring the juiciest plants to the front. 

plant rotations

8. Make small pockets of colour

With smaller plants and smaller pots, get creative for where you put them in your outdoor space. They'll go beautifully on outdoor tables, next to benches, or perched on top walls or steps, which gives them height.

plant on table 

pockets of colour

pocket of colour raised

9. Create borders

Borders are the edges of your garden space. You can plant taller pot plants along the edges to give you privacy from overlooking windows. Taller plants like bamboo do really well for this.

border bamboo


10. Use shrubs, grasses and other interesting shapes to make living sculptures

Shrubs often come in really interesting shapes. You can use those shapes to create interesting sculptural and almost architectural displays.

 living sculpture shrub

living sculpture tree

We hope you enjoyed the article and now feel as inspired as we do!


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