5 ways to create small garden SWAG

Private Property South Africa
The Roosting Venus

With spring around the corner, now is the ideal time to get your garden ready for the new season.

It doesn’t have to be big to make an impact – in fact a smaller garden space can often create more of a feature than a bigger area. Small gardens also get bonus points when it comes to affordability and manageability. So without further ado, let’s tuck into some current small garden trends, tips and techniques to get your garden spring ready.


Get the most out of your small garden by creating impact through colour. And here we’re not talking plant colour, but the colour of fixed structures – fences, walls and the house itself. A fabulous way to create a stand apart look is by painting the home and fence a dramatic hue – a house painted dark charcoal grey for example really affects what a garden looks like. In Europe black houses and fences are huge.


Another very effective way of creating not just an impact but the illusion of extra space is by placing a huge (wall size) mirror against a garden wall. A lawn or shrubbery reflected in the mirror seems twice as large, the extra light bounced around is an added bonus, plus it’s a feature in itself. Mirrors left outdoors do weather relatively quickly, which means that you don’t live with a brightly shining mirror for long, but rather with a more subtly faded version.


Edible gardens are no longer a trend but more of a responsible choice. There are many ways that veggies and herbs can be introduced into a small garden so they become part of the design, and add interest and beauty of their own. For those with really minimal space consider making a vertical veggie or herb garden against a wall, using a series of window boxes, or creating a focal point with a collection of pots.

Did you know: Flowers mixed with veggies and herbs provide a pop of colour and more pollinator habitat?


In some parts of the country more than others it’s important to factor in seasonal changes while planning a garden. While a burst of spring and summer colour can look great, do think about the needs of a garden all year round. A garden that has more foliage than flowers is not only lower maintenance but gives you more for your money. Keeping a garden all one colour – all white for example – and sticking to just a few species creates instant order and calm.


Don’t discount the idea of squeezing a larger tree into a small garden. Canopy trees will give a leafy roof, height and privacy without taking up much space on the ground. You can create more space by clearing the lower stems away too. If you have a bare patch under the tree, add a table and chairs and cover the bare ground with broken brick or gravel – far more cost effective, environmentally friendly (it allows rainfall to percolate through to the soil instead of running off) and easier to install than paving. If you’re tight on space try training a tree to climb a wall – hold individual branches in place with hooks drilled straight into the house or garden wall.

Looking to sell your home?
Advertise your property to millions of interested buyers by listing with Private Property now!
Find out more


Found this content useful?

Get the best of Private Property's latest news and advice delivered straight to your inbox each week

Related Articles

Home DIY projects for spring
Spring is the perfect time to get stuck into those DIY projects you put on hold during winter. Here are a few DIY projects you can try at home.
How to make your small garden an urban oasis
Don’t despair if you don’t have a huge garden with rolling lawns, a well-thought out small garden can have a big impact.
Refresh your tired outdoor space
Learn how you can transform your tired outdoor space into a wannabe place.