Cluttered or overcrowded gardens can give a chaotic and disorganized appearance. Carefully arranged pots, on the other hand, will create an attractive and well-balanced look that’s both pleasing to the eye and conducive to plant growth.


Creating a beautiful, functional garden in a small space can be challenging. But with our tips, you can transform even the tiniest outdoor area into an oasis of beauty. This article will provide simple tips for arranging pots in a small garden.


Choose the Right Pots and Match


matching planters in an outdoor garden


Lightweight pots are best for small spaces since they don’t take up a lot of room and can be moved around easily. Opt for vertical or multi-level pots that help add height to your garden without taking up too much floor space. This will create the illusion of a larger area and draw the eye upwards, making your garden seem more spacious.

Be mindful of color, too. Select pots that complement the color of your plants, as well as the surrounding environment. This will help create a cohesive and attractive look. For example, if you’re going for a modern, minimalist aesthetic, opt for neutral pots in shades of white or gray. Check out these SWP pots that have excellent neutral colors. Or, if you want a more boho-chic vibe, consider colorful ceramic pots with unique patterns and shapes.


Arrange for Maximum Impact


tall plants in an outdoor garden​​

Place taller plants, like shrubs, at the back of your garden to create a visual backdrop, and put shorter plants in front. This will help create the illusion of depth and make your garden look larger than it actually is. When placing multiple pots in a row, be sure to vary the sizes and shapes to add texture and depth. For example, a cluster of cacti in diverse pots can look stunning in the center of your garden.

Use Cohesive Planters


cohesive planters in an outdoor garden

Use plants that provide visual interest, like flowering perennials and shrubs. Incorporate plants of varying heights, textures, and colors to give your garden an inviting feel. Ensure that your pots and plants are harmonized with each other - creating a consistent theme throughout your garden. This will help ensure that your garden doesn’t look overcrowded, which can detract from its overall appearance.

Be sure to leave minimal space between your pots for airflow and access. Connect masses of plants for a fuller look. And avoid large open spaces between plants, as this can make your garden appear sparse.


Create a Focal Point


planter; focal point of outdoor garden

Creating a focal point in your garden can be achieved by using large pots, incorporating unique and colorful plants, and creating a contrast of colors and textures. For example, you could place a large pot filled with bright flowers at the center of your garden to draw attention to it. 

Don't forget to leave space between your plants. This will give shrubs and other plants room to grow and prevent overcrowding. Overlap your pots slightly, preventing any blank or empty spots.


Create a Pathway


planters as pathway for an outdoor garden


Use pots to create a natural pathway that helps guide visual attention throughout your garden. Place pots close together or overlap them to create a winding, natural-looking path that adds texture and interest. Choose bright colors and fun shapes to create a whimsical feel. You can also use larger pots to add height variations which will help guide the eye through the garden. Additionally, you could incorporate stepping stones for a more eye-catching effect.


Arrange for Symmetry


planters in symmetry


Arrange pots in a symmetrical pattern to create a pleasing composition, and make sure to group them together for maximum impact. Group pots together, use different heights, and incorporate plants with different shapes and textures to create a balanced garden (Bertamini et al., 2019). Use odd numbers in order to achieve a more pleasing arrangement. An even number of pots tend to look too formal.


Utilize Companion Planting


companion planting, planters outdoor


To help make the most of your small garden space, consider utilizing companion planting. This involves combining plants that are known to be beneficial for one another and can help create a lush and healthy garden. For example, mint and brassicas, lavender and leeks, and borage and strawberries are some good companion plant combinations (Kosto, 2019).


Use Mirrors


mirror in an outdoor garden


Installing mirrors in your garden can create the illusion of space and make it seem larger than it actually is. Place them strategically to reflect plants, pathways, and other features in your garden. This will add depth to your small outdoor space and give it a more dynamic feel. Mirrors can also be used as decorative elements, providing an attractive addition to any garden (Matthews, n.d.).


Use Vertical Space


vertical space, wall-mounted planters


If you are limited on floor space, try using wall-mounted pots or hanging baskets to add plants without taking up too much room. Tiered shelves can also be used to create a vertical space for plants, giving your garden an interesting and eye-catching look. This will help create the illusion of depth and draw the eye upwards, making your garden appear much larger than it actually is.


Final Thoughts


Creating a beautiful garden in a small space is possible. With the right pots, plants, and design elements, you can transform your limited area into a lush and inviting outdoor space. By utilizing these tips, you can make the most of your small garden and create a space that will be enjoyed for years to come.




Bertamini, M., Rampone, G., Makin, D. J., & Jessop, A. (2019). Symmetry preference in shapes, faces, flowers and landscapes. PeerJ, 7. 

Kosto, A. (2019). The science of companion planting in the garden. Montana State University.

Matthews, R. (n.d.). Garden mirrors – How to effectively place a mirror in your garden. Successful Garden Design. 

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