(Image credit: HannamariaH)

When you’re designing an outdoor living space, there aren’t too many hard and fast rules you have to follow. It’s your space, after all, and it should reflect your style and wants. One thing you’ll almost definitely want, however, is some sense of enclosure, especially if you live in a more densely populated area. Having an outdoor space that’s all your own is practically essential. Keep reading to learn more about designing a small garden space and how to make a garden room.

Designing a Small Garden Space

Enclosed residential gardens are more than just backyards. They should feel like outdoor extensions of your house, a place you can appreciate the sounds and smells of nature while still enjoying the comforts of home. One of the simplest ways to achieve this is to create a sense of enclosure, effectively carving out your own little piece of the outdoors and turning it into a living space. There are several very easy ways to go about this.

How to Make a Garden Room

The most important and basic thing to do when enclosing a garden is to put up walls. These can be solid, physical walls, such as a fence, or they can be a bit more fluid. Some other options include shrubs, small trees, trellises with vining plants, or even hanging fabric. You can, of course, combine several of these elements to create a more eclectic look. Another important element is cover. Since you’re mostly going to be using your outdoor space in warm weather, it’s important to have at least some shade. You can achieve this with an arbor or pergola, an awning or, if you already have one, a big tree. Lights are a good idea, too – after the sun has set, they add to the illusion that your home is flowing outside. These can double as defining walls or, if strung across the space, as a canopy. Whatever else you add to your outdoor living space is up to you. Depending on your space, you may want a full dining table, or just a couple of chairs. Of course, you’ll want at least some flowers or greenery, and a little art never hurt. As long as you have a sense of enclosure, a little outdoor space that’s all your own, the world is your oyster.

Liz Baessler
Senior Editor

The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.