(Image credit: frazaz)

Minimalist garden design is an effective way to bring a sense of order to the garden. It is low maintenance, with clean, strong lines; features mostly green, sculptural plants; it uses lots of hardscape and triggers a sense of enduring beauty. 

Grow a Minimalist Garden

A minimalist garden isn’t for everyone. It should be an extension of your style from inside your home to the outside. It also can work to open a small space such as a minimalist balcony garden. The tips below will help you learn how to create a minimalist garden.

How to Use Minimalism in Your Garden Design

Once you’ve decided to create a minimalist garden, it’s important to plan your garden. A minimalist garden looks spacious and well defined. Even with few elements, it still needs balance and harmony. Follow these design principles:

  • Consider the plants. Minimalism features a monochromatic feel, with shades of green and a punch of color in one or two places. Plants should have structure, provide yearlong interest, and require little maintenance. Boxwood, agave, bamboo, ornamental grass, deciduous trees with interesting bark or form, all can add structure to the garden. But don’t overdo; less is more. Choose native plants when you can; they are the ultimate low-maintenance plants. 
  • Choose hardscape materials that will endure, such as steel, natural stone, rock, and concrete. Use the hardscaping to define the edges of your minimalist garden, as well as create living space. Planters should blend in with the hardscape materials, so choose metal, stone, concrete, etc., and no plastic. To avoid a sterile look, add warmth with wood or by choosing concrete that is colored in amber tones.
  • Design your space with simple, geometric shapes, straight lines, and sharp corners. There should be open spaces with an emphasis on hardscaping, not labor-intensive grass. Avoid the often-touted design principles of soft edges, curving boundaries, and many varieties of foliage.

Using these ideas for minimalist garden design will produce a clean, uncluttered look with a calming, modern garden appeal.

Susan Albert

After graduating from Oklahoma State University with a degree in English, Susan pursued a career in communications. In addition, she wrote garden articles for magazines and authored a newspaper gardening column for many years. She contributed South-Central regional gardening columns for four years to Lowes.com. While living in Oklahoma, she served as a master gardener for 17 years.