Classic Small-Space Garden

Visual elements like arches, urns, and lamp posts can add personality and pizzazz to your garden space.


 
It's simple to create a petite paradise. With the use of visual elements such as brick walls and wide beds you can prevent the eyes from taking in the whole garden at once. The design is an effective visual trick that helps a small garden appear larger. It also forces one to slow down and observe while walking through the space.
 
Plant List
PERENNIALS
A-

Ladybells (Adenophora confusa) (5)

 

Zones 3-8. Nodding blue bells in mid-late summer, vigorous. 3' tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Monkshood (Aconitum x. bicolor 'Eleonora')
Zones 3-7. Blue and white color combination, dark green foliage, blooms midsummer to fall. 3 to 3-1/2' tall.

 
B-

Hollyhock (Alcea rosea 'Single Mix') (4)

 

Zones 4-8. Old-fashioned favorite, range of colors, reseeding biennial. 4-6' tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Gayfeather (Liatris spicata 'Floristan White')
Zones 4-8. Bottlebrush flowers in late summer, white, good cut flower. 3-4' tall.

 
C-

Wormwood (Artemisia l. 'Valerie Finnis') (6)

 

Zones 5-9. Fragrant foliage is silver. 18-24" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Dwarf Russian Sage (Perovskia 'Little Spire')
Zones 4-9. Lavender-blue flower spikes and silvery foliage all summer. 24" tall.

 
D-

False Spirea (Astilbe a. 'Bridal Veil') (6)

 

Zones 3-7. White, gently drooping plumes, dark green foliage, summer blooms. 28" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Goat's Beard (Aruncus aethusifolius)
Zones 3-8. Creamy plumes in early summer. 12" tall.

 
E-

Boltonia (Boltonia asteroids 'Snowbank') (1)

 

Zones 4-8. Small white daisies late in summer and into fall, prolific, good cut flower. 48" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Culvers Root (Veronicastrum virginicum 'Fascination')
Zones 3-8. Spikes of purple and lilac, late summer. 40" tall.

 
F-

Calamint (Calamintha nepeta) (6)

 

Zones 5-7. Foliage has minty fragrance, dainty white flowers in late summer and fall. 18" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Sedum (Sedum 'Frosty Morn')
Zones 3-8. Fleshy foliage with white edges, pink flower in fall. 12-15" tall.

 
G-

Sweet Autumn Clematis (Clematis ternifolia) (1)

 

Zones 4-9. Clouds of fragrant white flowers late summer and fall, vining.

 

Alternative Plant
Variegated Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquifolia 'Variegated')
Zones 5-9. Foliage is speckled green and white, hot pink fall color. 8' tall.

 
H-

Delphinium (Delphinium 'Pacific Giant Mix') (3)

 

Zones 3-7. Double blossoms on spikes in summer, mixed colors of blue, pink, white, and violet. 4-5' tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea 'Alba')
Zones 4-8. White bell-shaped flowers in early summer, biennual that reseeds. 4-5' tall.

 
I-

Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis 'Alba') (1)

 

Zones 3-8. White, heart-shaped flowers along arching stems, blooms in early spring. 30" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Doll's Eyes (Actea pachypoda)
Zones 3-8. Small clustered white flowers in spring, ivory fruit summer and fall, all parts are poisonous. 30" tall.

 
J-

Cranesbill (Geranium sanguineum 'Alba') (6)

 

Zones 3-8. White flowers in early summer, lightly through fall, nice foliage. 15" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Bee Balm (Monarda 'Petite Delight')
Zones 4-9. Compact habit, rosy-pink flowers in summer. 15" tall.

 
K-

Hosta (Hosta 'Patriot') (6)

 

Zones 3-8. Dark green foliage is edged with white. 22" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Japanese Painted Fern (Athyrium 'Nipovicum')
Zones 3-8. Upright hybrid with silvery foliage. 24-30" tall.

 
L-

Siberian Iris (Iris siberica 'Crème Chantilly') (4)

 

Zones 3-8. Creamy white blooms in early summer, grass- like foliage. 36" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Yellow Flag (Iris pseudacorus 'Alba')
Zones 4-9. Off white and pale, yellow flowers and purple lines, choice but not as vigorous as the species. 36" tall.

 
M-

Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum 'Crazy Daisy') (4)

 

Zones 4-9. Frilly white blooms. 24" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Coneflower (Echincea purpurea 'White Swan')
Zones 3-8. White rays with a prominent cone center blooms mid- to late-summer. 36" tall.

 
N-

Fountain Grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning Light') (1)

 

Zones 5-7. Fine variegated blades, vase shape, silvery plumes in fall. 4-5' tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Goat's Beard (Cimicifuga racemosa)
Zones 3-8. Spikes of white flowers in late summer, 30" foliage with 5-7' flower stalks.

 
O-

Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata 'David') (3)

 

Zones 4-8. Large clusters of white flower in midsummer and into fall. 40" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Phlox (Phlox maculata 'Miss Lingard')
Zones 3-8. Old-fashioned favorite with fragrant white flowers all summer. 24" tall.

 
P-

Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum oderatum 'Variegatum') (4)

 

Zones 3-9. Green and white foliage on arching stems, bell-shaped flowers. 24" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Japanese Toad Lily (Tricytis hirta 'Miyazaki')
White and lilac orchid like flowers late in summer. 30" tall.

 
TREES AND SHRUBS
Q-

Green Velvet Boxwood (Buxus 'Green Velvet') (44)

 

Zones 5-9. Dark green, glossy broadleaf evergreen. 2-3' tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Wintergreen Littleleaf Boxwood (Buxus microphylla 'Wintergreen')
Zones 4-9. Bright green foliage turns copper in winter. 2' tall.

 
R-

Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) (1)

 

Zones 5-9. Small pink flowers in early spring, heart-shaped foliage turns yellow in fall. 20-30' tall.

 

Alternative Plant
White Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virginicus)
Zones 4-9. Fragrant white flowers in early spring, dark blue fruit in late summer. 12-20' tall.

 
S-

Annabelle Hydrangea (Hydrangea a. 'Annabelle') (2)

 

Zones 4-9. Large balls of white flowers much of summer green foliage. 4' tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Variegated Bigleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla 'Vareigata')
Zones 6-9. Large clusters of flowers will be blue in acid soil, green foliage has creamy edge. 4-5' tall.

 
T-

Dwarf Alberta Spruce (Picea glauca 'Conica') (2)

 

Zones 4-6. Slow-growing miniature form of spruce. 5' tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Holmstrup Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis 'Holmstrup')
Zones 3-8. Upright habit, bright green bushy foliage. 4-5' tall.

 
U-

Pink Beauty Doublefile viburnum (Viburnum plicatum 'Pink Beauty') (1)

 

Zones 5-7. Upright form, white flowers mature to pink, red fruit, reddish-purple fall color. 5-8' tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Erie Linden Viburnum (Viburnum dilatum 'Erie')
Zones 5-8. White flat-topped flowers in late spring, red fruits turn coral after frost, yellow to red fall color. 6' tall.

 
V-

Eden Climbing Rose (Rosa 'Eden') (2)

 

Zones 5-9. Softly fragrant cream to pale pink flowers. 8' tall 5' wide.

 

Alternative Plant
Aloha Climbing Rose (Rosa 'Aloha')
Zones 6-9. Recurrent blooms in pink. 8-12' tall.

 
W-

Iceberg Rose (Rosa 'Iceberg' or 'Schneewittchen') (2)

 

Zones 4-9. Fragrant white flowers in clusters, 3' tall, 2-3' wide.

 

Alternative Plant
Fairy Rose (Rosa 'The Fairy')
Zones 4-9. Clusters of pink flowers. 3' tall and wide.

 
X-

Pearl Sevillana Rose (Rosa 'Pearl Sevillana') [Meichor] (2)

 

Zones 5-9. Semi-double flowers are white blushed with pink, dark green foliage. 4-6' tall, 4' wide.

 

Alternative Plant
White Lights Azalea (Rhododendron 'White Lights')
Zones 4-7. Pale pink to nearly white flowers, dark green foliage turns bronze in winter. 5-6' tall.

 
ANNUALS
1-

'White' Heliotrope (Heliotrope ssp 'White form') (6)

 

Flat heads of very fragrant flowers. 15-20" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Impatiens (Balsaminaceae ssp. 'White')
White flowers keep blooming to frost. 12" tall.

 
2-

Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana alata) (3)

 

White, tube-shaped flowers are especially fragrant in evening. 36" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Spider Flower (Cleome h. 'White Queen')
Globe-shaped flowers look delicate but are tough. 36-48" tall.

 
3-

Dusty Miller (Centaurea cineraria 'Colchester White') (7)

 

Silver, finely dissected foliage. 30" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Caladium (Caladium 'Aaron')
Silvery-white foliage with a green edge. 18" tall.

 
 
It's simple to create a petite paradise. With the use of visual elements such as brick walls and wide beds you can prevent the eyes from taking in the whole garden at once. The design is an effective visual trick that helps a small garden appear larger. It also forces one to slow down and observe while walking through the space.
 
Plant List
PERENNIALS
A-

Ladybells (Adenophora confusa) (5)

 

Zones 3-8. Nodding blue bells in mid-late summer, vigorous. 3' tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Monkshood (Aconitum x. bicolor 'Eleonora')
Zones 3-7. Blue and white color combination, dark green foliage, blooms midsummer to fall. 3 to 3-1/2' tall.

 
B-

Hollyhock (Alcea rosea 'Single Mix') (4)

 

Zones 4-8. Old-fashioned favorite, range of colors, reseeding biennial. 4-6' tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Gayfeather (Liatris spicata 'Floristan White')
Zones 4-8. Bottlebrush flowers in late summer, white, good cut flower. 3-4' tall.

 
C-

Wormwood (Artemisia l. 'Valerie Finnis') (6)

 

Zones 5-9. Fragrant foliage is silver. 18-24" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Dwarf Russian Sage (Perovskia 'Little Spire')
Zones 4-9. Lavender-blue flower spikes and silvery foliage all summer. 24" tall.

 
D-

False Spirea (Astilbe a. 'Bridal Veil') (6)

 

Zones 3-7. White, gently drooping plumes, dark green foliage, summer blooms. 28" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Goat's Beard (Aruncus aethusifolius)
Zones 3-8. Creamy plumes in early summer. 12" tall.

 
E-

Boltonia (Boltonia asteroids 'Snowbank') (1)

 

Zones 4-8. Small white daisies late in summer and into fall, prolific, good cut flower. 48" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Culvers Root (Veronicastrum virginicum 'Fascination')
Zones 3-8. Spikes of purple and lilac, late summer. 40" tall.

 
F-

Calamint (Calamintha nepeta) (6)

 

Zones 5-7. Foliage has minty fragrance, dainty white flowers in late summer and fall. 18" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Sedum (Sedum 'Frosty Morn')
Zones 3-8. Fleshy foliage with white edges, pink flower in fall. 12-15" tall.

 
G-

Sweet Autumn Clematis (Clematis ternifolia) (1)

 

Zones 4-9. Clouds of fragrant white flowers late summer and fall, vining.

 

Alternative Plant
Variegated Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquifolia 'Variegated')
Zones 5-9. Foliage is speckled green and white, hot pink fall color. 8' tall.

 
H-

Delphinium (Delphinium 'Pacific Giant Mix') (3)

 

Zones 3-7. Double blossoms on spikes in summer, mixed colors of blue, pink, white, and violet. 4-5' tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea 'Alba')
Zones 4-8. White bell-shaped flowers in early summer, biennual that reseeds. 4-5' tall.

 
I-

Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis 'Alba') (1)

 

Zones 3-8. White, heart-shaped flowers along arching stems, blooms in early spring. 30" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Doll's Eyes (Actea pachypoda)
Zones 3-8. Small clustered white flowers in spring, ivory fruit summer and fall, all parts are poisonous. 30" tall.

 
J-

Cranesbill (Geranium sanguineum 'Alba') (6)

 

Zones 3-8. White flowers in early summer, lightly through fall, nice foliage. 15" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Bee Balm (Monarda 'Petite Delight')
Zones 4-9. Compact habit, rosy-pink flowers in summer. 15" tall.

 
K-

Hosta (Hosta 'Patriot') (6)

 

Zones 3-8. Dark green foliage is edged with white. 22" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Japanese Painted Fern (Athyrium 'Nipovicum')
Zones 3-8. Upright hybrid with silvery foliage. 24-30" tall.

 
L-

Siberian Iris (Iris siberica 'Crème Chantilly') (4)

 

Zones 3-8. Creamy white blooms in early summer, grass- like foliage. 36" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Yellow Flag (Iris pseudacorus 'Alba')
Zones 4-9. Off white and pale, yellow flowers and purple lines, choice but not as vigorous as the species. 36" tall.

 
M-

Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum 'Crazy Daisy') (4)

 

Zones 4-9. Frilly white blooms. 24" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Coneflower (Echincea purpurea 'White Swan')
Zones 3-8. White rays with a prominent cone center blooms mid- to late-summer. 36" tall.

 
N-

Fountain Grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning Light') (1)

 

Zones 5-7. Fine variegated blades, vase shape, silvery plumes in fall. 4-5'.

 

Alternative Plant
Goat's Beard (Cimicifuga racemosa)
Zones 3-8. Spikes of white flowers in late summer, 30" foliage with 5-7' flower stalks.

 
O-

Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata 'David') (3)

 

Zones 4-8. Large clusters of white flower in midsummer and into fall. 40" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Phlox (Phlox maculata 'Miss Lingard')
Zones 3-8. Old-fashioned favorite with fragrant white flowers all summer. 24" tall.

 
P-

Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum oderatum 'Variegatum') (4)

 

Zones 3-9. Green and white foliage on arching stems, bell-shaped flowers. 24" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Japanese Toad Lily (Tricytis hirta 'Miyazaki')
White and lilac orchid like flowers late in summer. 30" tall.

 
TREES AND SHRUBS
Q-

Green Velvet Boxwood (Buxus 'Green Velvet') (44)

 

Zones 5-9. Dark green, glossy broadleaf evergreen. 2-3' tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Wintergreen Littleleaf Boxwood (Buxus microphylla 'Wintergreen')
Zones 4-9. Bright green foliage turns copper in winter. 2' tall.

 
R-

Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) (1)

 

Zones 5-9. Small pink flowers in early spring, heart-shaped foliage turns yellow in fall. 20-30' tall.

 

Alternative Plant
White Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virginicus)
Zones 4-9. Fragrant white flowers in early spring, dark blue fruit in late summer. 12-20' tall.

 
S-

Annabelle Hydrangea (Hydrangea a. 'Annabelle') (2)

 

Zones 4-9. Large balls of white flowers much of summer green foliage. 4' tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Variegated Bigleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla 'Vareigata')
Zones 6-9. Large clusters of flowers will be blue in acid soil, green foliage has creamy edge. 4-5' tall.

 
T-

Dwarf Alberta Spruce (Picea glauca 'Conica') (2)

 

Zones 4-6. Slow-growing miniature form of spruce. 5' tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Holmstrup Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis 'Holmstrup')
Zones 3-8. Upright habit, bright green bushy foliage. 4-5' tall.

 
U-

Pink Beauty Doublefile viburnum (Viburnum plicatum 'Pink Beauty') (1)

 

Zones 5-7. Upright form, white flowers mature to pink, red fruit, reddish-purple fall color. 5-8' tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Erie Linden Viburnum (Viburnum dilatum 'Erie')
Zones 5-8. White flat-topped flowers in late spring, red fruits turn coral after frost, yellow to red fall color. 6' tall.

 
V-

Eden Climbing Rose (Rosa 'Eden') (2)

 

Zones 5-9. Softly fragrant cream to pale pink flowers. 8' tall 5' wide.

 

Alternative Plant
Aloha Climbing Rose (Rosa 'Aloha')
Zones 6-9. Recurrent blooms in pink. 8-12' tall.

 
W-

Iceberg Rose (Rosa 'Iceberg' or 'Schneewittchen') (2)

 

Zones 4-9. Fragrant white flowers in clusters. 3' tall, 2-3' wide.

 

Alternative Plant
Fairy Rose (Rosa 'The Fairy')
Zones 4-9. Clusters of pink flowers. 3' tall and wide.

 
X-

Pearl Sevillana Rose (Rosa 'Pearl Sevillana') [Meichor] (2)

 

Zones 5-9. Semi-double flowers are white blushed with pink, dark green foliage. 4-6' tall, 4' wide.

 

Alternative Plant
White Lights Azalea (Rhododendron 'White Lights')
Zones 4-7. Pale pink to nearly white flowers, dark green foliage turns bronze in winter. 5-6' tall.

 
ANNUALS
1-

'White' Heliotrope (Heliotrope ssp 'White form') (6)

 

Flat heads of very fragrant flowers. 15-20" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Impatiens (Balsaminaceae ssp. 'White')
White flowers keep blooming to frost. 12" tall.

 
2-

Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana alata) (3)

 

White, tube-shaped flowers are especially fragrant in evening. 36" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Spider Flower (Cleome h. 'White Queen')
Globe-shaped flowers look delicate but are tough. 36-48" tall.

 
3-

Dusty Miller (Centaurea cineraria 'Colchester White') (7)

 

Silver, finely dissected foliage. 30" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Caladium (Caladium 'Aaron')
Silvery-white foliage with a green edge. 18" tall.

 
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