Landscaping Calgary

Maximizing Small Outdoor Spaces: Tips and Ideas for Urban Landscaping

A beautiful landscaped patio or deck is possible even if you live in an urban apartment. There are ways to add the color and charm of blooming flowers, small trees, and other plants. Here are some tips to consider if you are thinking of outdoor landscaping although your space is limited:

1st Tip – Choose Small Plants

Most people focus on small flower species for an urban garden. Large or bushy plants can be used but they will consume a large part of your available space. You can have more color and room for various plants if you focus on dwarf trees and small plants. 

Large, tall plants work in unique areas with high ceilings. Medium-height and short-height flowers used with them work well to emphasize the height of tall plants and trees.

2nd Tip – Substitute a Rug for Grass

Most apartments lack grass, and this is also true for some small yards. A patio or deck will look unfished and bare without something on the surface of the area. A small rug can make a big difference in how attractive an area is.

3rd Tip – Different Types of Pots Add Interest to Outdoor Landscaping 

Different size pots made of unique materials will help your outdoor space look its best. You can use warm colors like orange, red, and yellow or cool colors. You can use some of the colors from the pots in a rug and pillows for furniture.

Large pots can hold small bushes or trees. Variety is best for the small urban garden. 

4th Tip – Raised Beds Add Style to Your Outdoor Space

Raised beds for your flowers and plants solve the problem of not having soil such as a patio or deck. You can conquer this problem by using raised beds. The beds can be painted in a bright color or stained to match your furniture. The beds are then filled with potting soil. They add sophistication to a garden.

A dwarf tree can be planted in a raised bed with thick grasses and colorful flowers around it. Annual flowers that bloom and spread over the edges of large pots add lots of colors.

5th Tip – Use a Variety of Textures in Plants

You can use plants with different textures to add interest to your urban garden. A shrub in a large basket looks the opposite of a smooth snake plant. Mix colors and species of plants for a more attractive look.

Look at the variety of green when you visit your garden store. You may not have realized that such variety existed. Use dark green plants and shades up to the lightest ones. 

6th Tip – Comfortable Furniture in Small Spaces

You may have a small urban area, but small uncomfortable furniture is not the way to save space. Your urban landscaping needs to be inviting but it also needs to be comfortable. Choose a large chaise or two or two rocking chairs for your space. The style doesn’t matter much, but comfort is a top priority.

Other furniture that will add to your comfort includes small tables for holding drinks, phones, and other items as well as colorful pillows. Waterproof fabrics for furniture and pillows will last longer and look better.

7th Tip – Use Ferns and Climbing Plants

An outdoor area looks larger with climbing plants. More greenery makes an urban landscape look like it’s better designed. 

Plants with unusual shapes like ferns add more color and life to a small garden. You can add lots more interest using plants that are all different.

8th Tip – Plant Flowers or Grass Around Trees

Why leave the soil in your large tree pot bare when you could grow flowers? This is another way to optimize the soil available to you. Ground cover flowers are perfect for this space. You can prune them if they spread too much.

9th Tip – Use Lighting 

Lighting extends the time you spend outdoors in your urban landscaping. If you own your property, you can install spotlights on some of your garden highlights. Apartment dwellers can focus on the large variety of lighting that can be plugged into an outlet on your deck or patio.

Many useful lights are solar and do not need any electricity at all. They can save power and light up your area.

10th Tip – Use Rocks or Pebbles in Small Urban Yards

A small walkway filled with pebbles can look great if it’s in the right place. It can lead to a small fountain or a landscaped area with greenery and flowers.

Larger rocks can be used as an attraction rather than a plant. Try different ways to plant unique flowers or use other natural materials.

11th Tip – Consider Outdoor Seating Areas for Guests

You may have certain outdoor furniture in mind that will allow you to seat friends and family. You can begin your outdoor landscaping by first placing the furniture to see where the color and style of plants can be added.

There may be room behind some pieces of furniture to build a raised bed. The higher surface of the raised bed will allow plants to be seen despite the bulky furniture in front of them.

12th Tip – Climbing Plants on Walls

A way to add color and more plants to your patio or deck is to use any nearby wall space as the spot for climbing plants. If this area does not have soil, that’s not a problem because some plants will climb in pots. You can train your plant to climb up the wall of your landscaped urban garden with a bit of work.

13th Tip – Research Different Ideas or Get a Garden Designer

Many different magazines focus on unique landscape plans for small urban areas. You can also look online for ideas and photos that may suggest plants and structures to use in your urban garden.

If you don’t know where to start, you might want to get the advice of a garden designer.  Visit to learn more.