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Great ideas for compact gardens

Whether you live in a townhouse development or city flat, we offer some great design ideas for compact gardens.

Originally a fully paved garden was transformed into an urban oasis. Adding a modern touch to the outdoor space was the main goal for this compact garden.





Concrete flagstones set over the original paving, and the addition of a modern slat fence, defines the area and adds privacy. The inclusion of a timber storage bench adds seating and a place to store seating cushions.

Greening the garden via the installation of beds around the perimeter allow plenty of floor space for outdoor activities. The plants consist of water wise species such as juniper, sedum, and native ornamental grasses.  

Outdoor lighting is provided by the installation of a large stainless steel fitting that highlights the dining space for night time entertaining.  

Wanting a space suitable for two home-schooled children, the homeowners wanted a garden that offered space to entertain, for the kids to play, and a place to study.

After the renovation the family can enjoy meals from the built-in grill, while the large planters offer a space for a herb and vegetable garden.

New built-in wood benches offer plenty of seating for relaxation and dining, plus the benches offer plenty of storage for outdoor accessories.

Informal plantings are sturdy enough to take a hit from a stray ball. Bulkhead lighting and irrigation complete this low maintenance garden.

Designed to match the client’s colourful home interior, the garden was transformed into a playful modern space, with a table custom made for outdoor entertaining - framed with bold, red dining chairs. 

The client's brief required that the mature tree not be cut down and the old stone wall supporting a large church behind their home remain. To accommodate this, a custom fence was installed around the perimeter. Reclaimed bricks were used to create the round brick patio floor.

A shade-tolerant planting of ferns, rhododendron, hosta, and dwarf mondo grass underneath the tree provide a modern take on the green garden.

When designing an oasis in the city, the space needed to be lush and vibrant.  The balcony garden needed to function as an area for relaxation, outdoor entertaining, or just to chill out.

The evergreen shrubs and grasses provide a level of privacy, while tall trees provide shade for the balcony, which is in full sun most of the day. A mix of water wise plants and annuals were used to create a look that is colourful but at the same time low maintenance.

This couple wanted a wide open space for 2 children and 2 dogs, the compact garden needed to be designed to provide as much open space as possible. Relax seating and braai area were a 'must have' as part of the renovation.

The flagstone floor and stacked stone walls give the space a country feel, as do the vintage-style lights around the area. Horizontal fencing and a floating bench provide modern, rustic touches and add warmth to the otherwise coldness of the stone.

The cottage-style planting includes rudbekia, creeping thyme, liriope, lambs ear, ornamental grasses, and a sour cherry fruit tree.


Needing a garden that would keep up with their busy lives, by moving the living areas to the centre and hiding an existing air conditioning unit behind the outdoor kitchen, it was possible to create a seamless modern aesthetic outdoor living area.

A concrete slab close to the house was covered with gravel to allow for proper drainage, while plantings of drought tolerant flowering perennials and native ornamental grasses add plenty of greenery. The timber framed wall on one side of the garden offers a place to grow kitchen herbs and small veggies.

This garden features a fireplace / pizza oven, timber cabinetry, and modern pergola. Reclaimed tree stumps provide extra seating when necessary.