How to Create a Dreamy Garden in a Small Space

The creative mind behind Tiny Canal Cottage shares her secrets.

 Small Space Gardening & Decorating Tips- Whitney Leigh Morris of Tiny Canal Cottage
Photography by Whitney Leigh Morris

Whitney Leigh Morris, the blogger and designer extraordinaire of Tiny Canal Cottage, knows a thing or two about small space decorating—and gardening. After all, she and her family live in a Venice Beach home that measures 362 square feet and has not one, but three outdoor areas.

Morris recently updated the side garden to reflect the warmer weather and her growing family. It’s a dreamy space that packs a lot in, so we turned to her for her top tips for gardening in a small space.

Starting out with a folding bistro table and chairs (perfect for easy clean-up, should you need to free up some space), Morris created an outdoor living area ideal for dining al fresco on those warm summer evenings.


 Small Space Gardening & Decorating Tips
Photography by Whitney Leigh Morris

To get the most out of the tiny garden, she opted for accessory pieces that can work double duty: a hanging basket tray, which both stores gardening tools and displays plants, and a wicker storage ottoman, which neatly organizes outdoor pillows and blankets while also serving as extra seating (all of the items are available from Pottery Barn).


 Small Space Gardening & Decorating Tips- Go Vertical
Photography by Whitney Leigh Morris

Go Vertical
Morris has a slew of suggestions for maximizing vertical space. For planters, you can create a potted lattice garden, install rail or balcony planters, or hang “gutter gardens.” For tools, opt for a hanging system rather than a box. This can be as simple as nails on the wall, or you can take a page from her book and hang a weather-proof pocket organizer. 

 Small Space Gardening & Decorating Tips- Stay Flexible
Photography by Whitney Leigh Morris

Stay Flexible
One of the best ways to maximize your space is to use versatile furnishings that can collapse and be repurposed around the home and garden. You can also use flatware or dish caddies to transport items between the interior and exterior without having to acquire separate sets for indoor vs. outdoor use. “And use your stoop,” suggests Morris. “This often overlooked space can be used as a temporary office, mini dining space, or petite lounge.”  


 Small Space Gardening & Decorating Tips- Create Ambiance
Photography by Whitney Leigh Morris

Create Ambiance
Incorporate café lights, lanterns, and candles (safely!) to get that cozy feeling, and add outdoor area rugs to define different spaces and create texture.

Follow Whitney Leigh Morris on Instagram @whitneyleighmorris for more tiny cottage updates!

Related reading:
Whitney Leigh Morris: Tour This Gorgeous 362-Square-Foot Canal Cottage
7 Genius Hacks For Small Outdoor Spaces
How To Grow Vegetables, Even If You Have No Space

Published on May 11, 2017 - 11:20am EDT

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