Planning and planting for narrow spaces

innovative small space garden design, showcasing how to maximize greenery in minimal areas.

Narrow Spaces

Suburban backyards often come with challenges such as limited space, neighbouring structures, and varying sunlight exposure. However, with careful planning, strategic planting, and the right choice of plants, stunning and functional outdoor spaces can be created.

Plant selections for narrow garden beds

Miles Choice-  beautifully compact Bay Tree that creates low-maintenance evergreen screening. Its fragrant, glossy leaves are visually appealing and a culinary delight.. 

Pencil Pines - stunning conifer that boasts vibrant green foliage. Its slender and compact form makes it a perfect fit for narrow garden beds or as a striking feature tree. 

Capital pears - The most slender of all Ornamental Pear varieties, making the Capital pear a popular choice for narrow garden beds, fence and houseline planting and avenue planting. Enjoy their natural slender upright form, featuring delicate spring time blossoms. 

Ficus flash – ever popular elegant screening and hedging plant. Its glossy evergreen foliage creates a lush, green boundary, perfect for privacy and landscaping. This versatile tree is low maintenance and ease of pruning make it an ideal choice for both immediate impact and long-term beauty

Guide to creating patterns with jasmine, including care and planting tips, by Impressive Plants.


Pleaching plants, which involves selectively pruning lower branches to create a tidy and structured appearance, is indeed a valuable technique for narrow garden beds. This method not only maximizes space but also allows for contrasting underplanting, adding depth and visual interest to the garden.

Pleaching is particularly well-suited for narrow garden beds alongside driveways or the side of a house, where space may be limited. Plants such as Capital Pears, Ficus, and Miles Choice are all excellent choices for pleaching due to their strong central stems and ability to withstand pruning.

Investing in proper secateurs designed specifically for pleaching is advisable, as they provide cleaner cuts and minimise the risk of leaving behind unsightly branch stubs. This attention to detail ensures a neater and more professional appearance.

When pleaching, it's important to consider the desired height in relation to the plant's natural growth habits. As the plants mature, you can gradually raise the pleaching height to maintain balance and proportion within the garden bed.

Overall, pleaching offers a versatile and effective solution for maximizing space and enhancing the aesthetic appeal of narrow garden beds, providing a structured and cohesive look that complements the surrounding landscape.

A beautifully structured pleached lime avenue, demonstrating the art of tree training in garden design.

Something different?

Espaliers are an excellent option for narrow planting, offering a unique and visually appealing way to maximize space in gardens with limited width. Espaliers are available in a wide range of fruit-bearing, citrus, flowering, and foliage plants, providing versatility in both function and aesthetic.

Espaliers are meticulously crafted onto lattice or trained to grow flat against a support structure, such as a wall or fence. This method of training encourages the plants to grow in a horizontal plane, effectively spreading out along the surface rather than taking up additional space in width.

As the plants mature and continue to grow, additional lattice panels or guide wires can be added to accommodate their expansion while maintaining the desired shape and form. This flexibility allows for continuous customization and adjustment to suit the specific needs and preferences of the gardener.


Climbing plants like Chinese Star Jasmine are perfect for narrow spaces, offering vertical growth that maximizes available space while still providing lush foliage and beautiful flowers. By adding a support structure such as grid mesh, guide wires, or lattice, you can encourage the jasmine to climb and cover walls, fences, or trellises.

Chinese Star Jasmine's evergreen foliage provides year-round interest and greenery, making it an excellent choice for adding texture and depth to narrow areas. Additionally, its fragrant flowers in spring and summer add a delightful sensory experience to the space.

Garden Success

Regular pruning is essential for managing plant growth, especially in limited spaces such as suburban backyards or small gardens. Maintaining desired shapes, you can prevent plants from encroaching into valuable space and ensure a neat and tidy appearance.

In addition to pruning, providing adequate water, fertilizer, and mulch or ground coverings are key components of plant care, contributing to the overall health and vitality of your garden.

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