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Small Plot Landscaping and Lighting Ideas

When you have a small plot with which to work, landscaping and lighting can be as much a challenge as it is for a larger piece of property. The limitations of space are obvious, but there are also limitations based on the type of landscape and lighting components that will work well without compromising the quality of overall work.

In a small plot, good landscape planning should define the starting point; and this planning should involve using elements that give the illusion of more space than is actually there. You can do this by using your own twist on the three main components of landscaping: softscaping, hardscaping and lighting.


The plants that go into your small plot garden are critical components of the final look. Varied species give the impression of a much bigger garden purely because to the human eye, ‘variety’ automatically translates into ‘expansive.’ Different colors, sizes and varieties all add up to contribute to this effect. Don’t assume that just because the space is small, the plants have to be tiny too. Even a large tree can form a centerpiece for your plot, with other elements carefully and artistically placed around it. You can use smaller plants around the boundary to dispel their stark lines and actually ‘break up’ the outline of your space. When using a combination of light and dark colored plants, make sure to push the lighter ones to the back and bring the dark ones to the front.


A small plot generally won’t allow for the use of many themes, so pick one, such as a rock garden, a fountain or other waterscape element or even a tree, as we’ve suggested above. The idea is to centralize your theme around that centerpiece to achieve a sense of congruence. Remember: the space limitation means a limitation in terms of the number of components, but under no circumstance should it mean a curb on your creativity. A single sculpture can be the centerpiece of your small garden, with small plants and shrubs laid around as if in a floral tribute.


Lighting for small plot landscape design is one of the critical elements to achieving a finished look. Proper lighting can lend a touch of illusion, making your garden seem much bigger than it is. For example, centralizing your lighting on a pole near the middle of the space and having them point outwards at various elevations will make the space look more “spread out.” Similarly, ground lights facing upward also add a touch of additional space, or at least an impression of it.

Using these tips and techniques, you can convert what seems to be a small garden into a plant paradise fit for kings! Size may be a limitation, but that doesn’t mean you have to think small. No matter how small your plot may be, using the right pieces in the right places, coupled with lighting of the right types and positions can make any space more inviting – by day or by night.