Small Space Garden

6 Materials
2 Days

Don't have a lot of space but want to try out your green thumb? Here's an idea that makes use of an area that is all too often overlooked.
small space garden
This is the space I had to work with. A 14' by 12" slice of horrible clay earth between our fence and the cement slab. First things first, that dirt had to go, so I dug it out and discarded it. Now I could have filled the space with quality soil but I had another idea. I filled the area with sand that we had on hand from another project. This made for a nice, level surface plus it got rid of that sand that had been hanging around forever! Win/win!

small space garden
Next, I built a super simple box with two 2x8x10's and some wood screws. Clearly, Paulie thought it was for him, so I had to act fast.

small space garden
The hardest part was navigating the indent in the fence so the box would lay flush all the way across. In the end I cut one of the 2x8x10's in half and fit a piece of a 2x4 in to create the corner in the wood that would enable the box to fit in perfectly. Then I stained the box with the left over stain we used for the fence.

small space garden
Oh, almost forgot, I did staple both weed block and some mesh to the bottom of box so the good soil would not mix in with the sand.
small space garden
small space garden
Then I flipped the whole thing over and filled the box with almost 9 cubic feet of cactus soil  . I was really surprised it took as much as it did. A math person would have figured that out... my talents lie elsewhere  . Then I just started planting. For me, I chose succulents.

You could use this space for flowers, strawberries, herbs, tomatoes or whatever strikes your fancy. Pole beans would work great here too!

small space garden
I decided that the space needed a little more pizzazz so I bought some little crates at Joann's and stained them the same color as the box and attached them to the fence with wood screws.

small space garden
I also bought these little shelves at Joann's. They didn't come with the mounting pieces, so I had to get creative at my scrap wood pile.

small space garden
Then I started decorating and adding some fun garden and fence art.

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This is the finished space. From boring and blah to beautiful and functional.
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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Mary Ann Goldberg
    on May 9, 2018

    What a great job! Was the lumber you used pressure treated? I don't know if you need that in your dry climate.

    • Kim Casper
      on Apr 15, 2019

      Pressure treated is toxic and does hurt more than plants. I’ve only removed railroad ties because of that but not the fence posts yet....

  • Theresa Taylor
    on May 11, 2018

    Was the fence yours or the neighbor's?

    • Michelle
      on Apr 22, 2019

      It looks awesome! Great job. It encourages me to do my fence. I have wanted to add some pizazz on my lower patio area. We intertain a lot.

  • Lisa Hancock
    on Apr 22, 2019

    Awesome idea! What a transformation! Kudos to you and your creativity!

Join the conversation

3 of 132 comments
  • Marianne
    on Apr 24, 2019

    I like your work

    on May 6, 2019

    Looks great! I made one similar to put in the front of my house that is about 10 feet long by 1 foot wide. Unfortunately, my original planter grew legs so i had to make one that could not be "walked away". (I live in NYC).

    • Michelle Kirstein
      on May 7, 2019

      That is a shame. I’ve had some great stuff taken from our front yard too. Unfortunately I am a slow learner as it took some time to learn to stop putting things out there. 😜

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