How to Transform a Small Garden Area

4 Materials
1 Day

I've done lots of garden makeovers at our fixer upper home and this is one of my favorites. It's a little shade area that's right off of our patio. It gets hardly any sun, so I had to go with shade plants. Perhaps you have a little area in your yard that could use some makeover help. I hope this inspires you to get it done.

how to transform a small garden area

This is what I started with. It wasn't completely hideous like some of my other makeovers, but it had no personality and I knew I could make it better.

how to transform a small garden area

I like to start with a clean slate, so the first thing I did was dig all of the plants out. There's a peony that had buds on it, so I decided to leave it for now and relocate it in the fall.

I tossed the weeds and undesirable plants like ostrich fern and relocated some plants to other gardens.

how to transform a small garden area

Next, I position the plants where I want them and step back to take a look. Then I rearrange and repeat the process until I have everything just how I want it.

Next comes the digging and planting. I basically dig a hole about twice the size of the root ball on the plant. Add a little Osmocote in the bottom of the hole and mix it it.

Then I simply plant each plant and back fill with soil around the roots, gently tamping the soil down. Easy peasy!

how to transform a small garden area

When I have all the plants planted, I add a good layer of shredded wood mulch. Don't skip this step! Mulch helps to keep the weeds down and moisture in the soil, so this will be a low-maintenance garden.

how to transform a small garden area

After adding a few touches to give this little shade garden some character, here is the after. I love the way it turned out! If you'd like to see more of this makeover and other garden makeovers, stop by Gingham Gardens and check it out: Small Shade Garden Transformation.

Do you have a little area that could use a makeover? I encourage you to tackle it and make a garden you'll be proud of.

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Joanna - Gingham Gardens

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Kay
    on Aug 30, 2019

    How can you use solar lights in a shade garden. Mine don't work

  • Arleen
    on Aug 30, 2019

    Yes I want to know how solarlights work in a shade garden. The picture of the lights must just be for effect.

    • Joanna - Gingham Gardens
      on Aug 30, 2019

      Hi Arleen - Apparently, this little garden gets just enough dappled sun for the lights to work. Some last longer than others and honestly I think they help to add some character to the garden during the day too.

  • Joanie
    on Sep 4, 2019

    Kindred spirits may be the answer, the Names may be? Joanna, Joanie and I believe there is a Joan on this site too. Maybe does have something to do with the name. Joanna Gaines is the Queen of decorating? lol. What does your name mean?

Join the conversation

2 of 9 comments
  • A.J.
    2 hours ago

    I would like to do this project next spring. But, for now I need ideas on how to fix up area around sliding glass door to bring in my calla lilies and other plants for winter. Has to be up off floor so dogs aren't tempted to pee on them. Thanks.

  • Joanna - Gingham Gardens
    22 minutes ago

    Hi A.J. - I don’t have that problem, but there are lots of plant stands that would raise your plants up off the floor. I even saw on on Hometalk a few weeks ago. Do a search for diy plant stands and I bet that will get your creative juices going. Good luck!

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