16 Ways to Squeeze a Garden Onto Your Deck or Patio

Starting a garden can be a challenge if your deck or patio is the size of a postage stamp. Here are some clever, space-saving garden ideas where large backyards are not required.

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January 04, 2017
By: Mina Hochberg

Photo By: The Horticult

Photo By: Small Town Rambler

Photo By: Woolly Pocket

Photo By: ManMade

Photo By: PopFizz | Bryan Allen

Photo By: The Horticult

Photo By: Fancy Frugal Life

Photo By: Drinking With Chickens

Photo By: Her Tool Belt

Photo By: The Vintage Wren

Photo By: Inspired By Charm

Photo By: Succulents and Sunshine

Photo By: Laughing Crow & Company

Photo By: HomeMade Modern

Photo By: Bonzai Aphrodite

Photo By: Hang-a-Pot

Suspend Your Garden

Ryan Benoit and Chantal Aida Gordon of The Horticult threaded stainless steel rods through terra-cotta pots and suspended them from horizontal surfaces. These striking vertical gardens can punch up the smallest balconies and patios. See the tutorial at The Horticult and a time-lapse video on Instagram.

Ladder Makeover

Turn that rickety old ladder into a showcase for colorful plants and herbs. Karla Holley of Small Town Rambler spray-painted her wooden ladder in pastel blue then adorned it with a variety of pretty pots and planters. The ladder can also be used to store garden tools and potting soil.

Pocket Full of Plants

These attractive planters from Woolly Pocket come in versions with one, three or five pockets, and you can hang them on any vertical surface no matter the size of your outdoor space.

Vertical Crate Garden

Chris Gardner from ManMade created a vertical garden by artfully stacking handmade cedar boxes and securing them to a wall. The garden leaves a small footprint in space-challenged decks and patios.

Freestanding Wall

If you’re a renter, you may not be allowed to hang anything from your outdoor walls. Instead, make this freestanding plant wall using wood and mesh rebar. Hang potted plants using S-hooks, and they’ll provide privacy for your space as they grow.

Ammo Box Planters

Bring an industrial look to your garden by potting plants in ammo boxes. In this particular creation, Ryan Benoit and Chantal Aida Gordon of The Horticult suspended two rows of ammo box planters from chains. See more ammo box ideas at The Horticult.

Tiered Pots

A tiered potted garden tucks nicely into the corner of any deck or patio. Lisa Darnell of Fancy Frugal Life placed upside-down pots underneath the soil to prevent upper tiers from sinking into the dirt.

Don’t Toss That Shoe Organizer

Kate Richards of Drinking With Chickens holds her plants in a natural canvas shoe organizer. Fill the pockets directly with soil or place small plastic pots in each pocket. It’s a cheap solution and stores a large number of herbs.

Garden in a Gutter

The slim profile of this portable herb garden makes it ideal for small outdoor spaces. Amy Baesler of Her Tool Belt painted three lengths of gutter in robin’s nest blue then suspended them from a DIY stand. See the tutorial at Her Tool Belt.

Stacked Steel Tubs

To prettify the space outside her back door, Carrie Eddleman of The Vintage Wren punched drain holes in three galvanized steel containers and stacked them atop one another. Herb gardens don’t get any easier.

Filed Under Garden

Michael Wurm, Jr. of Inspired By Charm grows his favorite herbs in a vertical magazine storage rack. Line the rack with coco fiber liners, insert soil and plant herbs — all in less than an hour.

Raskog to the Rescue

Is there anything the IKEA Raskog utility cart cannot do? Cassidy Tuttle of Succulents and Sunshine lined the top shelf of the Raskog with window screening then filled it with soil, moss (to mask the soil) and succulents. Small potted succulents fill the other two shelves.

Upcycled Spice Rack

Line a wire spice rack with burlap and load each shelf with soil and plants. Chris McLaughlin of Laughing Crow & Company recommends plants that can thrive in shallow soil, such as herbs, alyssum, strawberries and succulents.

Hanging Garden

The grid design of this hanging garden allows for many potted plants in a small amount of space. You can build one row or multiple rows. See Ben Uyeda’s tutorial at HomeMade Modern.

Upside-Down Tomato Planters

If you don’t have space for tomato trellises, simply thread the start of your tomato plants through plastic jugs, fill them with soil and suspend. See Sayward Rebhal’s tutorial at Bonzai Aphrodite.


Adorn the walls of your patio or deck with potted plants using these easy-to-conceal hangers from Hang-a-Pot. The hangers work on a variety of surfaces, from trellises and fences to brick and stone.

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