14 Creative Home Garden Ideas That Inspire

Kristin Salaky
Written by Kristin Salaky
Updated December 17, 2021
A women and a young girl working in a garden together
Create your perfect garden filled with your favorite flowers and plants this year. (Photo courtesy of Rachel Coleman)
Photo: Jacob Lund / Adobe Stock

Put your green thumb to use no matter where you live 

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Creating your dream garden is within your reach—even if you have a small yard or no yard at all. Use these garden ideas to grow your vision into reality. 

Backyard Garden Ideas 

With ample yard space, the opportunities are endless. Get inspired with these statement garden additions and let these creative home garden ideas elevate your outdoor space

1. A Waterfall Feature for a Garden Oasis

A small backyard waterfall
Photo: White78 / Adobe Stock

The only thing more peaceful than a stroll through a blooming garden is a stroll through a blooming garden with a waterfall. Use layers of stone to build your garden waterfall fixture as subtle or grand as you’d like. 

Keep in mind—this option does require digging and a waterline hook up. If this DIY is outside your area of expertise, hire a local landscaping professional who can help you do it right.  

2. A Greenhouse for All-Season Gardening

A garden greenhouse with potted plants inside
Photo: Rawpixel.com / Adobe Stock

Seasons hold no bounds for true gardeners. Keep growing year-round with your very own greenhouse. Use your DIY skills to build your own, or purchase a greenhouse kit from your local hardware store or an online retailer. A local landscaping company can also build one for you if you’d rather leave it to a pro. 

3. A Gardening Shed for Serious Green Thumbs

A colorful backyard flower garden with shrubbery
Photo: Elenatheise / Adobe Stock

Every serious gardener needs a planting shed complete with gardening tools, a planting table, and plenty of natural light. Use the space to safely store and organize your gardening gear, and to repot your plants away from outside elements. 

4. A Backyard Flower Garden for a Pop of Color

A colorful backyard flower garden with shrubbery
Photo: Elenatheise / Adobe Stock

A vibrant backyard flower bed can bring your landscaping to life, but there’s more to think about than just color. 

Different flower types have different maintenance needs. Annuals (petunias, marigold, etc.) typically bloom all season long. Most annuals need to be reseeded annually, but perennials (peonies, tulips, lavender, hydrangeas, etc.) regrow on their own for several seasons. 

Some flower types can even attract or repel certain creatures such as hummingbirds, bumble bees, butterflies, and chipmunks. Do thorough research on flower types before making your final selection. And remember that local pollinators seek out native plants, so it’s important to choose flowers common to your area, rather than exotic plants from other parts of the country or world.

5. Garden Seating to Sit in Tranquility

A bench in a summer garden
Photo: Bartussek / Adobe Stock

A garden bench with a small table is a picturesque place to enjoy your morning coffee. Purchase something premade, or custom build your own seating to fit your vision perfectly. Add cushions and pillows for a comfy place to read a book or take a nap. 

6. A Butterfly Garden to Bring Colors to Life

A monarch butterfly pollinating a garden flower
Photo: Sodel Vladyslav / Adobe Stock

A butterfly garden uses specific plants to attract these beautiful insects and provide a habitat where they can eat, grow, and pollinate. For a spectacular butterfly show, include some of the following plants in your garden:

  • Milkweed

  • Cornflower

  • Marigolds

  • Black-eyed Susans

  • Asters

Indoor Garden Ideas

Surrounding the inside of your home with plants and greenery is a sure-fire way to boost happiness and relaxation. These simple garden ideas will keep you and your indoor plants thriving.

Note: Before bringing plants inside, make sure they’re not poisonous to pets or humans.  

7. Potted Plants for a Garden Anywhere 

A boho-style interior room with several potted plants
Photo: New Africa / Adobe Stock

The great thing about potted plants is that they can be placed almost anywhere—indoors or outdoors. Just remember that most indoor plants need direct or indirect sunlight, too. Try keeping your potted plants as close to a window or natural light source as often as possible. If you really don’t have a light source available, there are a few houseplants that can grow with artificial light, such as Parlor Palms and certain Bromeliad species. 

8. Windowsill Boxes for More Sunlight

A small garden window box on a kitchen windowsill
Photo: Tommoh / Adobe Stock

Exterior and interior windowsill planters are a great way to keep flowers, herbs, and greenery in direct sunlight so they can grow all year long. Add a couple planter boxes to your kitchen window for easy access to fresh herbs while cooking. 

Small Garden Ideas 

Tiny yard? No problem. Make the most out of your backyard with these smart garden ideas for small spaces. 

9. A Vertical Garden to Expand Your Space

A vertical garden with potted plants scaling a wood slat wall
Photo: CasanoWa Stutio / Adobe Stock

If your yard is too small for a traditional garden, try a vertical garden instead. Simply add floating shelves to an existing exterior wall or surrounding fence. You can also build your own vertical garden wall out of wood planks or pallets. Make sure the shelves are wide enough to hold a variety of planter sizes. 

It may be a good idea to add a cover or awning over part of the vertical garden as some plants don’t require direct sunlight. 

10. A Raised Garden Bed to Save Space

A person watering the vegetables in a raised garden bed
Photo: Viktor Pravdica / Adobe Stock

Raised garden beds come in a variety of sizes, so choose one that best fits your outdoor space. If you’re constantly moving things around to navigate a compact yard, opt for a raised garden bed with wheels for a non-permanent solution. A raised bed is also an easy garden edging idea for beautiful landscaping borders.

Apartment and Rental Garden Ideas

Just because you live in an apartment, townhome, or rental doesn’t mean you can’t have your own garden. These clever ideas will bring the garden to you—no matter which floor you live on. 

11. A Wooden Ladder for Both Gardening and Decor

Green plants hanging on a wooden ladder
Photo: Benin / Adobe Stock

The next time you happen to stumble upon a wooden dowel ladder at a garage sale or vintage shop, don’t pass it up. It can be used as a decorative way to hang potted plants around your unit or on your balcony. Simply use “S” hooks to attach compatible flower and plant pots to each ladder rung. 

12. Hanging Baskets You Can Place Anywhere

Hanging plants on a large wooden balcony
Photo: Андрей Рыков / Adobe Stock

Hanging baskets aren’t just for flowers. You can also use them to plant most herbs and even some fruits and vegetables, including lettuce, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, eggplants, cabbage, and peppers. 

13. Railing Planters for Greenery and Seclusion 

Spring flowers in pots resting on a city balcony railing
Photo: StockOption / Adobe Stock

If you want to turn your apartment balcony into your own personal paradise, railing planters are a must. A balcony planter in full bloom is not only decorative, but also great for privacy. Use it to plant anything from flowers to herbs to small vegetables. 

Be sure to measure your balcony railing before purchasing planters at a local hardware or craft store. If you live on a higher floor, it’s better to keep your planters inside the guardrails to prevent them from falling on passersby below. 

14. Rooftop Gardens for Concrete Jungles  

A woman tending to a rooftop garden
Photo: Seanlockephotography / Adobe Stock

When grassy spaces are limited, create your own. If you have access to the roof of your building, try starting a rooftop garden (with permission from the landlord or property owner, of course). 

Raised box gardens work best on rooftops—just consider adding an umbrella or awning for shade since your plants will be exposed to direct sunlight. 

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