It might be hard to make something out of nothing, but sometimes it seems a bit of a challenge to make something out of a tiny little space, too! Whether you’re tight on backyard real estate, you’re limited to a small patio in your Indianapolis apartment, you feel like taking on a small project, or you just think a minimal garden is more your style, there are so many ways to create the perfect garden spot right on your patio. Are you dreaming of gorgeous annuals? Or maybe a tasty edible garden? You’ll be surprised what you can make in just a container or two.


Whatever your reason is for wanting a minimal garden, there are tons of benefits to placing it on the patio. It’ll be somewhere you hang around frequently, it’s easy to manage, and by being located just outside your door, it’s incredibly functional. We believe every space, from apartment balconies to backyard decks, has the potential to be transformed into a miniature garden.


The details of your minimalist garden design can be flexible depending on what you want to grow, but these basic tips for Indianapolis gardeners will make designing a minimal garden for tight spaces much easier:

  • Check the size of what you plant. Before you decide on a plant, check the tag or ask a store employee to make sure it grows to a size that is manageable in your space. Some big plants start as little seedlings on our shelves, and you’ll want to avoid any surprises while your garden grows, especially if space is limited. 

  • Pick a style and run with it. It can be hard to make multiple styles work in the same container, not only from a design perspective, but also considering the needs of your plants. When pairing plants in a container, think not only about how they look together but about whether they’ll get along as they grow. For example, plant all of your edible plants together for easier maintenance, and plant things with similar growing styles (aggressive growers together, or more relaxed, slow-growing plants together) in the same container. 

  • Plant what you love. Even though minimal gardens are lower maintenance than some bigger garden projects, they’re a lot simpler to take care of when you love what you’re growing and want to put the effort in. 

  • Your garden starts from the ground up. The exciting part is what you plant, but remember that choosing your container is part of your design and can even influence how your plants grow and start with bagged soil for a sterile and pest-free start. 


What you plant is up to you and you can grow whatever you dream up, but if you aren’t sure where to start, these are some of our favorites that are sure wins:


Why not grow the best of your vegetable garden right outside your door on the patio where they are in the perfect spot for snacking and cooking? Some of the best container plants include tomatoes, peppers, salad greens, peas, and even carrots! Just leave the space-hogging bigger plants for an actual garden plot where they can get the square footage that they need to grow. 

Choose varieties with similar needs to pair together, and consider both your pot and container placement when choosing what to plant. Heat lovers like tomatoes and peppers will love to soak up as much sun as your patio can provide, and need warm roots - so they’ll benefit from a dark-colored container to pick up a little extra heat. Other veggies need cooler temperatures so they will want a little less exposure, and a container that helps to keep their roots cool.



Containers on the porch are the perfect spot for your favorite pretty annual flowers, where you can enjoy them more every day of the summer. Picking an annual container is easy and starts with choosing the plants that you love, but designing a container that’s a knock-out is as easy as following a formula. When you plant your minimal garden with annuals, choose one plant that fills each category:

A Thriller: This is a plant that has some vertical growth properties and is like the centerpiece of the garden. From grasses to bushy flowers, and even some ornamental shrubs, you’ll find plenty of options that give your container some height and excitement. 

A Filler: These are your bountiful bloomers that fill in the space of the container with their gorgeous blooms. A lot of hybrid annuals are a great choice here thanks to their aggressive blooming, but you could also choose something with eye-catching foliage, like coleus.

A Spiller: These plants spill over the side of the container to create even more height in the container— after all, when space is at a premium, why not grow vertically? Plants prized for foliage or blooms are great choices here to complement the rest of your container.


When your backyard square footage is in the way of having the garden that you want, why not grow up instead of across? There are tons of ways to elevate your gardening so that you have more to appreciate in a smaller footprint. Consider these vertical garden tricks:

Use a trellis: Pick plants for your patio garden that grow up rather than around! Vines are attractive choices and can grow up instead of out so that they take up less space but are more beautiful. 

Vertical Gardens: This hot new trend is all about saving space. A quick browse on the internet will show you all sorts of creative gardens that stack plants on top of each other to grow up, not out. Consider fun tricks like using old shelving, creating stacks of staggered pots, or even hanging your containers from the ceiling. 

Make the most of your limited space so you can have the perfect miniature garden to enjoy right there on your patio. Even in a small space, your options are endless! Visit Dammann’s in Indianapolis and we’ll help set you up with everything you need to get started on your minimal garden.