Designing a terraced house garden – ideas and tips for a rectangular garden

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Despite its small area, a terraced house garden offers significantly more design options than meets the eye. For example, colorful flower beds, beautiful water features and cozy retreat zones can be designed even in a limited space. The focus is on the right planning. In which style would you like to design the terraced house garden? Should it be a modern garden without a lawn, or should it be a green oasis? Which elements should not be missing in the garden design? The answers to these questions are fundamental when designing the narrow garden area behind the terraced house. In this article you will find some practical solutions and helpful tips for the small rectangular garden that can turn the small area into a dream garden.

Important design rules for a terraced house garden

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Row houses have been particularly popular in recent years because they also fulfill the dream of having your own garden in the city. As a rule, these houses have a garden area behind the house that can be used as a garden or courtyard. However, this area usually only consists of a few square meters and its design often becomes a great challenge for the residents.

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When designing such a terraced house garden, you should first think about what the outdoor area should look like in the end. Should it be a minimalist garden, for example, or a cottage garden? Depending on the type, different elements are then used in the design. It is important to plan a clear floor plan and to determine the different areas in the garden in advance. Because of the limited space, every square meter is really important here.

General rules for a terraced garden:

  • Divide the garden into different functional areas.
  • Put more emphasis on the design of the terrace.
  • Set decorative accents in the outdoor area with the help of various garden elements.
  • Plan the greening and planting according to the nature of the soil.
  • Use various tricks to visually enlarge the narrow garden.
  • Make sure you have a good privacy screen.

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If you are not yet sure of the exact room layout, the best thing to do is to draw up a sketch of the property, where you will divide the garden into different areas. An important part of most terraced house gardens is the terrace. It is usually located directly at the house and in modern terraced houses is separated from the living room by wide patio doors. In this way, the indoor and outdoor spaces can be merged in spring and summer.

Design a modern or romantic terraced house garden


When designing a terraced garden, it is important to establish a style and implement it consistently. So there is no room for a mix of styles in the narrow garden. If you want a well-organized outdoor area that is characterized by clear lines and has a certain structure, elements of modern garden design are best suited. Straight lines, geometric shapes, and adjusted design are important to the modern row house garden.

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When designing a narrow garden, you usually start from the terrace. Choose a suitable covering that harmonizes with the rest of your garden area. Decking boards made of wood or stone slabs are the most popular variants, because they are well suited for the outdoor area and offer many design options. If you want to design a modern terraced house garden, then you should coordinate the materials used and use neutral colors. Typical for a modern rectangular garden are either elegant planters or neat beds in geometric shapes, planted with well-tended plants and hedges. The limited area of ​​the terraced house garden can be structured well with straight lines.

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More and more often, small gardens without lawns are designed to reduce maintenance. So you don’t have to mow the lawn every couple of days and can use the time to relax outdoors. Instead of the lawn, you can pour gravel or create small rock gardens. Alternatively, a small pool can be designed in the terraced house garden, which is perfect for the warm summer days. The small rectangular garden offers wonderful design ideas if you use the available space correctly.


If you are a fan of the romantic style, then you can create a romantic terraced house garden and create it with opulent flower beds. Arched garden paths and curved bed edges are typical of this style. The path usually leads to a separate seating area, which is designed with a pretty bench or an elegant pergola.

Design and plant terraced house gardens


And what’s a garden without some plants that give it a natural feel? If you want to create a flowering terraced garden, then you should choose the plants carefully. You have to restrict yourself a bit, but with the right combinations you can set beautiful accents in the outdoor area. If there is not enough space even for a small bed, then you can opt for space-saving planting. Vertical gardens are particularly popular at the moment and can be designed perfectly on the wall in the terraced house garden.

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Planting on several levels is particularly good for such a garden. This works best with a combination of tall and low plants, placed in the same bed if possible. However, such beds must be planted on the edge of the available area and not in the middle in order to save space. Climbing plants for the fence are also a very good idea for the greening of the small garden and they also offer a certain level of privacy.


If you like to cook with fresh ingredients, then you can design a herb garden in the terraced garden or even grow vegetables in small raised beds. Fresh herbs can be planted in pots, raised beds or even herb spirals and are perfect for the narrow garden. When you create a herb corner on the terrace, you always have the fresh ingredients close at hand. The same applies to some vegetables, such as tomatoes and lettuce, which can easily be grown in the terraced garden.

Fruit trees, and especially espalier fruit, is another great option to consider when designing a terraced house garden. With espalier fruit you can grow fruit in your own garden and at the same time have a privacy screen against nosy neighbors.

Important design elements for the narrow rectangular garden


As mentioned before, the terrace plays an important role when designing a terraced garden. Since the terrace is the most frequently used area in the garden, you should attach greater importance to its design. For example, the paved area shouldn’t be too big, but still offer enough space for comfortable outdoor furniture. When furnishing the “outdoor living room”, you should focus on comfort and coordinate the design with the style of the garden.

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When designing a narrow, rectangular terraced house garden, there are a few tricks that make the small area appear larger. When the garden is divided into different areas and each of these areas is imaginatively designed, the small space seems larger. To optically divide the different parts, you can use an elegant partition wall with gabions, for example, or create a small water basin.


If you are designing a particularly small terraced house garden, you can emphasize the vertical with raised plant beds. Design several levels and use them. You decide for yourself whether with a few beautiful plants or a striking decoration. In this way, not only the floor but the entire room can be used. The different levels can be designed as seats or great water features in the terraced house garden.

Unusual ideas for the terraced house garden

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If you are looking for unusual ideas for your narrow garden behind the house, you can create a practical outdoor kitchen or a small barbecue area instead of lush plants. So you can organize sociable barbecue parties in your own outdoor area when the weather is nice and have lots of fun with family and friends. For this purpose, the terrace should be made a little larger and the necessary safety measures should be taken.


For families with children, we recommend a robust garden design that is child-friendly and offers various play options for the little ones. For example, a large sandpit can be designed in the terraced house garden or a swing can be built. If the children are very young, you still have to think about child safety devices, for example if you have a small garden pond in the garden.


All football fans will fall in love with our next idea. The simple lawn in the terraced house garden is reminiscent of a small soccer field and with a simple soccer goal you can play the popular game in your own backyard. You can find soccer goals for the garden large or small and thus the outdoor area can be transformed into a dream come true for many men and children.


A soccer goal is perfect for the rectangular garden and makes for lots of fun moments, especially for the kids. So the little ones can play with friends in the garden and you don’t have to worry about them. If you opt for a smaller football goal, there can also be enough space for a small terrace and a few planters.