Plant What Where | Compact Space

Date: 10-06-2022

PLANT WHAT WHERE | Compact Space - Big Impact

Just because a space is compact doesn’t mean it can’t pack a punch.  Clever use of plants that suit the scale of the space will create a garden that will have great impact.

As with any garden, planning is key but especially so when every corner of the garden counts. Pots and raised beds can help utilise space and climbing plants, trellis and espalier will also make the most of walls and fences.

Warners have been growing a range of upright fastigiate trees and shrubs for decades and we’ve narrowed a few of them down here to make selection easy.  There are also a range of compact shrubs and ground covers that will add colour, fragrance and texture to the design.


Plant Selections:


Cissus striata
The Miniature Grape Ivy or Ivy of Uruguay is a delicate evergreen climber that can creep its way up to 6m.

Mandevilla 'Aloha Dark Red' pbr
Mandevilla is a lush climber that flowers prolifically during the warmer months. Flowers range in colour from crisp white, to rich pinks, scarlet and burgundy.


Lomandra longifolia 'Tanika' pbr
Featuring stunning blue-grey weeping foliage, this variety grows in most soil types and is extremely hardy in dry conditions. These grasses look great in mass plantings and can be clipped to shape.

Liriope muscari
Use for decorative low borders and edging. It's hardy resilient nature makes it ideal for full sun gardens and harsh coastal conditions.

Fatsia japonica
Large palm-like, shiny leaves cover this tropical looking, evergreen shrub. Fantastic indoor plant and a super performer in the shade. In autumn expect small white flowers in round clusters, followed by black berrys.

Plectranthus 'Velvet Elvis'pbr 
Ideal for low light positions in the garden. Perfect for planting around water features in low light, excellent for pots, in mass or mixed plantings. Lovely border plant for shady paths or driveways and with its stunning foliage, provides year round interest.

Other great performers to consider include, Agapanthus ‘Baby Pete’, Limonium perezii and Clivias.


Loropetalum chinese 'Plum Gorgeous'pbr
Stunning feature plant in landscapes providing both structure and color all year round. Informal, low hedging or mass planting in larger areas. The deep purple color foliage contrasts well with the golden reds and fine foliage of Nandina Moonbay.  Works well in pots and large containers in courtyards and balconies.

Ligustrum japonicum Rotundifolium
Well suited as a hedging plant and can be trimmed to almost any form or shape. Performs well in large containers.

Camellia japonica 'Brushfields Yellow
Camellia japonica are fantastic flowering garden shrubs and very hardy and drought tolerant once established. Suitable for growing in containers in small courtyard or entertaining areas. Perfect for formal traditional gardens as Topiary standards or small clipped hedges. Plant with other traditional favourites like Azalea, Pieris and Helleborus.

Buxus is widely used for formal gardens and clipped specimen plants in containers. The key varieties of sempervirens and japonica are suitable as hedging or screening.  They are particularly suited to topiary as displayed here as clipped balls, but can be trimmed to many forms.


Laurus nobilis ‘Miles Choice’
This compact Bay Laurel variety is drought tolerant and is an effective hedging and screening plant. Responds well to clipping and is an excellent choice for compact designs. You might also consider the smaller-growing ‘Baby Bay’pbr for borders or low hedging.

Elaeocarpus eumundi
A mid-size slow growing Australian native tree, naturally found growing in rainforests along the east coast of Australia from northern New South Wales to north Queensland. While it can grow quite large in the wild, in cultivation and with regular care its narrow form makes it ideal for compact spaces.


Malus Trilobata 
The relatively compact form of Malus trilobata makes it ideal for smaller spaces where a dramatic colourful specimen tree is desired. Its changing foliage from deep glossy green in spring to orange and scarlet in autumn and its sweet white blossoms forming decorative green crab apples give this tree even more charm.

Ginkgo biloba 'Lemonlime' Spire' pbr
Glowing lemon-yellow autumn colour follows bright lime-green summer leaves. This strongly columnar form is well suited to formal garden styles but is equally at home in a mixed planting where it provides a stunning contrasting vertical accent.


Utilise vertical spaces with Trellis and Espalier.  'Living Sculpture' will create the Big Impact you're looking for.


Espalier is a great way to maximise space.

For more inspiration:
DOWNLOAD our Plant What Where PDF 
Check our PINTERESTpage.