We browsed our gallery for private garden spaces perfect for sharing words or a quiet cup of tea. By happenstance, all the gardens we chose are shaded; we’re thinking you’ll bring your own sun.
For more inspiration, browse our gallery of Small Space Gardening.
A “Lilliputian backyard” behind a San Francisco home feels larger than it is thanks to designer Alma Hecht’s strategy of subdividing the yard into distinct outdoor rooms. A “living room” in the back corner of the garden is hidden from the main house by a freestanding fountain. For more of Hecht’s strategies, see Small-Scale Gardening in San Francisco. Browse our gallery of Outdoor Furniture for sourcing ideas of your own.
Above: A private corner shares space with 250-year-old Australian tree ferns in a small courtyard garden in London’s Piccadilly. See the rest of the project in A Secret Courtyard Garden in Piccadilly, Ancient Tree Ferns Included, and find more prehistoric greens in our gallery of Ferns. Photograph by Kendra Wilson.
Above: Garden designer Richard Miers created a shaded “secret garden” at the back of a terraced house in London, complete with a water feature. For the rest of the garden, see Bloom Time with UK Garden Designer Richard Miers and browse examples of Brit Style gardens in our gallery.
Above: UK garden designer Anna Wardrop stacked oak sleepers to create a corner seating area and raised beds in a small garden in London. Find out what she planted in Design Sleuth: Town Garden in Stoke Newington, London. Inspired to tackle a hardscaping project of your own? See our galley of DIY projects.
For other unlikely romantic outdoor spaces, see Design Sleuth: Romantic Curtains for a Greenhouse and Steal This Look: Romantic Outdoor Kitchen in Puglia.