Gardening

9 Tiny Patios That Feel Like An Oasis

Sometimes a wedge of outdoor space is all you need.

June 18, 2020
Photo by Igor Josifovic

Did you know there’s a whole green world of teeny-tiny, only-a-few-square-feet patios (and balconies and terraces) out there? And you don’t even need to have one to feel rejuvenated by their verdant charm.

I can attest. I recently spent a whole afternoon scrolling through little green spaces on Instagram. A quick search for the hashtags #pocketpatio, #tinybalcony, or #tinypatio, and my feed was suddenly green and grown-over with leaves and tiny budding flowers—here or there, a little wrought-iron chair or mini table barely visible behind trailing vines...with just enough space for a morning cup of coffee.

A wedge of outdoor space feels more important than ever these days. Each of these tiny outdoor spots is no bigger than a postage stamp—some are just big enough for one person to stand in—but, with some creativity, they offer plenty of space to grow a few herbs, flowers, tomatoes, and leafy plants on railings and floors and walls, in pots and from hooks.

So whether you’re thinking of creating your own teeny outdoor space or just need a little green on your screen today, here are 9 tiny sanctuaries that prove you only need a few feet to create an oasis.

A tiny balcony, spotted via @allezeitderwelt, gets plenty of light. Not enough space for two chairs? All you really need is one for a sunny place to sit out with a book. (Bonus if it can fold away when not in use.)

A narrow gravel path leads to the smallest of garden hideaways, via @emmaavram. The takeaway? Growing plants upwards—up trellises and along rails—can create privacy and seclusion, even the feeling of green outdoor “rooms,” no matter how small the space.

On the teeny balcony of Instagrammer @masha_kindjer, a clever wall-mounted table pops up for breakfasts and mini happy hours—and stows flat against the wall when not in use.

A flower-filled balcony, spotted via @pottinginthecity, makes a quiet spot for a cup of tea (or lemonade).

Spotted in South Pasadena, via @tinyporch.la: a delightfully wild, miniature jungle of plants in a corner of porch. We like the way potted plants crouch on every surface (on the floor, raised up on cinderblocks) and can be moved around as needed.

A wire chair and folding table are just barely visible behind layers of plants in this mini patio by @the_planters_daughter. Note also the hooks on the wall, which keep gardening tools handy but ensure they don’t take up any valuable real estate.

Photo by Igor Josifovic

It’s no surprise Igor Josifovic of Urban Jungle Bloggers has an extremely charming balcony, with hanging plants over the doorway and a diminutive mosaic-top table topped with, yes, more plants. (P.S. You can see more of his balcony, and others, in the new book Tiny Balcony.)

This miniature terrace in Cambridge, UK, measures just 3.5 by 2.5 meters—about the size of an 8x11 rug. Still, there’s a lot squeezed in—hanging lights, clusters of well-worn terracotta pots, and plenty of English charm.

Photo by Shkoon Shop

And an itty-bitty balcony in Morocco in enviable shades of pink, via @Shkoon_Shop. Make use of even the tiniest nook by adding a bench, a few pillows, and a pea-sized table in a vibrant color, and presto: a breakfast nook.

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Top Comment:
“I placed a small glass circle on the top and it has served me on a tiny balcony for years. You can dream with your coffee or breakfast or any meal and tend to you miniature garden during each day. With taste and imagination you can create something beautiful in any space you inhabit.”
— Sarah B.
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Do you have an itty-bitty outdoor sanctuary of your own? Go on, make us jealous.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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Annie Quigley

Written by: Annie Quigley

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8 Comments

Sarah B. June 21, 2020
you don't have to spend a lot of money for a small round metal table and two chairs. I purchased mine in my supermarket for about $75 and 6 years later the bright turquoise finish is as beautiful as it was. I placed a small glass circle on the top and it has served me on a tiny balcony for years. You can dream with your coffee or breakfast or any meal and tend to you miniature garden during each day. With taste and imagination you can create something beautiful in any space you inhabit.
 
Nanda G. June 28, 2020
Wow, I wish I could find that right now. The food52 set is hundreds of dollars out of my price range.
 
Carol E. July 26, 2020
My small round table & 2 chairs came from Targé a long time ago. Still holding up well, plus they fold.
 
Smaug June 19, 2020
Shouldn't that be oases?
 
Donna S. June 29, 2020
both spellings are correct.
 
Smaug June 29, 2020
?????Oasis is single, oases is plural.
 
Johonna C. July 31, 2020
Where exactly? Every instance I found was “an oasis”; no sentence in the article or captions implied/referenced plural balconies
 
Smaug July 31, 2020
The title of the article is "9 Tiny Patios that Feel Like an Oasis".