Small Space Garden Design

Garden Ornaments - Daybed +

Last week I spoke at the local library, about small space garden design.  If you if you have a small yard and missed the talk here are the notes. Here are seven techniques for making your landscape appear larger than it really is.  Note: if you think you need help with small space garden design, some of these techniques are useful within any good garden design.
1. Color:
Warm colors (like red, yellow, brown and orange) excite the human brain. Because of that, we are visually drawn toward them and they appear to advance toward us. Conversely, cool colors (like blue, green, pink and purple) appear to recede an¬d visually blend in with the landscape.
By installing warm colored plants near the central focus of your yard — usually the house — you’ll draw attention to it. If you install cool colored plants within the borders and edges of your garden you will create the illusion of distance and your space will appear larger as a result.

Feb - Kniphofia  Natives - Verbena gooddingii

Warm (Red Hot!) or Cool (soothing)

2. Texture:
Texture can also create the illusion of distance. Plants are separated into three textural categories, fine, medium and course. A fine plant has an airy fee which demands less attention in a landscape while a coarse, large-leafed plant demands more attention because visually there is more contrast between the big leaves, shadows and light.
By using coarse plants nearest the center and airier plants further away you will create the illusion of distance.
3. Japanese Techniques:
Altered Perspective – The brain perceives small objects as farther away in relation to larger ones. Simply place larger objects close to the viewer and smaller landscape elements beyond, you can exaggerate the illusion of perspective. The perceived distance between the objects becomes larger (as does your yard). This is a technique used in Japanese Gardens where there is often little space – on such a little island.
Hide & Reveal or Miegakure is another Japanese technique that seems to extend the size of a yard. By carefully cluttering the garden so that some elements are hidden by others, the garden won’t be revealed all at once. A garden unfolds as viewer wander, this hides the garden’s actual size.
4. Think Vertically!
Drawing the eye up instead of across will visually add space to your garden, your eye doesn’t just judge space horizontally, so use that tool.
Try planting some small trees within your garden.
Be careful choosing tall trees. You want to find trees that grow taller than they are wide. So go for plants that will sacrifice the least amount of available space, upright plants are best. Evergreens like Swane’s Golden Cypress and deciduous trees like the Western Redbud will both grow up, though not as far out. You can also use some great fruit and nut tree varieties that are bred small so they are easy harvest. A wonderful options for beautiful and useful trees.
Think about doing some building up instead of building out.
When thinking about your features, tall and slim would be the ticket for a small pergola, arbor or trellis. How about raising those veggie beds up off the ground – it makes for easier maintenance and you can fill it with better soil too.

Butchart - An Ancient

Well maybe not this tall!
5. Decorate your gathering space.
Don’t despair if you just have a little cement patio for gathering, you can decorate to enhance it. Focusing on a central piece like a fire pit or small beautiful table will help you create a cozier, more inviting area. Comfy chairs, container designs or small benches will do the trick.
Don’t forget to create spaces from which you can enjoy your yard. A little nook for reading, a small space for birds, a hammock between two trees will all give you a different perspective.

Garden Details 3

A spot to enjoy yourself.
6. Install strategic lighting:
Lighting has many functions. The most obvious is that you can see where you are going when you are enjoying the garden an night. However, you can use lighting to highlight your favorite parts of your garden, or to light up a gathering space.
My favorites are up lighting, wash lighting, and moon lighting. Moon lighting is when you have lights shining down from a tall tree, and lighting what is below. It can be harsh, so be sure that you have a talented lighting contractor to work with.
These types of lighting enhance your garden’s details rather than putting a spot light on them, and blinding your guests in the process.
7. Make it yours.
Lastly, and the most important part of any of this is to make the yard your own space. If you have your own dreams, make them work for your yard. No one else has to live with it except for you!

Garden Details 4

Use accents you love that will show off your perSonalitY!

As you can see Small Space Garden Design doesn’t have to be challenging!  You have many tools at your disposal, so embrace your yard and turn it into a garden!

If you would like to create the garden of your dream, think about enlisting me as your  partner in creativity. Please give me a call at 661-917-3521 or take a look at my website and contact me there.




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