Three Small Garden Ideas You Can Do
Almost every perennial plant has taller as well as shorter or miniature varieties. Sometimes it takes more looking to find that dwarf phlox, echinacea, lavender or hosta but they're all out there. My recommendation is that if your area's best garden shop doesn't carry the shorter varieties, that you go online with your searching. But smaller gardens should use smaller plants.
If you keep all the plants to the same scale, then you can not only get more plants into your garden but you create the visual illusion that your garden is bigger than it really is.
A large garden has room for error. You can hide the garden sins (the dead flower, the chomped on lily stalk) behind other plants or lose them in the wealth of garden life that abounds in the larger area.
In a small garden, even one to the same plant scale, problems are going to be much more evident. You do have to be on top of your garden-game with maintenance.
So you've heard those before. Buy smaller things, maintain better, plant tighter etc.
Heresy in Small Garden Ideas
Here's one you may not have heard before. Some of the very best small gardens I've seen have thrown out the traditional notion of garden design and gone with a single theme.
One of my favorites put a pond in the entire backyard - leaving only a 3 foot edge around the property boundaries for landscaping with native plants and trees. The pond became a lake edge (naturalized plantings and rocks). The owner explained that the kids no longer wanted to go to the cottage and the adults were no longer interested in maintaining two properties, so they created the “lake” in their urban backyard. No more traffic on Sunday night!
Another one of my favorite designs had nothing in the backyard but plants. No grass or walkways (well, the walkways were small bricks set in patterns but you had to know they were there to walk on them) All viewers saw was a full riot of color and bloom all season long. From one side to the other, all was flowers. The only non-flower area was a small sitting area for the two of them to sit, enjoy a quiet drink and bask in their garden.
Children's gardens are all the vogue and lifelike mannikins, toys and hardscaping create safe play areas for children while maintaining the look and feel of a family garden.
And yet again, small garden ideas abound when you consider hardscaping (bricking, decking) the entire small backyard and growing your garden in containers. Lots of containers for annuals, perennials, vegetables and shrubbery.
Small garden ideas in landscaping need not be boring or typically suburban. Get out that idea pad and design your own fantasy space. Where you want to do in your mind. Create it in your own backyard.
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