Garden Design: Small Spaces
Tiny garden rule number one: Keep it simple.
You have to be clever with small gardens to create something simple and uncomplicated in the limited space available. A small yard is, in effect, a courtyard garden, and very different effects can be achieved within tight boundaries. A good rule of thumb is not to design anything too busy, and avoid too many decorative elements. Instead, stick to one main idea, and then follow it through by laying down simple lines and shapes. Focus on contrasting the textures of different materials, and always remember, less is more.
Here are a few landscape design ideas that work well in small garden spaces:
The surface materials you use to create the squares could be lawn or paving, or a combination. Your choice would depend on where you need a hard surface for seating or a dining area. Low planting can break up the garden into distinct areas. And around the perimeter of your garden space, sizable shrubs and trees help deflect attention away from boundary fences.
Designer Dan Faires and his wife, Dasha, relocated from Arkansas to New York in search of greater opportunities for their design-focused minds. Though the switch from open acres to city was a tough adjustment, that didn't stop the couple from turning their 375-square-foot apartment into a rustic space with a homey feel. One solution for visual harmony: the couple painted terracotta pots black to fit in with their sleek outdoor room. See more of their innovative small space project here.
Intensive Gardening Allows a Lot of Produce to Grow in a Small Space
A formal garden at the urban cottage of P. Allen Smith in Little Rock, Arkansas, showcases several intensive gardening practices, including raised beds, containers and interplanting. Planting spring vegetable seeds around tulips is an especially clever idea that combines edible and ornamental gardening in one compact space.
Garden of Rectangles
Rectangles and squares confined within low walls will convey an angular look. You can soften the harsh lines with the use of soft colors such as pinks and mauves. Natural stone and pebble floors can add to the garden's elegance.
Surround a specimen tree with a circular lawn and low-growing hedge for a stylish, formal design. It's a garden to view as well as to use. Add small pockets of planting in square beds in the corners.