Garden Design: Small Spaces

Tiny garden rule number one: Keep it simple.

Rock Garden with Ornamental Foliage

Rock Garden with Ornamental Foliage

Photo by: DK - Design Your Garden © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Design Your Garden , 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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:

Simple Squares

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.

Stone Path Over Gravel Garden Bed

Stone Path Over Gravel Garden Bed

Rectangles and squares, confined within low walls, convey a very angular look, although the harsh lines are softened by use of delicate pinks and mauves. The natural stone and pebble floor add to its elegance.

Photo by: DK - Design Your Garden © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Design Your Garden , 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Rectangles and squares, confined within low walls, convey a very angular look, although the harsh lines are softened by use of delicate pinks and mauves. The natural stone and pebble floor add to its elegance.

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.

Central Circle

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.

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