Author: Lana Hawkins

All the landscaping enthusiasts out there have to accept the reality that gardens are shrinking. But this does not mean that you cannot still create the green sanctuary you always wanted. While it may seem that designing a smaller garden is an easy task, with less space to fill compared to a larger backyard, it can actually get quite tricky. In these limited outdoor spaces, every centimetre counts. You have to be very careful about which elements to include and which to skip. However, with a few tricks for creating visual illusions and maximizing the available space, you can make even the tiniest garden appear bigger.

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Turn to Pot Gardening

Pot gardening is a lifesaver for apartment dwellers and urbanites. Even if you do not have an inch of soil in your yard, thanks to this gardening technique you can have tasty fruits and fresh vegetables on your table every day. Given the right care, many citrus varieties (especially lemons!) will thrive in containers. If you have a sunny spot in your confined garden, you can produce strawberries, which will definitely taste sweeter than the ones you usually buy in the supermarket. Plant basil, oregano, mint, chives, and parsley into containers and group the containers to create a mini herb garden. Chili peppers and cherry tomatoes are also very popular pot varieties.

Small Garden Design 1

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Create Colourful Illusions

By carefully mixing bright and vibrant hues with cool ones, you can trick the eye and create an optical illusion of a larger garden. Place warm coloured flowering plants (red, orange, yellow, etc) in front to draw the attention, and everything in the back will recede. Put blue, purple, and green plants towards the back of the garden, where they will blend in with the surroundings and appear further away. This game of colours will help you create the sense of depth and perspective, and it can be applied to various garden elements, not just flowers.

Use the Space Sparingly

Be very selective when selecting shrubs and trees for your little garden. These plants take up a significant chunk of space, and you don’t want to waste all that space on anything less than stunning. Take the plant’s mature size and growth rate into consideration during the selection then try to find varieties that are multi-purpose. In other words, pick a tree that is both decorative and shade-providing. If you prefer flowers, opt for one variety that is in bloom all year round, instead of several kinds with a short flowering time.

Create Interest

Another way to achieve an eye-deceiving illusion is to create a focal point in the garden that will draw the attention away from the garden’s size. Pick a corner in your small yard where you will make a cosy seating area. Not only is this the easiest and most effective way, but it will also provide the most joy to you, your family and friends. Is there a better way to spend Sunday afternoon than plopping yourself down into a comfy chair, surrounding yourself with plump cushions and enjoying the pleasant shade? If your garden is too small for a shade tree, adaptable commercial shade sails make an excellent replacement.

Think Vertically

Create space where there is none by going upwards. There are a few options here. Raised beds maximize the use of space, they are easier to maintain than ground-level gardens (because they are at a back-friendlier level) and they provide more controlled gardening conditions for your plants to thrive. Then there are decorative green walls.

beaumaris courtyard slide

Beaumaris Garden – Genus Landscape Architects

They are perfect for the smallest of outdoor spaces, and if planned thoughtfully, they can represent a living piece of art. Third, we have bamboo fences, which are popular because of their low-maintenance requirements and because they preserve your privacy. Finally, you can also liven up a patio wall with some climbers.

How do you envision your small garden?