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February 2019

Calendar Calendar

Small-Space Garden Concepts

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Small-Space Garden Concepts

Post by AlleyRose on Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:02 am

Create a Focal Point
By itself, this small water feature might be lost. But lattice covered by sweet autumn clematis (Clematis terniflora) provides a backdrop and utilizes unused space between the water feature and the building.

Create the Illusion of Space
Varying the grade-either up or down-provides the illusion of greater space. Terracing a hillside does the same thing.

Add Pops of Color
Adding bright colors—with plants, paint, or accessories—is an easy way to make a shadowy space feel less cramped. Without these eye-popping pillows, this scene would seem crowded and dark.

Create Space with Containers
Often, the problem with a small outdoor area is a lack of gardening space. Solve that dilemma with large containers placed in unused nooks and crannies.

Utilize Vertical Space
When horizontal space is lacking, look up—literally. One way to easily go vertical is to use tiered planters such as this. Or, train a vine up a trellis anchored in a large pot.

Grow Up with Vines
Annual vines such as this black-eyed Susan (Thunbergia alata) provide a quick and efficient way to use vertical space. In this case, the vine will occupy the space until the companion evergreen is large enough to take over.

Try a Lattice and Espalier
Two other ways to use vertical space: lattice and espalier. The lattice supports vines, and espalier is a technique to stylize a shrub or small tree. Both take up very little gardening space.

Create Negative Space
Pavement is practical, but it serves another purpose: It provides “negative space”—a kind of resting place for the eye. The space feels less cramped thanks to a run of bricks.

Preserve the View
Keep small spaces open and airy. Rather than closing off an area with a section of wall, preserve the view. Here, a tree is pruned to augment a setting rather than block it.

Plant More in a Raised Bed
Raised beds solve a space problem by allowing you to plant more intensively. There’s more space for competing roots, and there’s extra room for trailing plants to hang down.

Let in the Light
In a small-space garden, light is your best friend. Don’t chase it away. Open-roof designs such as this pergola look light and airy and prevent dark shadows.

Use Unexpected Spaces
Are you lacking garden space? Think outside the box. A garage supports vines, while an unused driveway is covered in gravel and turned into an ersatz patio, complete with container garden.

Plant in Layers
Make use of all the space available. An understory tree such as this Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) is small enough that it won’t get in the way. Yet it nicely fits the space between groundcover and a larger shade tree.

Spruce up Walls
Walls can feel imposing. To prevent that, this wall is painted a light color, decorated with colorful plants, and outfitted with a lattice opening. As a result, the space feels friendly, not confining.

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