Small gardens have a lot more potential than you realize. Whether dealing with a long narrow space behind a vintage home, a cramped backyard that lacks privacy, or a shabby garden at the rear of a brownstone the possibilities are endless. So don’t write off your outdoor space just yet – with the right design, it could be an incredible garden.
- Remember the importance of negative space, even a tiny courtyard or lawn can provide balance to a small garden.
- Include built-in seating in a corner to keep your garden from feeling crowded.
- Use a living wall to add lushness where ground space is limited.
- Even if your outdoor space seems overwhelming, pick just one thing that you most want to change.
- Maximize the livability of a small yard by taking advantage of changes in terrain to segment the space into different living areas. Dividing a garden, even when small, often has the paradoxical effect of making it seem larger.
- In small gardens where space is too limited for major focal points, compose a series of mini views within the garden itself, offering interest in every direction while using plants to provide a framework.
- Divide the garden into outdoor rooms that echo and expand upon the home’s interior, giving both inside and out more purpose and making everything feel larger.
- When selecting plants for a relatively small space, don’t go colour crazy — stick with a monochromatic scheme of cooler colours (such as blues, violets, yellows and silvery greens) — otherwise you may end up with a garden that feels close and confined.
Don’t forget the lighting to extend the use of your yard well into the night.
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