Small spaces are a challenge for landscape designers and home gardeners alike. But as Americans continue to downsize, urbanites and apartment and condo dwellers hope to enjoy the many benefits of beautiful landscaping on patios, porches and small outdoor spaces. When it comes to diminutive garden design, less is often more. That’s why small gardens can be the most delightful gardens of all! By following a few simple guidelines, you can transform that small space into your own private oasis.
Beautify Your Boundaries
If your small garden faces a drab garage wall or your too-close-for-comfort neighbor’s fence, why not incorporate the structure into your garden design? A bright coat of paint along with a repurposed vintage door or window can transform boring into beautiful. And since nothing ruins the view faster than recycling or compost bins in plain sight, just add latticework with plantings for camouflage. You can even utilize the vertical space and frame the visual edges by adding a structural element, such as a vine-covered pergola or Mediterranean-style trellis.
Set a Firm Foundation
Crushed rock or gravel is an ideal surface option for small gardens. It’s often less expensive than flagstone or native stone pavers. Spreading a layer of landscape fabric underneath not only deters weeds, but also allows rainfall to percolate down into the soil for improved drainage. Many eco-friendly ground cover options exist today as well, including decorative mulch made from recycled rubber. These products are long-lasting and low maintenance, providing budget-friendly style.
Simplify Your Color Palette
Start with your favorite flower or piece of pottery, and build a color palette around it. Whether you prefer a range of muted tones or a bright splash of color, remember to keep it simple when you’re working with a small space. You can fill your own corner of paradise with matching containers and planters overflowing with fragrant herbs and native wildflowers. Blend colors together by finding the right shades that create a color bridge. Add outdoor pillows, rugs and fabrics that harmonize with and complement your theme.
Pots and Plants That Make It Easy
Keep your options open by using a few basic containers that will be easier to move and rearrange as the seasons change. You may also find a wide, shallow ceramic bowl that can become a sparkling birdbath or reflecting pool. Planters mounted to the walls can form a cascading curtain of green. When it comes to trees, dwarf varieties are available that won’t grow too large for the space or require constant pruning. Drought-tolerant perennials, shrubs and decorative grasses allow you to enjoy your slice of heaven with lower maintenance.
Many home gardeners in the Salt Lake City area turn to Millcreek Gardens as a valuable, locally owned and operated resource. Whether your garden is large or small, Millcreek’s helpful staff can recommend the ideal plants and product options for you, and offer valuable advice for your unique landscape design — large or small.