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Small Yard Landscaping

Small Yard Landscaping

Design to Scale The key to making a big impact on a small footprint: design to scale. Here, a mix of wood and slate, married with plant materials of contrasting color but similar tones, creates four levels of interest in this small space. Choose the Best Plants This elegant small garden has been planted with dwarf and well-behaved conifers and other plants that won’t grow to overwhelm the site. Use the Rules of Perspective Designing the space around the rules of perspective — chiefly that parallel lines appear to converge to a “vanishing point” and objects in the distance appear smaller than those close by — can help make a small garden seem larger. Here, the pergola reinforces and frames the view, and the flower-filled container as a focal point in the middle distance draws the eye forward. Fool the Eye Creating a view along the diagonal of the property creates the illusion that the space is bigger than it looks. Here, the diagonal path with steps traces a zigzag line through the garden, providing areas to linger and enjoy the wide beds and colorful plantings. Design on a Diagonal The design-on-the-diagonal principle works on this tiny courtyard patio, where the tile pattern appears to elongate the dimensions. Remove the Clutter Space is at a premium in this urban garden, so designer Sam Joyce used the minimalist approach in this beautiful retreat. Built-in seating and just enough plants to make a statement keep the clutter down. Sam left room for additional chairs to be brought out from the house when necessary. Get Creative With Storage Designers Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri built a clever cut-out under the deck to store firewood. This smart storage solution frees up visible deck areas for seating and greenery. Create a Mixed Garden To grow fruits and veggies in a small yard, pitch out the concept of straight rows in one big garden, and cram your veggie garden in overlooked spaces or mix in with the landscaping, in raised beds and pots. Stonework or a bit of other hardscaping can turn the garden ornamental. Scale Down Garden Pots Rather than use one or two large planters, scale down the size of your pots. Several small containers can be used in a smaller space, either on the wall or on garden shelves. Take It Up the Wall Vertical planting increases the scale of a space. Here, trailing herbs and plants in wall pots give a Mediterranean look to this courtyard setting.
small yard landscaping 1

Small Yard Landscaping

Landscaping Lessons Mike Eagleton is often asked to conjure miracles from small, cheek-to-jowl city lots. The Denver landscape designer’s own yard, around a 1929 brick cottage south of downtown, is a prime example of his professional sleight of hand. Within its 50 by 120 feet, he has incorporated sunny, street-side perennial beds, a private entry court in the rear, an elevated outdoor dining room, a secluded lounging terrace, a carpet of lawn, woodland views, a potting shed, and several destination strolls that lead to musical, spilling fountains. Front and back entrances, the latter marked by a wisteria arbor off the alley behind his property, make a garden walk of coming home. Almost year-round, despite his Zone 6 climate, with its frigid winters and baking summers, he’s got something in bloom—in pots and borders and on top of arbors. Shade trees blot out neighbors’ homes, and it’s easy to forget, when he and his wife and their teenage kids kick back outside, that they’re in a metropolis of 600,000 people. Shown: An arched wood gate to the left of the front entry opens onto a fountain that muffles street noise. The brick path leads from front yard to backyard.
small yard landscaping 2

Small Yard Landscaping

To grow fruits and veggies in a small yard, pitch out the concept of straight rows in one big garden, and cram your veggie garden in overlooked spaces or mix in with the landscaping, in raised beds and pots. Stonework or a bit of other hardscaping can turn the garden ornamental.
small yard landscaping 3

Small Yard Landscaping

Despite their diminutive size, small gardens can also have plant palettes as varied as a larger garden. Small gardenscapes can range from quaint cottage-style designs to modern, upscale looks. To accommodate the limitations in space in a small garden, landscaping designers will often use miniature plant species, dwarf specimens and other adapted materials. A good designer doesn’t scale down the same garden plan used for a palatial estate, but rather knows how to emphasize and embody the daintier dimensions of a small outdoor space.
small yard landscaping 4

Small Yard Landscaping

Mike Eagleton is often asked to conjure miracles from small, cheek-to-jowl city lots. The Denver landscape designer’s own yard, around a 1929 brick cottage south of downtown, is a prime example of his professional sleight of hand. Within its 50 by 120 feet, he has incorporated sunny, street-side perennial beds, a private entry court in the rear, an elevated outdoor dining room, a secluded lounging terrace, a carpet of lawn, woodland views, a potting shed, and several destination strolls that lead to musical, spilling fountains. Front and back entrances, the latter marked by a wisteria arbor off the alley behind his property, make a garden walk of coming home. Almost year-round, despite his Zone 6 climate, with its frigid winters and baking summers, he’s got something in bloom—in pots and borders and on top of arbors. Shade trees blot out neighbors’ homes, and it’s easy to forget, when he and his wife and their teenage kids kick back outside, that they’re in a metropolis of 600,000 people. Shown: An arched wood gate to the left of the front entry opens onto a fountain that muffles street noise. The brick path leads from front yard to backyard.
small yard landscaping 5

Small Yard Landscaping

Whoever first said “less is more” may very well have been brainstorming small backyard ideas. When there is only a small amount of space available, it becomes very easy for the eye to get overwhelmed and your yard to appear cluttered. Streamline your design by keeping decor items on the minimal side. Additionally, make sure that your lawn stays well-maintained with regular cuttings and proper plant care. If you have little ones who are prone to leaving out toys and sporting equipment, do your best to encourage cleaning up as a priority.
small yard landscaping 6

Small Yard Landscaping

Mike Eagleton is often asked to conjure miracles from small, cheek-to-jowl city lots. The Denver landscape designer’s own yard, around a 1929 brick cottage south of downtown, is a prime example of his professional sleight of hand. Within its 50 by 120 feet, he has incorporated sunny, street-side perennial beds, a private entry court in the rear, an elevated outdoor dining room, a secluded lounging terrace, a carpet of lawn, woodland views, a potting shed, and several destination strolls that lead to musical, spilling fountains. Front and back entrances, the latter marked by a wisteria arbor off the alley behind his property, make a garden walk of coming home. Almost year-round, despite his Zone 6 climate, with its frigid winters and baking summers, he’s got something in bloom—in pots and borders and on top of arbors. Shade trees blot out neighbors’ homes, and it’s easy to forget, when he and his wife and their teenage kids kick back outside, that they’re in a metropolis of 600,000 people.
small yard landscaping 7

Small Yard Landscaping

Photo by Thomas J. Story; written by Julie Chai Pinterest PagesPrevious 1 of 24 Next View All 500-square-foot urban oasis More: How to create an oasis in a small urban yard Baylor Chapman loves living and working in San Francisco’s Mission District. But at the end of the day, she wants a retreat from the surrounding busy-ness, so she transformed her deck into a plant-filled outdoor room. “My garden softens some of the urbanness of my neighborhood—it’s a little natural oasis off the street.” And the outfitted patio almost doubles the living space of Baylor’s 800-square-foot loft, so she’s got even more room to cook, dine, and entertain. The overall look is artistically eclectic and highly personal, as she acquired and then personalized much of her furniture and pots, which primarily came from salvage yards, flea markets, friends, and even neighborhood streets.
small yard landscaping 8

PagesPrevious 1 of 24 Next View All 500-square-foot urban oasis More: How to create an oasis in a small urban yard Baylor Chapman loves living and working in San Francisco’s Mission District. But at the end of the day, she wants a retreat from the surrounding busy-ness, so she transformed her deck into a plant-filled outdoor room. “My garden softens some of the urbanness of my neighborhood—it’s a little natural oasis off the street.” And the outfitted patio almost doubles the living space of Baylor’s 800-square-foot loft, so she’s got even more room to cook, dine, and entertain. The overall look is artistically eclectic and highly personal, as she acquired and then personalized much of her furniture and pots, which primarily came from salvage yards, flea markets, friends, and even neighborhood streets.
small yard landscaping 9

500-square-foot urban oasis More: How to create an oasis in a small urban yard Baylor Chapman loves living and working in San Francisco’s Mission District. But at the end of the day, she wants a retreat from the surrounding busy-ness, so she transformed her deck into a plant-filled outdoor room. “My garden softens some of the urbanness of my neighborhood—it’s a little natural oasis off the street.” And the outfitted patio almost doubles the living space of Baylor’s 800-square-foot loft, so she’s got even more room to cook, dine, and entertain. The overall look is artistically eclectic and highly personal, as she acquired and then personalized much of her furniture and pots, which primarily came from salvage yards, flea markets, friends, and even neighborhood streets.

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