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Small Gardens

By admin On December 9, 2008 Under Garden Design

A small garden doesn’t have to look cramped and claustrophobic. Here are some tips from the world of professional garden designers:

Cover up fences and walls with climbing plants to avoid a cramped “garden-in-a-box” look. The boundaries are camouflaged and become less obvious.

Create vistas if you can. While using trees to block overlooking neighbours, you can also encourage a sense of distance by framing any attractive views you do have and leading the eye towards them using paths running in that direction or with an eye catching feature giving a focal point.

Make sure everything is in scale. Keep flowers, pools, paths, patios, pergolas, statues and benches small and dainty and they will make your whole garden look bigger. Most pots and some ornaments come in different sizes to suit different settings. If your features are too large and out of scale the whole garden will look smaller.

Use flower / leaf colours carefully. Bright colours, particularly reds, oranges and yellows should be used very sparingly near the house or not at all. Pastel shades have a lighter airy feel to them. You can add to the impression of distance by planting flower colours towards the blue end of the rainbow furthest away and those at the red end of the rainbow nearer the house, or the position from where the garden is normally viewed.

Eliminate straight lines. Straight lines create a sense of construction.

Curves create a sense of space. This applies to paths, lawn edges, walls, terraces or ponds. If it can’t be built in a sweeping curve, at least cover it up with plants. The most spacious shape for a small lawn is one which imitates a pool of water.

Don’t subdivide a small garden unnecessarily with terraces, raised beds or walls or it will look even more bitty. If you have to build retaining walls, make them curved and disguise them with covering plants. The exception would be a very long narrow garden where partially blocking the view can make it look wider.

Use tricks of false perspective to create impressions of depth or width. For example the ellipse shape persuades the eye that it is really looking at a circle, side on which therefore looks deeper than it really is.

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