The mental picture most of us have of a garden is of an open, sunny space stuffed with natural beauty. But many gardeners can find only relatively small areas to design their gardens. If you have only a limited space to work with you can design your own garden and turn it into a spectacular oasis and retreat from the outside world.
A rule of thumb is that the smaller the garden the more it will benefit from having a carefully placed point of interest. You must be brutally objective in your assessment of the space you are working with. When you design your own garden your task is to locate the “sweet spot” in your garden area where you will install a focal point. What you choose as your focus point can be almost anything you want, a water feature, a seating area, an existing tree or retaining wall, anything at all. The key is to find a balance between using an item that will draw positive attention but will not make everything else in your garden seem irrelevant.
Make use of different sized containers in the garden area. Not only are containers interesting but they have other benefits as well. Containers can easily add an additional height dimension as you design your own garden and they are a perfect way to try out new plants without having to disrupt your other plantings. If a certain type of plant does not grow well, or you decide that you do not want it in your garden after all, it will not be difficult to get rid of it. Adding a number of containers to your own garden design allows you to change the look of your space anytime you wish. You can put a certain kind of soil in the container that you think best suits the plant, you can move the container around to make sure that the plant receives the amount of sunlight that you feel is best and much more.
One school of thought for small gardens is to keep the number of plants to a minimum to create a spare and uncomplicated space. Personally, I don’t agree with this thought at all. To my mind, my garden should be filled with complimentary growing plants, each a riot of its own color and texture to take full advantage of the garden space. As I said earlier, using containers and even plants with different height will make your small garden look that much bigger because the eyes have more places to look. Try to also choose some that have unique or differently shaped leaves. Remember that when you design your own garden you can do just about anything you want.
While plant selection is always critical, if you are trying to make a small garden area look bigger, its is even more so. Using plants of the same color family will do the trick. Think about what colors you find calming and select one that you think would look good in your space. Then make your plant choices all in the same color family. Too many different colors is overwhelming and will make your garden look even smaller than it actually is.
Even if your small garden space looks drab and uninteresting at first glance there are obviously a lot of strategies at your disposal to turn your space into a beautiful oasis. If I may, I would like to leave you with this final thought:
When you decide to take on the challenge and design your won garden, pre-planning is the key. Take your time, draw out your ideas on paper as many times as you need until you are satisfied with your plan. It is always going to be easier to do another drawing than it is to keep shoveling dirt from place to place. Work smart and not hard!