Working with tight quarters? A small space may feel limiting for landscaping plans, but it doesn’t mean you can’t make it a stand out, visual feast or a cozy, comforting retreat. Lean into what you like & get creative with it!
If you can’t go out go up
The most obvious & efficient route is to go vertical. There is no shortage of methods to utilize here & you don’t have to pick just one. Do them all if you dig that wild look or want to feel like you’re in your own secret garden. Choose vining plants that love to climb up arbors, trellis or pergola’s. You can even include some snacky beauties for nibbles you don’t have to get up for. The leaves & flowers of nasturtiums are lovely & edible, with the flower having a more mild flavour & the leaves pack a bit more punch. Be sure to confuse the bush with the trailing variety though.
Living walls are also a fun option & can be DIY’d with very little work. Even a simple board with some pots screwed on can create a dramatic effect in a small space. Offset the pots with hanging plants & intersperse popping, colorful flowers that are continual bloomers. Silver falls dichondra, any of the Ivy’s, sweet potato vines & creeping Jenny all have distinct & attractive foliage to work with. Then pop in some Violas, Alyssum, & petunias for colour.
Speaking of colour, pick your favourites & run that pallet through your space. This helps to boost your mood, & you can get creative with your combos if you like. Because that’s what matters – that YOU like your space! If you can’t source plants in your preferred pallet then use art, planters, furniture or garden decor. You should probably do that anyway, because it’s fun! You gnome what I mean.
Foliage is your Friend.
It doesn’t all have to be about the flowers & the colour though. Any seasoned gardener knows that texture & foliage is just as intriguing & beautiful as blooms. Caladium,coleus,crotons more than make up for the occasional less than showy blooms with their leaf variegations. Tall grasses such as Karl Forrester & the fronds of ferns give an almost effortless & elegant vibe to nearly any landscape.
Then again, if you want it to be all about the flowers, go all in! Plant yourself a bouquet garden with tons of cut flowers incorporated. I do this myself in certain sections, though I tend to only cut bouquets every couple of weeks or for gifts. I just love watching the bees, butterflies & hummingbirds enjoy them. Dahlia’s are a particular favourite around here, though they do require a bit of extra effort at the end of season because they need to be dug up, stored & split for the following season. Completely worth it though. If thats not for you however, peony’s, lily’s, coneflowers, yarrow & pro cut sunflowers can keep you in bloom through the season with little effort.
This last tip may seem counterintuitive, but I assure you it works! Breaking up a small yard into intimate & purposeful groupings can actually make a yard feel larger. Decide what you want to experience in your yard & designate spaces for that. Connect areas with stone or gravel pathways & incorporate plants that grow up not out. Utilize privacy screens, tiered planters or again, living walls to achieve separation. Be mindful of “dead spaces’ that go under used, such as house or garage corners & turn them into unexpected retreat areas. It can be as simple as using an oversized planter & a comfy chair or hammock seat.