small flower garden

Ideas On How To Make A Small Garden Appear Bigger

Who has not dreamed of an English estate with gardens, groves and koi ponds?  Perhaps your preference lies toward the American playground with a barbecue grill and swimming pool?  Statistics show that approximately 80% of the population live in urban areas; however, the reality is that most of these people have small gardens.  Do not despair, for even those with the smallest of outdoor spaces can appear larger using certain steps.  This article will provide some methods on how to make your garden look bigger.


Think Big, Then Whittle Down (Prioritize)

My husband is constantly adding another item to our small plot at Cape Cod.  At any moment he is planning on a new patio, an orchard, a hot tub, a kitchen garden, even a sandbox for the children.  A sandbox in a garden on a property at Cape Cod – we’re across the street from the beach!


I understand where my husband is coming from; all of these things would be enjoyable.  The problem is we do not have a larger yard to house all of these things, and a small yard can’t be all things to every person.  By cramming too many items into a restricted area you will have disorder and chaos.  The first thing to do when presented with a small yard is to determine what you cannot live without and make that the priority.


Making A Plan

Once you have your priorities clear, it is time to make a plan.  Professional garden designers and landscape architects can help you execute your vision in an effective manner; however, there are various websites and apps that can help you create a layout.  With a plan in hand, you can make the most of the small outdoor space.  In fact, if you prioritize correctly and work around your needs, you might find you will have room for the hot tub.


Creating Specific Zones And Outdoor Rooms

As indoor spaces are defined by rooms or zones with specific functions, the outdoor area can benefit from a similar zoning feature.  For instance, have you ever seen a small yard covered in lawn furniture, a barbecue, garden tools, and a swing set?  This can look extremely cluttered; however, if you take time to create zones in the yard, it is possible to rectify the situation.  Place a small patio in the yard to gather the furniture and barbecue grill, and plant the herb garden with a border to orient the swing set so it sits perpendicular at one end.  Suddenly, the area is more inviting by using a simple organizational principle.  In short, organization makes the smaller yard appear larger.


Growing Up And Using Vertical Space

While your yard size may be limited, the sky’s the limit regarding air space in the area.  Vertical elements can help the garden claim air space for its own; thereby, improving the sensation of spaciousness – Outdoor Art Pros have some nice items that can help create this.  Not only can you emphasize the vertical element with tall plants, but you can grow things on trellises or surrounding walls in urban settings.


Clearing A Pathway

Consider a road heading off into the horizon.  Anything that captures your eye beyond the space can help create an illusion of there being more to the area.


Furnishing To Scale

As with minimal indoor areas, furnishing a small yard is all about scale.  Instead of utilizing bulky furniture made from teak, it is recommended you use sleek cafe chairs or bistro furniture.  Wicker is a lighter material which will allow the air and light to travel around it; thereby creating a sense of space and dynamism.  If, however, you are intent on using heavier furniture, try to use items that are lower to the ground and leave room for space about them.


Layering A Border Garden

Christine Chang Hanway, the editor of Remodelista, used layer planting to transform her small London yard into an urban jungle.  Using this example, it is possible to see that one can maximize garden space without encroaching on the limited lawn.  All you need to do is use layered planting with flora of different heights.  For instance, a dwarf cherry will provide an effective vertical element; as well as preserving space below for other plants of medium height.  The approach allows you to plant more items without appearing crowded or cramped.