Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Small Space Gardening

Small space gardening has it all. Seasons, evergreens, deciduous, focal points, ceilings, walls, floors, doors, details. Aaah, details. Details are intensified in small spaces.
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Under 150 square feet, below, this little frontyard lives big. In the garden & from inside the house. A backdrop hedge creates walls of the room & blocks views of the street. A gate, door to the room, opens the space and extends the architecture of the house. Urn/plinth are focal point & create an enfilade (view thru to a view) in 2 directions, double axis.

Holding up thru the seasons is imperative in small space gardening. No down time allowed.


Potted herbs during summer are gilding. The house & a pair of boxwoods are another wall in this tiny garden room, above. Gravel is the flooring.


Variegated boxwood, above, echoes, those planted in the ground. Raking the gravel is detailing of the carpet. Adding the interest of an oriental rug.


Cat tucked into a boxwood, above, is a hint of what you'll find inside. The urn/plinth were clues or was it the iron gate painted robin's egg blue? Subsidiary pots are all terra cotta. Repetition creates impact in any size landscape.

No big surprise, the classic ginger jar inside, below, when everything outside is classic. Vanishing Threshold, bring your inside out and your outside in.

How do you want to use your small space? A lovely view, a place to lunch, read or invite girlfriends for wine/canapes?

A season's detail. Chinese snowball blossoms coat furnishings & carpeting in this tiny garden room.

Use height in small spaces to reach for the sky. Vines, espaliered shrubs, understory trees. Pull the eye up. The sky creates limitless space in small gardens.

After the Chinese snowball blooms, above, an espalier oakleaf hydrangea blooms, below. Both are draperies when viewed from inside. Outside they add lushness to the wall of the house, draw the eyes up, harbor birds/butterflies, provide 4 seasons of interest.
Small space gardens, abutting your house, include the views into your house. No backsides of pictures, tv & etc.
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I adore the challenge of creating small gardens. Especially those abutting the house. They harbor our gaze. And they gaze back, with grace.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics from my front yard the past several months.
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Garden Designer's Roundtable: Small Space Gardening, more articles by the experts.


Small Spaces, Big Ideas!
June 22, 2010 by Scott

Today we focus on the challenges and opportunities of gardening in a small space. Small space gardening has its limits, but it doesn’t have to be limiting. Regardless of whether you are creating an intimate space within a larger garden or simply utilizing every available inch on your balcony, there is no reason your small space garden can’t be a well-designed masterpiece.

A small space garden lends itself to personal expression in a way a larger garden simply cannot. It’s easy to let your personality shine through in a small space garden. But the limited space means you are going to have to make some tough choices, every plant or design feature will need to do double duty. Of course the principles of garden design still apply, you just might need to tweak them a bit to make them fit your space.

Below you will find links to the Roundtablers who are participating in this month’s topic. Please feel free to join in with a comment here, on our Facebook Page, or on the individual blogs themselves. Your thoughts and experiences are always encouraged and welcomed and really do help us broaden our knowledge of this not-so-small topic.

Carolyn Gail Choi : Sweet Home and Garden Chicago : Chicao IL

Jenny Petersen: J Petersen Garden Design : Austin TX

Laura Livengood Schaub : Interleafings : San Jose, CA

Lesley Hegarty & Robert Webber : Hegarty Webber Partnership : Bristol, UK

Shirley Bovshow : Eden Makers : Los Angeles, CA

Susan Morrison : Blue Planet Garden Blog : East Bay, CA

Susan Schlenger : Landscape Design Advice : Hampton, NJ

13 comments:

La Petite Gallery said...

The Snow balls are beautiful, I dry them. I want one on my grave. Yvonne

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Beautiful post. And my favourite photo is the one with the snow. Nice to dream about on this incredibly hot day!!

Shirley "EdenMaker" said...

Hi Tara,
Great focus on detail. Yes, small yards provide a wonderful opportunity to showcase details that add personality to a garden.

I enjoyed your blog post.'

Shirley Bovshow

Jocelyn H. Chilvers said...

Tara, you make a wonderful point regarding the view of the home's interior from the exterior---a perspective too often overlooked. Thank you!

Queenplinker said...

Hi Tara, hope this note finds you well.
I've spent the morning "catching up" with your blog. Sighed out loud more then a few times.
Wishing the heat index wasn't 108 here, so many ideas you've shared must be implemented asap :0)

Kindest regards, Lynea

Vava (aka Virginia) said...

Your garden/home is just lovely!!! Thank you for inspiring those of us without HUGE parcels of land! :)

Brenda@Cozy Little House said...

Actually I find it easier to do small space gardening than bigger spaces. Because in a bigger space, I just kind of go blank. In a smaller space, as I have, I envision little pockets of color and am not overwhelmed.
Brenda

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

Tara, I enjoy following your blog. I saw your comment on Joni with Cote de Texas blog about the make-over moving from one catalog room to another and the magazines following. Hear!Hear! If you blog long enough you will get a little bit crazy watching everyone follow the same trend. Whatever happened to original design? Can you imagine if every house in the world was grey with white slip covers and maybe a touch of blue?

Jenny said...

Hey Tara! You are so right about making sure the small space works year round--that is often, unfortunately, overlooked in design. And-- I LOVE the view-within-a-view concept--makes for lovely vignettes when looking from a different angle. Bravo!

Laura Livengood Schaub said...

Your house is so lovely Tara, thanks for another glimpse.

Stephanie Mealor Corder said...

Thank you SO much for the lovely long post chock full of eye candy and delicious suggestions and ideas!

Susan said...

Hi Tara,
Great pictures to bring out the points in your post. I love the view within a view concept!

Discussing how it's important to have a small space look good all year round was a great point.

Carolyn Gail said...

Lovely post, Tara. It is indeed so important that a small space be effective in all seasons.