Big ideas for small gardens
Small gardens are places of great opportunity, where design and smart plant choices can have a big impact. Even in a limited space, there’s plenty of room to grow.
Think of a small garden as a chance to make a grand design in miniature, says Richard Woldorsky, a landscape designer at Bachman’s Landscaping and Garden Services in Minneapolis. In gardens of any size, it’s important to decide how you want to use the space — and in a small garden, that’s even truer because you simply have less space to work with. You can still have a dining area, a spot to hang a hammock, and a pretty flower garden, but you’ll have to be creative to fit them all in. Some areas may have to serve more than one function. Above all, “You want to maximize every bit of space — the walls, the edges and the base material,” Woldorsky says.
Elizabeth Przygoda-Montgomery, a landscape designer and owner of Boxhill Design in Tucson, Arizona, says “there’s no right or wrong” in small garden design. She looks for design cues in the architecture of the house, following its strong, straight lines out into the garden and picking up on the materials and colors in a home to make the garden an extension of the living space. Like Woldorsky, she emphasizes to clients the importance of making every inch count. “It can be fun,” she says. Even a garden as long and skinny as a bowling alley can be “purposeful and artistic and striking, with a wave of color,” Przygoda-Montgomery says.