304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
Urban gardens present a unique set of challenges when trying to figure out how to make a tiny garden appear larger. Although there is no such thing as having too many little garden ideas to attempt, some period residences in the country, especially cottages, might come with limited outdoor spaces as well.
Huge features will dwarf a tiny garden and make it feel claustrophobic. For instance, a modest wall-mounted spillway or spout will be more proportionate than a big lawn water feature. Similar to how a dinner set for four outside rather than 12 will look better.
Miniaturizing everything, however, such as pots, plants, and pavers, will paradoxically make it seem even smaller.
A excellent technique to make a tiny garden appear larger is to keep the design simple while maintaining a bold and dramatic plan with area for outdoor furniture as well as circulation space.
Paul Hervey-Brookes, who won first place at the Chelsea Flower Show, advises trying visual trickery as well (opens in new tab). It is erroneous to believe that a wide expanse of expansive paving will give the impression of space. It frequently highlights the smallness. A portion of the garden can be hidden to add intrigue and the appearance of more space. The narrative can double or triple in size in your head if you can’t see it all at once because our minds constantly desire things to be bigger.
Don’t make the garden design and layout too complicated. Intricate hardscape and fussy curves seem strange in compact gardens and will always give them the impression of being smaller. Instead, be daring and always keep in mind that “less is more,” especially in oddly shaped gardens. You just won’t be able to fit everything in a small place, so be ready to make compromises. Although it may seem obvious, this is sometimes overlooked as passion for a concept grows.
Simple level changes always add interest to a design, but adding additional vertical planes will also give the impression that the garden is larger. One step is reasonably simple to add, especially with decking, but the riser (the vertical face) shouldn’t be any taller than 20 cm; ideally, it should be between 14 and 16 cm. The tread should not be any shallower than 30 cm, and ideally not any deeper than 50 cm, if you intend to use it for more than one step. In a sloped landscape, several levels are simpler to construct.
Even in the smallest of places, a kitchen garden can still be used to grow fruit and vegetables. Hervey-Brookes continues, “Plant them in pots on a terrace or mix them in with flowers in the gardens.” Making the most of a tiny space by growing your favorite crops Sweet peas can be combined with runner beans and peas on upright frames for a plentiful display that also makes use of the available vertical space.
Small garden? If you’re trying to figure out how to make a tiny garden appear larger, get rid of the grass and replace it with more asphalt that is placed diagonally from the perspective of the home. A tight budget? Garden designer and horticulturist Matt James suggests using bark in shaded areas and cheaper, light-colored gravel in sunny areas. “Quality artificial turf is also an option; you’ll reduce maintenance time in half and free up valuable garden storage, too, since you won’t need a mower.”
Any garden can be divided into a number of rooms using planting, a wooden trellis, or freestanding walls to conceal what is on the other side. Because of this, the space appears considerably larger than it actually is. A great sense of suspense is also generated if not all of the garden is revealed at once, piqued interest about what lies beyond.
Use reflecting and light-colored materials whenever you can because they will amplify the impression of spaciousness. The same principle applies to plants: use light, vibrant hues to make your little garden appear larger.
If natural light is reflected into a dark environment, it will always feel less confining. Surfaces that reflect light, like sparkling granite and quartzite, are preferable over dark blue-black slate or limestone in small, enclosed spaces when light-colored paint isn’t the sole option for brightening things up. A little light can also be added by using polished steel containers and plants with shiny leaves, including hart’s tongue fern and Japanese aralia. In addition to being translucent and reflective, glass tables and balustrades don’t visibly occupy a lot of space.
A great trick for how to make a tiny garden look bigger is to hang large mirrors on the walls, perhaps covering one side entirely. This will visually increase the size of an odd or irregularly shaped space.
Make sure, most importantly, that neither the bin store nor an unsightly cluster of drainpipes appear in the reflection. In order to reflect more aesthetically beautiful plants, slant mirrors slightly away from the house or primary viewing point by attaching a thicker timber batten to one side.
Always make an effort to conceal the mirror’s edges to strengthen the illusion. Around the outside of the mirror, a tight-knit trelliswork anchored firmly to the wall works nicely; for uniformity, you might want to cover the remainder of the wall as well. Alternately, you could train climbers to do this work, but you would need to wait until they reached a proper size. Mirrors made of acrylic rather than glass are better for safety.
Boundaries can dramatically highlight a garden’s small size in basement gardens, boxy new-build plots, and short, sloped gardens, especially those slanted towards the home. The idea behind lining boundaries with plants is that if you can’t see them, you can’t tell how big the garden is in reality.
Free climbers like climbing hydrangeas and common and Boston ivy have good covering power and can survive shaded walls and fences. Partner them with tall, clump-forming bamboo varieties like Chilean or Umbrella, which both provide height but hardly take up any space, depending on the design or theme.
Contrary to bulky bushes, you can also grow shade-tolerant ferns and perennials underneath. Musa basjoo bananas, tree ferns, and the Chusan palm do well and won’t grow to enormous sizes in warm, protected gardens. If your budget allows, purchase large specimen plants for immediate impact.
Playing with perspective, or tricking the eye into seeing the space differently, is a traditional design technique to make a tiny garden appear larger. Try to direct the eye away from the end of long, narrow gardens by leading it across the area. This will contribute to the garden appearing broader and larger.
It works well to use an angular design with a setting of about 30 or 45 degrees. Alternately, turn the pavers in a different direction, or place the main focal point closer or slightly to one side.
The same strategies apply to gardens that are broader than they are long, so aim to draw attention to the entire area rather than just the back boundary. This method works especially effectively with short, wide gardens that slope down to the house because the back boundary is so visible and may seem to ‘hang’ over the garden. Place bigger components, such plants, stones, and pots, in the foreground and smaller ones in the background. This gives the impression that they are farther apart than they actually are.
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