Do's and Don'ts for planning a small garden covered in more detail later in this article.
"Small light coloured slabs can make a small garden look and feel bigger"
"too much clutter will make a small garden look even smaller"
Getting the size of the patio right.
One of the biggest mistakes made when planning and designing small gardens is underestimating the size of the patio
You can have to much packed into a small garden
Tall trees and fences provide privacy, but cut out light in a small garden.
watch em! You have to live with it long after the designer has been paid and gone.
Tall trees and fences will provide privacy, but will also reduce or cut out the light in a small garden.
Planting large trees, tall hedges or erecting high fencing may overwhelm a small area casting too much shade making it difficult to grow plants. Plants get energy from light and how much they get affects the growth of the plant. Without any light, plants would not be able to produce the energy they need to grow.
Your best bet will be climbers on trellis as these will provide privacy, and at the same time allow light in, and soften boundaries and provide year round interest. Trellis with colourful climbers and vegetables growing up looks good, save space, provide privacy and lets the light filter through.
But if your small garden is surrounded by high buildings casting shade and theirs nothing you can do about it, or it's simply that privacy is paramount and you still want to grow stuff, Luckily for us gardeners with small shady gardens, not all plants need the same amount of light to thrive and I have listed a selection of flowers, shrubs, perennials, hedgerow plants, and bulbs that will tolerate some shade here Plants for shady gardens
Plants that will grow in shady areas are not very colourful, but often have interesting and attractive foliage, the leaves are usually larger than normal sun loving plants to gather as much light as possible from the shady conditions they grow in.
Choosing plants is difficult, but cutting down the list of plants to the ones you have always wanted makes it easier. Three or four of each variety works best because too many different plant varieties can be overwhelming and often look amateurish. So start with 2-3 colors and 2-3 different types of plants, position them in the space you plan to plant them and see how it looks. You can always add more. Existing plants, not counting large trees, can be dug out and saved for replanting. It's easier to remove them than to try to design around them.
The colours you have in your garden say a lot about you. (What flowers say about you)
Less is best in a small
garden. Try to stick to three or four of your favourite plant colours, especially in the first year of planting. You can always add more colour next season. In addition to
colour, mix in a variety of textures and variegated, colored or lacy foliage to give the garden depth. If you include spring bulbs in your planting
plan they will extend the season in a small garden.
How many plants can be planted in a small garden?
Obviously, the smaller the space, the less plants you can have in it. A small garden, like a small room in your home, will look cluttered if there is too much diversity of planting and colour.
The number of plants will depend on the size of the flower
borders and the space each plant needs. If you want your garden to look mature and full its first year, plant closely or buy larger plants. Better and cheaper to
be patient and allow your garden to fill in slowly.
Rough Spacing planting guidelines
6- 12" spread - 2 plants per sq. ft.
12 - 24" spread - 1 plant per sq. ft. these are guidelines, experiment and have fun with spacing your plants
Larger than 24" spread - 1 plant per 2 sq. feet
Make the most of the tips on these
pages and begin to utilise the limited space you have in your small garden. You might end up with kitchen herbs growing next to Hollyhocks, but there's one thing for sure you will be
getting the most from your small garden. Growing your own vegetables tips here growing your own
Growing Vegetables in containers is a great way to get the most out of limited space in a small garden.
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