If you've ever lived in an apartment, you know any yard at all is a blessing. However, perhaps your home isn't blessed with as much square footage outside as you might like. A small yard doesn't have to decrease your pleasure with the outdoors. Instead, make over your yard to squeeze beauty out of every square inch.
Start with a Small Tree
When you're designing for a small landscape, every inch counts. A single tree can become the centerpiece of your small yard. The key is to select a variety with what the Landscaping Network calls a "well-behaved root system," or one that won't disrupt the hardscape in your yard. The site recommends the following trees:
- Japanese maple
- Tiny tower cypress
- Purple leaf plum
Placement of the tree depends on the layout of your yard. However, slightly off-center is a good start. Also keep in mind the shade your tree will provide, and place it by a lounging spot or patio.
Utilize Appropriate Perennials
Just like your tree needs to be scaled, so too do the rest of your landscaping plants. Herbaceous perennials such as thrift, calendula and creeping phlox are ideal because they don't have woody parts. Other options include Johnson's blue cranesbill, dwarf daylilies and dwarf varieties of sedum.
When planning your perennial garden, keep in mind each plant has the opportunity to become a showcase. Large yards require planting them in groupings, but your small yard allows you to highlight a single flower. For example, plant a single Johnson's blue geranium, which grows to 18 inches tall and 24 inches wide. Locate it at the bend in a path, and surround the single plant with a pretty stone border. This display offers the same charm as a bend in the road overlooking a field of flowers because it's in miniature.
Create Terraced Rooms
To increase the functionality of your small yard, design it as a series of small rooms. Each room should have a purpose, such as dining or sunbathing. The terrace aspect is typically created with concrete poured at different levels. For instance, have a small dining patio created at house level that steps down to a lounge area.
If you don't want a lot of hardscape in your yard, consider creating the same effect with raised planters, water features, plants and other landscaping details. For example, keep your patio on the same level as the rest of the yard, but use a raised planter to create a distinction between spaces.
With the appropriate plants and dividers, your small yard can be as lovely as its larger counterparts. For more information, contact Cottonwood Landscapes LLC or a similar company.