Building a garden in a small yard can be a challenge. You don’t have a lot of room to spread out your mistakes. But, with a little planning, a tiny garden in a small space is like a jewel. A garden will improve the look of your home and increase the value of your property.
Before you begin the project, take some time to study the yard and see what you already have that you like about the space. Is there a brick path or patio? Does a small tree grow there, or a tall shrub that can be pruned to resemble a tree: If there are positive aspects already present in the yard, use them as a basis for your overall design.
Think of the sunlight that reaches your yard. Sunlight will dictate the types of plants that will growl well in that environment. If you have tons of bright sunlight, you probably want to introduce some shade by planting a tree. Trees provide better cooling than an awning due to the sense layers of foliage. If you have a shady yard, fill it with shade loving trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants. Read or skin gardening books. Focus on the types of plants that grow well in your region and plants that require the amount of sunlight that your yard receives. Sun loving plants require at least 6 hours of sunlight a day, so check the clock, don’t just guess. And remember that morning sun is best. Afternoon sun can be quite intense in the summer.
Next, think about the types of plants that you want in your garden. Think about the effect that you want. Do you enjoy lots of green foliage? In that case, you many want to stick with small trees, shrubs, vines, and ornamental grasses. This type of garden will not require a lot of maintenance. Perhaps you want to include a vegetable garden. You can mix vegetables with other herbaceous plants or set aside a small plot to use as your ‘farm.’ Vegetables generally require a lot of sunlight. If you want lots of flowers, decide on a color scheme. Imagine how those colors will look in your small yard. Do you want a rainbow of mixed colors? All white flowers look beautiful with lots of greenery and the brickwork often seen in town homes. If you want a warm, bright palette, plan for lots of red, yellow, and orange flowers. A cooler look can be achieved with purple, white, and blue.
The planning stage is an excellent distraction in the winter and a great cure for the winter blahs. Research during the cold months so that you will be ready to work when the weather warms up in early spring. Meanwhile, you will probably need to work on the soil. In order to grow healthy, attractive plants, you need to enrich the soil that you already have. May local dumps and landfills offer mulch and compost at no cost to area residents. All you need are some shovels, sheets of plastic to protect your car, or heavy-duty garbage bags. Break up the existing soil in your garden and add compost or bagged garden soil. The earlier you start, the better, so you can get to work on this part of the project in the fall or winter. While still in the planning stages, take a walk around your neighborhood and check out what other people have done with their small yards. Visit a historic area of row homes and see what kinds of gardens those folks have built. You don’t have to be a copycat but lovely gardens in other small spaces can be an inspiration. Look down the yards along your row of houses. Imagine if each yard was a beautiful garden, how that would improve the look and feel of your whole neighborhood. If there are not a lot of gardens, perhaps you can provide inspiration to your neighbors and turn your whole neighborhood into a magnificent botanical paradise.