Posted by HPICheck.org at 12:30 PM | Labels: BULB PLANTING, designing a backyard, garden design, small backyard
Making the most of a small back yard
A lot of houses both in the past and recent present have been built with very small gardens. Some older houses that are in high density areas such as Derry city have only got tiny back yards surrounded by six foot walls, blocking out both the neighbours and most of the light. These areas can be very unattractive and once the oil tank is fitted into place and the wheelie bin pulled through the gate, there doesn’t seem to be much you can do with the place other than keeping the green mould from climbing up the walls. That’s what we would think, but there are some steps to take to brighten up the yard and make it a place that doesn’t make you shudder every time you go into it, even if it is too small to put even a small lawn in.
Nothing much is hidden in a small yard. The wheelie bin can be covered with a screen maybe but apart from that there won’t be much mystery and intrigue. This need not be a disadvantage as careful planting can give a feeling of calm and wellbeing.
If you are lucky enough to have patio doors onto the small yard, the area can be made into another ‘room’ of the house by choosing paving or decking that is similar to internal floor. This will give a feeling of space.
Painting the boundary walls or fences black can effectively make the boundary invisible, giving the yard more depth. If the yard is dark and doesn’t get much sun you might like to paint the walls/fence white to reflect the light. The colour green will also push the boundary back. Other screening could be used to prettify the yard made from bamboo or heather.
Try growing vertical ‘green walls’ out of narrow climbing plants that can secure themselves to wire mesh fastened to the boundary.
When planting near the walls put narrow leaved plants next to the wall then put plants with larger leaves in front of them. This will give the garden more depth and a feeling of perspective.
Keep the design simple. Too much clutter in a small space will look like you are setting up a car boot sale.
Have a look over your boundary to see what the neighbours inadvertently have to offer. They might have some lovely climbers, shrubs or trees showing themselves or coming over your wall. You can use these to your advantage. If the neighbour has variegated leaves, you can do the same to keep the flow and continuity going onto your own garden. This will give the garden a much larger feel to it.
Planters hanging baskets
Planters and hanging baskets will be a quick and easy way to brighten up the yard in the summer months. Both of these methods of planting can also be used for growing vegetables, although the baskets are more suited to tomatoes, they can be planted up with strawberries or even herbs.
Have fun with large accessories
Just because the garden is small it doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun picking ornaments and furniture. Sometimes one large piece can set the garden off beautifully.
A few mirrors carefully placed on the perimeter walls can give the feeling of space. Grow plants around the outside of the mirror to give an impression that there is something beyond the wall and your eyes will fall into the distance.
Remember that a lot of shrubs can grow very big-very quickly. Check the labels in the garden centres to see the growing habit before you choose or the yard could soon become overgrown.
Mould raised beds around the shape of your garden for growing vegetables. They need not be very big, or tall. The inclusion of a couple of beds will break up the harshness of a rectangular shape and add a flowing feeling. You might not be self sufficient with the crop but a few tasty treats of fresh peas and salad plants will make it all worthwhile.
Don’t forget to add some soothing lighting around the yard. Solar charging would save you any bother putting in cables. Highlight areas near the perimeter for a feeling of depth or have them so they reflect into the mirrors. The further away the lights are from the mirrors, the more the illusion of depth .
Adding a small moving water feature would give the feeling of movement and serenity. There are small features that could take up less than 1 square foot on space.
Check out the John Brookes book: Small Garden