Monday, 19 April 2010

7 ways to design a small garden and make it seem larger

When designing a very small garden it’s often hard to see what can be done to create interest and make the space seem larger. Here are some tips on how to trick the eye so that a very small garden appears bigger and more interesting:-

1. Create a false doorway: fixing a gate to a boundary wall or fence, even if it leads nowhere will give the impression there is a something beyond the confines of the garden boundaries. Try using an old wrought iron gate with mirror behind it and a fringe of climbers to blur the edges.

2. Use contrasting colours: another way to suggest that the garden extends beyond its actual boundaries is to use contrasting colours. A pale wall with a door-sized rectangle painted in a darker colour framed by some climbers and planted pots will look like a passageway. You can also use contrasting flower and foliage colours to add the illusion of extra depth to a garden.

3. Create a false perspective: this can be achieved in several ways such as using diminishing sized pots, plants or statuary, or narrowing a path as it approaches the boundary.

4. Combine hard and soft elements: if you terminate a pergola or pathway at the garden boundary and then plant the boundary with evergreen climbers and the base of the path or pergola with evergreen shrubs it will blur the edges of the garden and give the impression of greater space.

5. Trompe L’Oeil: literally translated trompe l’oeil means trick of the eye. They are usually notional views into a landscape beyond the garden and can give a quirky extra dimension to the garden. If done well they can make a real statement. If in doubt keep it simple by painting a fake doorway and surrounding it with evergreen planting and climbers.

6. Level changes: use level changes to create interest and add extra depth to a small garden. If you include some steps, raised beds, or even a raised pool in a small square garden it will give the garden an extra dimension and make it appear more interesting. The eye will stop on the level changes and not be drawn so immediately to the garden boundaries.

7. Structures: wooden structures are a great addition to a garden they enable vertical planting, give height and can help create the impression of a more spacious garden. A heavily planted pergola placed against a boundary wall prevents the eye stopping on the garden boundary and blurs the edges of the garden suggesting extra space beyond. An archway part way down a path suggests another area of garden.

If you'd like help designing your garden please get in touch - all contact details are on my Web site.

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