One of the biggest problems you are going to encounter when you are landscaping small spaces if the amount of light available and how well the ground drains. In larger spaces this is much less of a problem because you can always vary the design according to the conditions, moving a particular idea into another section if required. This is one luxury you don't have in smaller gardens. Landscaping small spaces doesn't have to be about growing plants. Where there is little natural light you could still landscape - but without using any plants or just a few of those plants that thrive of poor lighting conditions. Just fill the area to be landscaped with gravel and then place a bench in a strategic position and dot around some garden statues and sculptures - perhaps a bird-bath or an ornamental birdhouse for feeding birds off the ground and away from predators.
You could, of course, lay a crazed paving walk, lined with the many varieties of shade-loving plants. If you are landscaping small spaces you could let your eye move skywards: install some frames and train some climbing plants over them - perhaps variegated ivy or Virginia creeper, both of which are lovers of poor lighting conditions. Try Oakleaf hydrangea and, perhaps, a deciduous shrub such as one of the varieties of tree holly or, if you really have green fingers, try growing an azalea or two - I am told they are a bit tricky to grow but some people seem to have the knack! For ground cover try coleus, a plant that comes with some beautiful variegated leaves, and other ground covering plants such as the various Erica species.
Landscaping small spaces can be particularly effective if you look around you and carefully take stock of the whole space at your disposal. Part of the key is to look up. You are bound to have a perimeter fence or wall around your property and these can be ideal to support climbing plants against - not just the Leylandii that everybody loves to hate, but honeysuckle, passion fruit and climbing roses - to name just a few. There are literally hundreds of varieties of climbing plants you could use. You could even plant fruit trees - yes, honest! Even the smallest patio space has sufficient room to grow a couple of espalier apple trees or pear trees which are trained horizontally along a wall rather than allowed to grow into their natural state.
Once your actual landscaping has been implemented you could finish off with some night-time lamps dotted alongside your crazed paving path. Nowadays you can get those solar lamps that absorb sunlight during the day and then use that energy to light up at night. I think they are a brilliant idea. Landscaping small spaces really can be quite fun if done properly with plenty of research up front: you could end up with a beautiful complement to the rest of your house and a delightful place to relax in the evenings - especially if you plant some night-scented stocks and other plants whose aroma tends to waft out during the late evening.
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Learn how to decorate Small Spaces. Also enjoy, furnishing tips, photos of small spaces and projects for the DIYer.
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