You don’t need a large yard or massive garden beds to create a beautiful garden. You can surround yourself with nature’s beauty by creating a lush oasis or a serene garden retreat in a small space. Small gardens abound in cityscapes where garden space is at a premium, but they can also be a joy for home owners with larger yards. In larger landscapes, small gardens can be used to frame entry areas, showcase prized plants, differentiate outdoor “rooms” or create intimate corners that invite pleasant conversation and quiet reflection.
Choosing a Color Theme
To create a pleasing garden in a small space, make sure the soil is well prepared before you start planting. You may need to add organic matter to enrich thin city soils. Amended soils should be from 10% to 20% organic matter. A limited color palette works best in small spaces. You can increase variety by choosing plants of varying heights or different shades of the same hue. For example, a purple palette might include low-growing mounds of Ageratum, also called Floss Flower; spikes of Agastache, commonly called Giant Hyssop; and deep purple blooms of Lisianthus (Eustoma), also known as Prairie Gentian.
Using cool-colored dark green and blue-green foliage as background plants adds a feeling of depth to small gardens. Hostas, also known as Plantain Lilies, are a natural choice as these leafy plants grow quickly and are available in a variety of leaf sizes and green or variegated shades. Dark green, chocolate or maroon-leafed Heuchera, also known as Coral Bells, are another excellent background choice.