Geraldina Krantz. Garden Design. April 19th , 2018.
Dividing a garden, even when small, often has the paradoxical effect of making it seem larger. In small gardens where space is too limited for major focal points, compose a series of mini views within the garden itself, offering interest in every direction while using plants to provide a framework.
While there is much to be said for the cottage garden, with a rich array of varied planting (indeed, it is the real master gardener who can pull this off), there is a power to seeing a quantity of one plant that is genuinely affecting. Russell Page, one of the great twentieth century landscape designers said it well: the most striking and satisfying visual pleasure comes from the repetition or the massing of one simple element.
Certain rules help us refine design. One is the Golden Ratio which is a ratio of proportion that's been observed in everything from the Great Pyramids at Giza to the Greek Parthenon and has been used throughout history as a guide to a pleasing sense of balance and order.
Remember the importance of negative space, even a tiny courtyard or lawn can provide balance to a small garden. Include built in seating in a corner to keep your garden from feeling crowded. Use a living wall to add lushness where ground space is limited. Step back and look at your yard with fresh eyes, then simplify and tidy. Even if your outdoor space seems overwhelming, pick just one thing that you most want to change.
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