How to Plan a Small Garden

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Are you gardening in a small space? Do you have an urban garden? Are you landscaping a new garden design for your backyard? Are you container gardening on a patio or balcony? Do you have a rock garden in a small space? This article will give you gardening tips for planning a small garden.

When gardening in a small space you will want to combine Space for People, Flowers and Vegatables 

When creating a small space landscaped garden consider which of these elements you want to include. Vegetables, Flowers, Seating areas or Outdoor Rooms for dining or relaxing, or a Water Feature. By hand or using garden design software measure and draw out the existing space. Start watching and walking through the space at diferent times of the day and taking notes. The steps below describe what you are looking for..

The most private spot – Decide if you want to put two chairs and a small table here to drink coffee and read the paper in the morning and have a glass of wine in the evening -OR- if you would prefer to use this private spot for the things you dont want your neighbors to see (trash cans, grill, compost bin).

View – This might be a view of the sky, a planting in your garden, the view back to your house, a stand of trees. This is where you will plan a space for entertaining, your outdoor room, or the intimate spot for coffee and newspaper in the morning. If you have a view you need to block out quickly (back of an apartment building) consider installing concrete troughs along the fence and planting with bamboo. In a small space garden never plant bamboo into the ground as it will take over. Also, having it raised in a concrete trough will 2 – 3 feet closer to the obstructing the undesirable view.

Vegetables – Find the sunniest, warmest spot. Hopefully you have a southern portion of your yard. In order of preference the best exposures for vegetables are southeast, southwest, east, west, north. An eastern exposure is preferred because the sun first thing in the morning will start the days growth cycle early.

Flowers – There are so many varieties that flowers will grow in deep shade, light shade, partial sun, full sun. Just observe the location, go to the garden center or local nursery, describe the conditions and they will help you find plants that will thrive. If you have an area where nothing will grow, consider a zen rock garden. In a small space less can be more.

Waterfeatures – Determind your requirements, do you want to be able to see from the house, hear it from your bedroom window, see the fish while sitting in your garden? The water feature will require moderate amount of sun.

Once you have made these observations the design will begin to reveal itself as a wonderful place for both people and plants to coexist.


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