Are you just buying that first home? Perhaps you’re downsizing from a large home since the kids have moved. Maybe you’ve put off landscape design to work on other projects inside the home. Whatever the situation, you’re ready to landscape. There’s just one thing; your perfect home has a small yard. You may not consider this a problem, and it needn’t be. Sometimes a limited landscape is what you want and need. Less yard to mow and fewer areas to beautify.
Perhaps you have the perfect design in mind for your limited landscape. If not, consider a few options to make your small yard both functional and beautiful.
Clear the Way
Your outdoors is an extension of your indoors and, most importantly, of your personality. As such, create a fluid transition from indoors to outside, unencumbered by bags or boxes, garden tools that you just used and anything else that blocks the indoors from the outside. Clearing clutter in any small situation makes everything look bigger. This includes your landscape.
If the clutter includes empty terra-cotta pots, get them planted. Colorful blooms and attractive foliage add form and texture to both indoor and outdoor areas. Seeds sprout quickly this time of year if they’re kept moist and left in a location where they only get morning sun. Succulents that are now all the rage in the growing world easily move indoors as temperatures drop in autumn. Avoid direct sun when growing succulents. Most new plants started this time of year should be candidates for overwintering indoors or to return next spring. There are many of those for the Boulder area.
Start with Seeds
Many seeds planted now will overwinter easily to blossom in spring or summer. Columbines and California poppies provide a pleasant surprise when you forget you’ve planted them and find unexpected blooms next year. If you’re not one to dig in the dirt, consult a Boulder Landscaping contractor for prices on planting those empty flower beds or drab corners of the small landscape. Boulder landscaping contractors are familiar with the soil and climate and know exactly what will provide instant color now and in future seasons.
If you choose to do the planting yourself, consider the concept of layering plant materials. This means planting your tallest specimens in the back of the bed, gradually decreasing height as you move inward. Take advantage of our Boulder climate by growing flowers that respond well to cold, such as delphiniums, primroses, dianthuses, and saxifrages. Remember to add native plants for low-maintenance, yet long-lasting flower gardening in our area.
Repeat specimens in different areas of the small landscape for a look of continuity. Plant masses of the same bloom. For shrubs and large perennial plants, grow in threes.
Hardscaping the Small Gardening Area
Consider adding a patio or updating one that’s already there. Just because your outdoor space is small doesn’t mean you can’t use it effectively. Outdoor rooms have gained popularity in recent years, for a good reason. Private outdoor spaces have many uses, such as kitchen/dining/bar areas. For this type of construction, consult an experienced Boulder landscaping contractor. Ask them about adding a fire pit if you wish to extend your outdoor time into winter here.
Outdoor lighting can extend your evenings outside. Keep dark spots visible with solar or LED lighting so you can safely navigate at night. Lighting is helpful for guests not accustomed to the property.
Design for Growing Up
The limited space landscape is perfect for growing vertically. Living walls offer privacy and seclusion. Grow flowering vines as walls, trailing up a trellis or pergola. The fragrant moon flower opens in the evening to reach for the moon, hence the charming name. Watch its flowers open as you breathe in the pleasant fragrance of this showy blossom. We grow this plant as an annual in Colorado, but may be surprised next year when it returns from dropped seeds. And so it is with the frilly foliage and delicate blooms of the cypress vine which can block a view of the neighbor’s trash cans or keep invasive eyes off of your activities.
Climbing, cold-hardy clematis vines offer fragrance and beautiful blooms. There are varieties for both sun and shade. If you desire perennial performance from your clematis vine, make sure it will return in your USDA Hardiness Zone. Grow vines from seeds, or buy them as small plants at your local nursery. Once you get them out of the small container, watch their fast growth. Avoid planting invasive specimens, such as English ivy into the ground. If your design needs this or other plants that can get out of control, grow them in long containers to stretch up onto your trellis or wall.
Add a Raised Bed
If you find there is not quite enough room around the edges of your small property or if you want a vegetable or herb garden near the kitchen, add a raised bed. Build to any size you chose and as high as you desire. Baby boomers who are experiencing problems with kneeling and bending will find a table top raised bed is just the right height and often, the perfect addition to your small landscape.
If you aren’t a gardener or don’t have time to landscape, let us help. We can show you how to make the most of your small landscape. You’ll find our landscape professionals eager to hear your design ideas and get it implemented to the last detail. We will evaluate the potential of your small landscape and explain what it will take for installation and maintenance. Contact us today for a free consultation.