Moving from acreage to a small suburban block can be both an adventure and a worrying task. For passionate gardeners, it’s time to assess which plants are to be left behind, which are to be transplanted to the new location and to recognise opportunities at the new location for growing new plants.
Horticulturist Paul Plant looks at small gardens that need to be both practical and beautiful while negotiating the downsizing process.
When space is limited, garden owners need to look at every square metre as valuable real estate. Where is seating to go? Is there space for dining and entertainment? Is the lawn large enough for children to play? Is a garden shed going to fit in the rear garden?
Work out your priorities. Note down what is needed and what you want.
When planning a garden with limited space, it is important to fit the various elements together in a seamless and harmonious design.
Play with small spaces by using generous large features. Large garden beds full of lush plants can counter the harsh impact of hard concrete and timber surfaces. If paving is used in large expansive areas, counter it with large garden beds.
In a small garden it is generally better to use a limited palette of plants to provide unity and harmony. That is, it is best to buy twenty plants of five different species rather than five plants of twenty different species.
Small gardens generally require more intricate work with a priority for detail and quality. In many regards the value of a landscape in a small garden has a higher value per square metre than a larger garden.