Small Garden Design Ideas For Any Setting

A well crafted small garden design could be desirable to people for a number of reasons. First, the outdoor space suitable for being turned into a garden could be rather small. Alternatively there could be plenty of outdoor space, but the person may not want to make a large garden. Also if the garden space is set in an urban setting there may only be a balcony or small patio available for a garden installation.

Those are all good reasons to desire a small garden space, but designing one for those applications can be tricky. It takes forethought and careful planning to make a garden of this type really work.

Here are a few small garden design ideas that anyone can use to get the most out of any space.

First, a person needs to consider what the purpose of the garden is: Decorative, functional, or a hybrid.

A decorative garden is one that focuses on plants that will have the largest visual impact per square foot without any consideration for edible, or in some other way functional plant. A functional garden on the other hand focuses on maximizing the yield per square foot of plants that can be eaten or used in some other productive manner (i.e. Aloe Vera for burns). Finally, a hybrid garden focuses on a cross between these two different concepts. It tries to produce a high yield of useful plants, while at the same time creating visual interest within the garden space.

The most common garden type that people choose in this regard is a hybrid approach. For the purposes of this article, it is this style that will be the focus of the following small garden design ideas.

The first concept that any person designing a small garden needs to understand is that raised beds always make for a more vigorous crop. Raised beds can be constructed in virtually any shape imaginable so they are the perfect container for any small garden. For example an urban gardener who only has a condo balcony to work with could build raised bed planters in the corners of the balcony and a long narrow one straight down the front parallel to the railing. This design creates a lot of growing space without taking away much of floor space on the balcony.

Another very useful idea to keep in mind when building a small garden is that it can be constructed horizontally as well as vertically. For example a wall or fence can easily be turned into a living wall by adding hanging planters or vining plants like grapes, hardy kiwi, or honeysuckle to it.

Whatever style of garden is being constructed one thing that is important to keep in mind is that in order to create a strong visual appeal, it is better to stagger plants of different heights and colors around one another. This creates texture and dimension to a garden space that can make it seem larger than it really is.

Building a garden is a tremendous amount of fun. By taking the small garden design ideas listed above and making them their own, a person will be able to build a visually interesting and useful garden that will impress all of their friends and family.

Easy Guide to Herb Garden Designs

In the past herb garden designs were dictated by the herbs planted in them and classified as useful or ornamental. Truth of the matter is you can mix and match the following ideas to originate your very own special herb garden designs. It’s your garden after all and like art these designs express your unique inner soul.

Yet, contrary to expectation, the first step in creating your herb garden designs is not to immediately draw your designs but to first list down the reasons for which you want to have your own herb garden.

Once you have your reasons listed down you can then match against those reasons, the herbs that will provide you with the solutions for your bespoke herb garden designs. Consider at this stage:

o their usefulness (for cooking, herbal remedies for ailments, for decoration in the house and so on)

o their looks, colours and fragrances and how you can group them together according to good herb gardening principles.

o their size and height – for deciding which to plant in front of which.

o the location and size (length and breadth) of the garden and how the plants can fit into that space aesthetically.

o how you would arrange the plants in the garden on the basis of their attributes and environmental requirements.

For your herb garden designs, you can decide on how your herb plants can be grown,

o in the ground in a formal structure or informal and casual, according to their purpose like the kitchen garden outside the kitchen door.

o in pots that are casually arranged on the patio

o in designer or specially constructed containers indoors or outdoors

o in single containers like:
o a windowsill box
o a ceramic or terracotta “strawberry” pot
o an herb garden kit.
o Even an old chimney pot can make an attractive display.
o You can use old tyres, cracked teapots, old pails, etc. Be selective though as the containers used will set the tone of the garden.

After jotting down all your requirements it is then time to put them together into the visualisation of the herb garden designs that will meet most if not all the needs you have written down.

Take your time and pleasure in creating your herb garden designs in your imagination. The more time, thought, colour and movement you visualise, the more real your vision becomes and the more useful and beautiful your garden will turn out to be for you.

The physical aspects of your herb garden designs can be:

o Large, formal and structured – utilitarian or ornamental. This is usually a walled garden that is rectangular in shape and divided into two parallel rows which are then subdivided into a number of beds that will each hold a specific group of herbs.

You can also divide the plot up into a number of squares or rectangles or even triangles laid out in a simple pattern to fit into the plot of available land. There could then be pathways cut out, normally in a symmetrical design that has the specific purpose of allowing easy access to each herb bed.

It would not be unthinkable to have a kitchen garden in a formal setting that incorporates a healing garden in the centre of it.

o In medieval times there were herb garden designs created purely for pleasure. The gardens may be smaller in size, probably a little structured and housed plants that had been chosen for their aroma and beauty, a place where one can sit down to enjoy the sights, sounds and scents.

o Formal herb garden designs later on took on the more complicated pattern made up of squares, rectangles and especially knots which were particularly popular in pleasure gardens.

o Unstructured herb garden designs include plants that had been selected for their particular use like culinary plants near the kitchen door.

o Herb garden designs for the indoors include potted herbs in containers for decorative purposes. It would be hard to avoid the usefulness of the herbal crops even though your intention was not focused on using the herbs.

o Outdoors in containers on the patio.

o On a purpose built rooftop garden

Just ensure that the three main rules for gardening are met if you expect success. They are sufficient lighting (natural or fluorescent), water and well drained soil.

By the way, there is no rule to say that you can have only one garden. You can have one indoors in addition to the one outdoors!

Whatever the purpose of your herb garden designs, take the opportunity to add an ornamental aspect to it. This will enhance and extend greatly your enjoyment of it.

If you need guidance on the exact steps to take to give you the assured outcome you desire then evaluate “Successful Herb Gardening ~ Step-by-Step” at 100% risk free. You can download it whenever you wish at the Herb Gardening Site.

Garden Design for Wildlife

We all know someone that has foxes, badgers, rabbits or even deer getting into their gardens. Or garden owners that make an effort to get birds nesting, newts and frogs swimming or even just a few nesting solitary bees. Covering some 4% of the 93,000 square miles of this island we’re lucky that our gardens are truly the biggest wildlife park we have in the UK. What’s more it’s not just our individual gardens that are important but the sum of gardens that is vital to biodiversity and garden designers have an important role to play in getting wildlife into gardens.

Individual gardens are usually quite small and it is the sum and, especially, the variety, of plants and features within an area’s gardens that is valuable. Other features such as canal, railway embankments, street trees, parks and other communal green space also contribute to the variety of habitats and resources but it’s our gardens that are important. The message is that whilst you might not have a pond for wildlife, your neighbour might and if you can include trees for birds and flowers for food in your garden design it will work with the gardens nearby that provide shelter for other wildlife.

One of the big stories in recent years has been the demise in honey bees due to many different factors, not least the use of pesticides in the countryside. Interestingly honeybees were thriving in our cities and it’s the solitary bees that are really on the decline. The huge increase in hives has though not come with a huge increase in food sources so even though you don’t have a hive think about planting design with lots of bee friendly plants. Rothamsted Research studied an important group of pollinators, the bumblebees, in gardens and farmland and found that gardens support around 5 times as many nests as farmland, with about 36 nests per hectare, regardless of garden size. This was put down to two important features of gardens: presence of potential nesting sites and food resources. Gardens offer a variety of nesting site opportunities, such as compost heaps and bins, bird boxes and flower-beds and a long and continuous season of flowering plants. The abundance of flowers in gardens provides much more nectar and pollen, from early spring to late autumn, than is usually found in the countryside. The conclusion was that gardens are one of the most important refuge for pollinators in Britain!

We can all do our bit and for those low maintenance gardeners out there you’ll be pleased to hear that it doesn’t matter too much about the state of your garden as a few piles of leaves, debris and even a few bricks can be great nesting sites for our bees and insects. But if you want to be more proactive and help these creatures then start building some bee hotels into your garden design using all the materials you might find around your garden but normally throw away. A few upturned flower pots stuffed with dead leaves is as simple as it can get or you can create some wildlife towers. You can also design some quite snazzy wildlife homes to fit into the style of the house that the garden belongs too. How about a modernist bee hotel for that modernist house, or a Victorian terrace bird box for the terraced garden? Whatever you do think about wildlife when you start a garden design and everyone will win.