12 April 2012

Garden Paradise in Small Spaces


"...And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,
And in green underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins."

A.C. Swineburne(1837-1909)
At Parting
I'm dreaming about small garden spaces today.  Not just from my big time case of spring fever, but also to help my daughter.  Aimee asked me to design a landscape for her backyard, which is basically an empty lot with weeds, so she can have a party celebrating hubby Mike's graduation from law school this spring.  Since it's a small urban space, I've included lots of vertical elements like Boston ivy to add height, privacy, and a sense of seclusion to the yard. In a small garden, it's best to stick with a tight color scheme to avoid a cluttered appearance. We are going with a green and white color scheme with a touch of pale pink and a bit of mustard yellow courtesy of her vintage outdoor dining set. An existing patio will be covered with gravel to unify it with permeable gravel paths.  Plantings will be primarily boxwoods, white Annabelle hydrangeas and New Dawn climbing roses interspersed with white lavender and a child's favorite plant, the soft and fuzzy lambs ears.

Boxwood image via
Annabelle Hydrangea via
New Dawn roses via

white lavender  via

lambs ears via

I absolutely swooned when I saw this photo in House Beautiful since  the dining set looks like Aimee's (sans mustard yellow paint) but, also how it uses geometry to visually expand the small space with that circular crushed oyster shell (swoon!) patio and tons of vertical climbers with white flowers -- bet this garden is gorgeous at night too!  We are going with an oval lawn area to expand the space and provide a future place for Nola to play.

source unknown
A garage at the rear of the narrow rectangular property would look wonderful covered in a climbing vine like Boston ivy.  And we've already decided on simple gravel paths versus hardscaping as it allows water drainage, is inexpensive, and look great too!

I love a simple color scheme in the garden along with repetition of form and shape.

Mass plantings have a greater impact especially in a small space and look clean and uncluttered.

I love this amazing little courtyard space.  Boxwoods and other greens dominate the space but the star is the garden sphere - not that those chaises don't look comfy! And wow, did you notice that there isn't a flower in sight?  Boston ivy can safely climb shed walls and an unfortunate chain link fence on one side of the yard to transform an ugly duckling into a thing of beauty.

Boston Ivy via
A sheltered alcove leading to the basement will become a secluded retreat for lounging with outdoor curtains that can be pulled closed for privacy.  String lights strung across the space will illuminate the night with style.

image via

So that's our vision for the space.  We are meeting with a few local landscapers later this week to get estimates and get the project going so I'll keep you posted!  

P.S. Warning!  Totally emotional rant ahead... but did any of you hear Ashley Judd yesterday?  Bravo to her for denouncing not just the media's obsession  with female celebrity looks, but the overbearing misogynistic objectification of girls and women by our society.  Has any media person commented on Mitt Romney's pantsuit or Newt Gingrich's haircut yet like they did when Hillary Clinton ran for president?  Is anyone wondering why President Obama doesn't touch up that gray?  PLEASE!  Each of us is so much more than our mere physical appearance! It denigrates our entire gender when the media slobbers over rumors of a puffy face, or protruding tummy, or some other ridiculous "flaw" in our appearance - are we living in the capitol of The Hunger Games?  Whew, thanks for listening I feel better now..:D

Daily Dose of Nola:

She loves her Wub-a-Nub!!

Have an amazing day today!!



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