Make a Small Garden Look Larger

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated January 30, 2015)

Wouldn't it be absolutely wonderful to have one of those gardens that we constantly see in the movies, or on television? Unfortunately, this is not the case. Rather, what the vast majority of us are left to do is deal with a fairly small garden and only dream about the big ones. Surprisingly, it is fairly easy to make a small garden look larger. In order to do this though, careful planning and plenty of imagination needs to be used. Well...that, and these simple guidelines.

  • Color is a necessity. Using a variety of colors can be a simple way to make a small garden look larger. A general rule of thumb to use is that typically bright vibrant colors such as red and orange usually appear nearer, while the cooler colors such as blues and violet will look like they are further away. By placing plants that have these colors and their shades strategically, you can create an "artificial" depth to your garden that was not really there before.
  • Use perspective. Perspective can help create an illusion of space that you may want to utilize. For examples of this, take a look at Japanese style gardens. These types of gardens are typically very small, but when you first look at them they appear absolutely huge. The reason for this is perspective, which you can use in your own garden. One way that you can do this is to place larger items closer to you, while you place smaller items further away. Another is to create a "layered" look to your garden, where you only see small parts of it at one time rather than the whole. Having to actually move throughout the garden to see the different areas can help to create the illusion of a larger garden.
  • Single themes. Having a general "hodgepodge" of different themes can often make a garden look smaller than it really is, and this is an absolute no-no when dealing with smaller sized gardens. Chose one consistent theme to tie your entire garden into one can also help prevent a sense of clutter, which often makes spaces look smaller.
  • Texture is a huge help. Texture can be one of the biggest helps that you have at your disposal for making a small garden look larger than it is. Keep in mind that plants are generally divided into three different types of texture, which are fine, medium and coarse. This is based off of the way that a plant will reflect light, and should be used in planning your garden. For example, fine texture plants will have lots of tiny leaves which will reflect lots of light. This ends up creating an "airy" feeling when you look at the plant, while coarse plants will have the opposite effect. Texture can, and should, be used in the same manner that color is to help create a depth to your garden that is not really there.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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