Planning a small garden

Plan details carefully to make efficient use of small spaces

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  • A gallery of potted plants softens a terrace made of salvaged bricks.

    Planning a small garden

    Steven Gunther

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Offset indulgences with savings elsewhere. Moore saved money by not installing a sprinkler system. Because the yard is small and filled with plants that have low water needs, irrigating by hand isn't an onerous task, she says. All her outdoor furniture pieces were finds from swap meets. Most of the bricks, rescued from a house that had lost a fireplace from earthquake damage, were free.

Keep the color scheme restrained and flower and foliage size in scale. When dealing with a small space, Moore realized, you have to simplify. She chose a strong color, red orange, as her main motif. But she used it judiciously, selecting primarily small-flowered plants like Cuphea ignea, the cigar plant. The few other colors she used-yellow, chartreuse, bronze-were harmonious, not contrasting.

Use vertical space. Moore's garden is full of climbers like Pyrostegia venusta and 'Royal Sunset' rose. There's room for a sweetshade, two Euphorbia cotinifolia trees, and a pomegranate tree. And the fence that encloses her garden is ornamental in its own right.


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