Grand Landscapes in Compact Spaces
Don’t have the space for intricate landscaping? That doesn’t mean you can’t think big! Plan carefully and you can work wonders with limited space, turning it into a functional, beautiful landscape. Creating fantastic outdoor environments can be accomplished by making a direct and functional connection with your existing living spaces.
As the top landscaping service provider, Inspired Landscapes utilizes horticultural principles on even the smallest Sonoma County garden spaces to create dynamic backyard experience. To help envision the next chapter of your smaller outdoor space, we have put together a list of some compact landscape design tips.
Analyze the Space
Before designing your beautiful and functional outdoor space it’s important to consider its existing characteristics. Does it have full sun, part sun, or shade conditions? Is it symmetrical or asymmetrical? Is the soil loamy, sandy, clay, rocky, or a combination? Are there neighboring windows that you want privacy from or views you want to maintain? Understanding the existing attributes is essential before making design choices regarding creation of a new functional space.
In large landscapes there is ample room for experimentation however in smaller spaces we must make every decision count. By fully understanding your landscape’s existing form we can make informed decisions regarding its potential function during the design process. Using this method, we can ensure the landscape elements we utilize complement each other and are cohesive, avoiding a cluttered or overly busy aesthetic.
Decide a Layout of Leisure Spaces
You will want to maximize every square foot, so you don’t end up having a cramped space. Decide the flow of movement first and then decide where you want to relax, rest, play, entertain, and hang out with your friends and family. Perhaps a fire pit, outdoor kitchen, or hot tub will elevate your desire to move outside for social or solitary moments.
Adjust the flow of your hang-out space based on shade, sun, and season. Think about how weather conditions can affect the way you use the space and if planting trees or building a pergola might provide seasonal shelter which will allow you to comfortably spend time outdoors.
Plan Your Circulation Flow
An effective landscape design aims to ensure hassle-free movement. There are three elements of movement – access, circulation, and egress – how you enter a space, move inside it, and exit it.
Once you have acquired an in-depth understanding of the area’s topography, you will begin to see how it can affect landscape design.
Study your property’s existing layout to better understand how it interfaces with the land and your neighbor’s property. All these relationships can place constraints upon, as well as provide opportunities within, the landscape design, so it is important that you understand them in their entirety.
Study the existing natural and structural obstacles to identify the challenges posed by them. Consider the location of existing large trees. What is the orientation of your windows in regard to sun exposure? Are there rocks or a puddle of water that should be considered? How are the walkways, patio or deck and driveway oriented?
Choose Structural Materials
Now that you’ve analyzed your space, identified constraints, and decided the layout of your hang-out area, think about the type of hardscape materials and landscape features you want to use.
A small space provides opportunities to use high-quality materials, as you will need less of them to create a meaningful impact in the space. Natural stone surfaces, placement boulders, and locally sourced artisan stone or landscape accents are all great options. This could include a wishing well, statues, water feature, or other focal point for the overall atmosphere of the landscape.
Locally sourced landscape accents can combine grace and sophistication. Additionally, they increase sustainability through lowered transportation pollution and save you money on transportation. Shipping materials cross country or even internationally adds a considerably to your carbon footprint, so exploring local options first improves the environmental ethics of your project. Additionally supporting local artisans buoys the local economy and we are so lucky to have a thriving creative community here in Sonoma County that we need not look far for all sorts of remarkable craftsmanship.
Using sustainably harvested wood and avoiding the use of pressure-treated wood is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to sustainability. Pressure treated lumber is very toxic to surrounding soils as well as our groundwater and is considered hazardous waste by our local refuse sites. Check out the website of the Forest Stewardship Council to get information about certified woods.
Carefully consider plants that will fit your space at their mature size. Use dwarf varieties. Columnar evergreens are perfect for tight spaces. They look great in all seasons including winter and can help improve the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor area. Consider adding vines to your lattice or growing espalier fruit trees. Create plant borders to complement and soften the edges of hardscape elements such as pavers, steppingstones, and arbors.
Place plants strategically to soften the corners. When choosing edging plants, consider their intended purpose. For example, if you have a stone path, you can use edging plants to soften the hard, cold lines.
Is the space you are edging a shaded area? If not, how much sun does it get? Is it secluded or used frequently? Choose plants that will thrive in the conditions prevalent in the area.
Consider how your edging plants can help you achieve your landscape design goals. Look for plants that complement the overall color scheme of your landscape. Some other factors to consider when choosing plants for your landscape include their texture and form, scale and line, and proportion. Use plants with an interesting bark texture and eye-catching foliage.
If you try to cram too many small plants into your space, it may look cluttered. Less is more when it comes to small landscapes.
Create Small Backyard Destinations
This landscaping idea may seem contradictory, but we can assure you it works. Breaking up open areas of a small space can make it feel spacious.
Use your largest furniture pieces to create a blanched look. Avoid cluttering the area or hindering the traffic flow. Choose the color scheme carefully. Use colors to create a cohesive look or establish clearly defined spaces. Don’t be afraid to experiment with bold colors. Create multiple seating areas or build a fire pit that adds warmth to the area.
Consult A Professional
Inspired Landscapes is the leading landscaping service provider in Sonoma County. Our pros have years of experience designing and installing landscapes of all shapes and sizes.
Creating beautiful and functional gardens is not just our job. It is our passion. That is why our team loves to help property owners bring their wildest landscaping dreams to reality. To talk to one of our experts, call (707) 395-7474.