Landscaping Tiny Lawns
By Mr.Andrew Caxton
If you have a postage stamp-sized lawn, you don't have room to experiment and every element has equal importance. We provide ideas on what to grow in small places.
If you live in a town home, your front and side-gardens are probably maintained by the association, and the only thing you have to call your own is a postage-stamp sized back garden, surrounded by a fence.
It's easy to landscape large gardens - you have a lot of room to work with and if one element jars its not the end of the world. But in a smaller gardening space any element out of place will stick out like the proverbial sore thumb.
Plan Your Garden
Take a sheet of graph paper and draw a to-scale plan of the area you've got to work with. You're constrained by the fence, and by any dips or extensions from your home. Include all this on your graph paper. Then take sheets of tracing paper, place those over your plan, and experiment with what kinds of flowers and shrubs you'd like to have.
Test The Soil
Soil-testing kits are inexpensive, and they are a vital tool in growing a healthy landscape. Plants grow best in slightly acidic soil - so if your test reveals that the soil is too acidic or alkaline, take corrective measures before beginning your plantings.
What To Plant
Vines and climbers: These maximize growing space in your garden, because they grow upward, rather than growing outward, taking up the scarce square footage. Because these plants grow upward, more leaves are exposed to the sunlight, which usually makes them healthier than smaller plants.
Don't let these vines or climbers do their thing on the side of your home - it may look pretty but it does tremendous damage to the walls. Your housing association will probably not want you to let those climbers and vines climbing on the fence surrounding your backyard, however this is easily solved by installing trellises right in front of the fence.
Grow 'Em and Eat 'Em
You don't have room to plant apple or pear trees, but that doesn't mean you can't grow edible food in your garden. American grapes, apple melons, asparagus beans and other types of vegetables grow best on a trellis.
Other food plants to grow on trellises are blackberries, raspberries, and chayote, and passion fruit.
Because your garden is right beside your home, you should design it so that you can see as much as possible from your living room windows. Highlight it at night so that you can enjoy it- but don't light too much. Never highlight or spotlight more than three plants or structures – otherwise it will look too busy.
About the Author: Andrew Caxton is the consultant for
http://www.lawn-mowers-and-garden-tractors.com . Find more publications about landscaping at his website.