Fresh ideas for landscaping a small garden
There are many ideas for garden landscaping available online and in dedicated, yet very rarely the articles explain the basic ideas to be observed for having a small and cozy garden. Whether we want an elegant-luxuriant or minimalistic and airy garden, when it comes to landscaping, we mean two main levels. The first one is horizontal, flat, as if the garden was seen from the top, and the second one is three-dimensional, where you can imagine by going to the garden at 1.5 m from the ground.
Horizontal level is the one discovered at first contact with the garden and represents the big picture, where the details matter less. Vertically, the details become more important and play the role of structuring elements. Why 1.5 m from the ground? Because this is optimum for better understanding a garden, sitting on a chair, relaxed, ready to be overwhelmed by the spirit and harmony of that place.
So harmony is the basic notion that must be observed when we talk about small garden landscaping. We deal first with the horizontal level. An alley made of natural stone (with tiles, paving stone or Japanese garden steps) should not divide the garden in half, because this will result in a symmetrical structure, and symmetry is basically to be avoided.
In order not to worry about this symmetry, we can create a winding alley with one or two curves. The alley can also be straight, with constant width (so it looks like a line), and then we make a deep space geometry (minimalism, hi-tech). If you prefer a lush, rustic ambiance, the alley's width can vary slightly from place to place. In this case the alley is often built using polygonal stones that may or may not have joints between them.
When looking for garden landscaping ideas, we must start from a line or a main point, of focus. For now, we're concentrating on how to use the axis. And the axis, the line most often used is the alley. Backyard edges can be framed by vegetation (flowers, plants, shrubs) and stones, whether they are rocks, gravel or "pebbles" (small-sized stones with rounded edges).
This framing with vegetation and natural stone must fulfill a restrictive condition. One side has to be less covered. We do not want to make a jungle, right? For a house cladded with natural stone, it is ideal that the backyard wall should be less covered as possible. And if there is still a wall cladded with natural stone, then it would be ideal if the natural stone used for the alley could have the same color as the stone on the wall.
Until now, we have talked about a line (alley) as a reference point. Let's see what happens if the main landmark is an area, a surface as the main point of attraction. The terrace usually fulfills this role. There are plenty of small gardens designed around a natural stone terrace (travertine, marble, granite). And the terrace should not have symmetrical shape (semicircle, rectangular), but if it happens to have it, we can break this symmetry in some very simple ways. First of all, we never place the table in the center of the terrace.
We can plant a tree, a shrub, a group of shrubs in one corner of the terrace, thus having that shade so necessary in a garden. Another way to break the symmetry would be to install a natural stone-cladded barbecue close to the terrace. Most of these garden barbecues are cladded with polygonal stones that fits perfectly into small garden landscape, especially if the alley and / or home base are made from the same material or have similar colors.
Other solutions for cancelling the symmetries from the horizontal plane are the water fountains (from natural stone or composite cements), totems or other decorative objects for garden landscape, such as simple natural stone spheres or balls. All these are color spots which, carefully arranged and with a little imagination, create a horizontal space full of dynamism and inviting for any visitor of this small garden.
Those elements which, seen from above will be perceived as color spots, at ground level (that 1.5 m from the ground, relaxed in the chair), will be perceived as three-dimensional. From now on, the height of the objects in the garden is important. The most convenient thing is to start from the tallest element, which is often, inevitably, the house wall. We did not place the tree or barbecue grill (cladded with polygonal flagstone) very close to the wall. No matter how small is it, the garden must transmit the feeling of an airy space with harmonious distances between objects. Also, do not forget that one side of the yard, preferably the house wall, should be as little covered as possible: avoiding the "jungle", as we already said.
When looking for garden landscaping ideas, we will always discover the major role played by plants in outdoor landscaping. Yet the flowers or any kind of vegetation should not have the same height in the entire garden. The height must vary to avoid monotony. For this purpose we can combine floral arrangements with rocks of different sizes or with gravel. The same vertical monotony also breaks if we use hanging plants arranged on poles or wood or wrought iron structures. Wood, plants, iron and natural stone are getting along perfectly.
So when you're looking for garden landscaping ideas, do not forget about the two planes - horizontally (overall) and vertical (detail). These are the main coordinates you need to take care for the first time. Then we must be concerned about the chromatic dialogue inside the garden and the harmony of textures, especially when it comes to natural stone.
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