Glorious gardens

Zenoyise Madikwa

Zenoyise Madikwa

You don't have to have a big stand to have a lovely garden.

According to landscape architect Bruce Barker many small yards have lovely landscaped garden.

"You can give your small yard great style and appeal without spending too much money," Barker says. "Landscaping can be tailored to suit your personal budget, interests and level of time commitment."

Where do you start?

Barker advises people to keep the following in mind before they start: dimension of the plot, direction of your house in relation to the street and the property's lines.

"All these factors might influence your initial plan," he says.

"The most important questions to ask are: Will I need many plants? How much space do my plants really need in the area that I plan to plant them in? Is there enough space already or will I have to create more? Is there too much space because I can only afford a few plants at the beginning of my adventure?"

Barker says another thing to remember is that different plants grow at different times of the year and will bloom for various periods during the year.

"If all your plants go into bloom at the same time your garden will only look good for these short periods.

"So choose plants that will bloom throughout the year at different times so you can create a staggered effect, with some in full bloom and others beginning to bloom This way you can have an attractive display of colour throughout the year."

Here are some basic tips.

lConsider scale. Small, sculpted plants fit in well in a small space.

Fast-growing, large plants might seem okay at first but in a few years they will overtake the yard and make it seem even smaller. You can also add different levels to your yard.

lUse containers. They take up less space and can be moved around to maximise space for special occasions or whatever your needs might be.

lBe aware of colours. Choose plants that will bloom in sequence so you'll always have a beautiful array of colours to brighten up your yard.

lA rock garden, stone pathway, border or even a small stone wall or raised bed are all great ideas for a small yard.

Choose plants that will go well with stones and will not spread too much.

lA garden bench or seat is always nice, but in a small yard they can take up too much place.

lFlowers can be placed strategically to add splashes of colour to the lawn.

Use cool colours such as blues, violets and purples to make the space seem bigger. Cooler colours will also affect the mood of people in your garden.

lColours such as reds, violets and pinks excite the senses and make spaces look more intimate.

But these warmer colours are not suitable for landscaping small spaces. Combine the colours to inject some bright colours while still using the cool colours.

lKeep the yard tidy. Many front yard landscaping mistakes or works in progress can be overlooked if the yard is well kept.

Keep grass at an appropriate length and spend the time to regularly give it the maintenance it needs.

lAppropriate outdoor lighting can make a huge difference to a front-yard landscaping project.

Choose natural-looking lighting that adds to the natural splendour of your yard, rather than stark artificial lighting that detracts from the outdoors.