As much as I love the possibilities afforded by designing larger estate landscapes (as in, trees! I actually get to spec trees!), small gardens hold a special place in my heart as well. Here's the second of five bite-size tips to make the most of bite-size spaces:
Be colorful. Knowing that bright colors seem to advance toward us, and dark colors seem to recede, create depth and dimension in small spaces by choosing appropriate hues. Use dark paving on patio floors. Stain perimeter fences dark brown or olive green, or cover them with dark green vines such as Hardenbergia 'Happy Wanderer'. Fill the foreground with variegated or chartreuse foliage, including Heuchera 'Key Lime Pie' and Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' or 'All Gold'. Then bridge the front and rear spaces with textures, not colors — grasses or succulents look great en masse, with a specimen pot, fountain or statue as a focal point.
Next, I'll write about my third tip for landscaping small spaces: Think big.