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 third of five bite-size tips to make the most of bite-size spaces:
Think big. Small spaces get cluttered quickly, so resist the temptation to landscape on a petite scale. Instead, make a statement with a chunky, oversized pergola; boulders large enough to sit on; or a dramatic container that takes command of the space. Mirrors (or polished steel plates) can be used to reflect light and enlarge views; and large gates or doors, either freestanding or mounted on fences or walls, create the illusion of additional space beyond. Limit your planting palette to just a handful of species; it's far more effective to use a dozen each of three different plants, than three each of a dozen species. And if there's not enough space for all the full-size dining chairs you'd like, consider framing the dining area with a wood bench that will both define the room and provide additional seating when it's needed.
Next, I'll write about my fourth tip for landscaping small spaces: Get wet.