Garden Design Tips - Winter/Spring 2014

Homeowners are often surprised when I tell them that designing a small suburban or urban garden is much harder than planning a large-scale landscape. The reason is simple: in the small garden, there's nowhere to hide. While on an estate you can easily camouflage the compost bins or a utility area, when the entire landscape is visible from the back door, life becomes much more complicated. The key to success in small garden spaces is to transfer some tips of good interior design to the outdoors: the need for a unified style, a primary focal point, and appropriate scale.

• Most small garden spaces can be thought of as outside rooms, each with walls (boundaries such as hedges and fences) doors (paths and gates) and windows (views to other areas of the garden or the land beyond). And just like an inside room, outside rooms need to have a style that relates both to the other rooms around it, and is unified internally.

• If you consider the small garden space a room, then like a like a good interior, it should have a focal point -- something that draws you into the space and allows the mind to make sense of it. Fountains, sundials, walkways & arbors all make excellent focal elements.

• Scale is equally important to the intimate garden. In the same way that nothing looks sillier indoors than a tiny room stuffed with oversized furniture, it is imperative that you choose architectural elements -- arbors, fences, trellis, outdoor furniture and such that are scaled to the space available.

Keeping these concepts in mind will go a long way in creating a successful small garden. And for even more great gardening tips, be sure to check out my regular Old House, New Garden column for Traditional Gardening Magazine online, by pulling down the menu above.

Landscape Design Services


Travel Opportunities for Gardeners Everywhere

Join me and a small group of like-minded gardeners on the ultimate garden lovers journey to London and Southern England. Gain insider access to many of England’s preeminent private gardens. In addition you’ll stroll the grounds of grand historic gardens in County Kent, tour Leeds Castle and Canterbury Cathedral and spend an unforgettable day strolling the grounds of the Chelsea Flower Show! 

For more information, click HERE


Travel Opportunities for Harvard Alumni and Associates

Join me next June to discover the beautifully manicured gardens, picturesque towns, and charming country houses that inspired the writings of Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy. Enjoy special access to magnificent estates and private grounds, where you will be treated to exceptional lunches and traditional English afternoon tea. Bath, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage City, serves as home base for six tranquil nights. Accommodations are at the luxurious 5-star Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel, located in the heart of historic Bath, overlooking stunning landscaped gardens.

Trip Highlights
Visit several of the most stunning gardens and landscapes in the English countryside including Tintinhull House and Gardens, Hestercombe, the Barnsley House, and Iford Manor, the most beautiful of all Italianate gardens in England. Follow in the footsteps of two of England’s most celebrated novelists, Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy, and tour the towns, homes, and landmarks that influenced their careers and prose. Explore some of England’s grandest country houses including Stourhead with its vast stately gardens and Athelhampton with its pristine ornamental parterres.

For more information, click HERE