Designing small yards is a big feat. Regardless of a project’s size, it’s essential to have a sharp, unequivocal idea of your desired outcome before setting down the first stone. To get that, I do three things. First, I define what functional aspects the yard must have (circulation paths, privacy/storage needs, etc.). Second, I analyze the site’s sun and soil conditions. Third, I establish the stylistic preferences of the property owners. Outlining these parameters helps me build a framework of possibilities and limitations to play within.
Small spaces differ from larger ones, though, in their lack of forgiveness. Mistakes can be drowned out in the abundance of a huge garden, but in a pocket-size garden, hiccups are hard to hide. With limited space, I question every design element. Can this stone wall retain a slope and double as a bench? Can I utilize the neighbors’ hedge?…
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