Even if space is limited in your garden, there are plenty of ways you can bring in water. Rather than installing a feature on the floor, use vertical space. This mirrored waterfall panel has been tucked into raised beds that surround a seating area. It’s the ideal spot for enjoying the gentle trickle of water, and the mirrored surface helps to bounce light around.
Leafy vines and decorative metal screens turn property fences into a design feature in this side yard seating area by Shades of Green Landscape Architecture. The design also features uplights at the base of each screen that illuminate them at night and create a pleasant ambiance for the outdoor dining table.
Perched atop a deck railing with extended countertops on either side, this gas-burning grill maintains a small footprint and offers the cook a prime view of the pool and valley below. The outdoor kitchen, by austin outdoor design, also features custom cabinetry with additional countertop space set against the level change to an upper deck.
We’re used to seeing built-in grills and outdoor kitchens as bulky features within a backyard, but this creative design by austin outdoor design in Austin, Texas, is just the opposite. Set into a slim metal countertop, a Big Green Egg grill appears to hover in midair, providing space for two metal bar stools to tuck away beneath it. This innovative design would work well in many outdoor kitchens, especially tight spaces like rooftops, balconies and small urban gardens, where every square foot of floor space counts.
The ability to tuck a grill behind a tidy screen when not in use makes perfect sense. It not only makes for a sleek aesthetic design, but it also protects the barbecue from the elements. It’s therefore no surprise that this clever design by Andrew Mitchell of Mr. Mitchell in Australia, featuring a grill that disappears behind a mini garage-style door, has been saved to over 190,000 Houzz ideabooks.
This yard features a similar slatted design, except the architects at CplusC Architectural Workshop used metal shelves instead of wood ones. The clear synthetic roof creates a greenhouse-like environment for growing lettuces and other tender greens.
This planted screen does double duty in the garden. Wood boards set at an angle are filled with soil to create planting pockets for growing strawberries, creating an attractive garden screen and space-saving planter. Harvesting is easy, as berries are positioned to dangle over the boards. One could use multiple strawberry towers to screen a shed in a sunny side yard or one tower to divide a narrow balcony into two seating areas.
Floating bench seats can be swapped in and out of the raised bed as needed.
In this backyard in Seattle’s Madison Park neighborhood, landscape designer Scot Eckley constructed this bench seat along the rear edge of the patio to double as a raised bed that provides bonus planting room for as many — or as few — edible plants as the owners choose to grow.
Though not a new trend, ICFF showcased some beautiful work in green wall installations, including this concrete and artificial plant installation from Opiary, based in Brooklyn, New York.
A Tiny Garden Can Be Lush Fill in your garden with layers of plantings in different heights for a really lush look. Use a climbing plant along the fence (or use a trellis), plant a few larger shrubs in the background for structure and depth, and fill in the beds with perennials for year-round interest.
A Tiny Garden Can Feel Surprisingly Large By softening the edges of the space with greenery and unifying the hardscaping, even a small patio or courtyard can look and feel much larger than its actual size. That’s the wonderful thing about plants — there is something about them that has a sort of magical space-opening effect. It’s as if some deep part of our brain sees the leaves and vines and decides it must be the beginning of a jungle.
n this narrow urban garden, steppingstones lead the way across a beautiful pond to a gravel outdoor dining space surrounded by lush perennials and slender white birch trees.
When an established garden must be moved, plants often die and large planters can fall apart. “I always recommend getting planters with casters and having the irrigation lines made extra long when initially installed,” Kaplow says. “By doing so, the terrace is essentially mobile, and plantings can be moved away from construction to minimize loss.”
Stack Raised Beds This courtyard garden in Oklahoma City uses a series of raised beds at staggered heights to create level changes. The raised design adds drama and creativity to a classic planting of spring bulbs, box hedges and mixed edible greens.
This rooftop garden in London, designed by Town and Country Gardens, features a built-in sectional that hugs a wall of planter boxes. The tall grass and grapevine pruned to resemble a tree make the urban garden that’s mostly hardscape seem greener and softer.
Nestled in the heart of New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, this lush rooftop garden by Brook Landscape feels like an escape from the city below. Layers of potted plants — including lush evergreens, soft ornamental grasses and nodding hydrangea blooms — surround an intimate seating area. The vintage metal lantern sitting on the cafe table could be filled with candles in the evening to create an even more romantic setting.
Dracena (Dracena marginata and D. deremensis) Dracenas are tough, wiry plants with palm-like fronds in colors ranging from variegated silver to dark green streaked with red. Dragon tree (D. marginata) and smaller dracenas (D. deremensis) are most commonly grown as houseplants. Popular in the 1960s and 1970s, dracenas have a retro vibe and complement midcentury modern decor. Care tips: Grow in moderate, indirect light, water weekly during the growing season and allow the soil to dry out between waterings in winter. Caution: Dracena can be toxic to pets and children if ingested.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum spp.) With an abundance of glossy, dark leaves and white blooms held upright like candles, peace lily keeps on giving, asking for little care in return. If any leaves turn yellow — an indication of overwatering or underwatering — pull them gently from the base and the plant will quickly fill in with new growth. Care tips: Grow in moderate, filtered light (will also tolerate low light); keep out of direct sun. Water weekly to keep the soil moist, but do not allow it to sit in water
Not all palms do well indoors, so it pays to know which ones do. The best indoor palms are kentia palm (Howea forsteriana), sentry palm (Howea belmoreana), lady palm (Rhapis excelsa) and parlor palm (Chamaedorea elegans). Avoid majesty palm (Ravenea rivularis), even though it is widely sold as an indoor palm, queen palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana) and butterfly palm (Dypsis lutescens). Most indoor palms will enjoy a steady supply of water, light fertilizer once a month and bright but indirect light.
Repeat the container color. Select plants that repeat the color of the container for a clean, monochromatic and understated design. These turquoise pots make a dreamy combination with the blue-toned succulents shown here. At the left is a wonderful creamy variegated agave (Agave americana 'Mediopicta Alba,' zones 8b to 11). What a great architectural shape, but watch out for those fierce thorns. Slender blue chalk fingers (Senecio mandraliscae, zones 10 to 11) in the center are a favorite of mine for containers, adding a little vertical interest without taking up too much space. The finely textured blue spruce sedum (Sedum rupestre 'Blue Spruce,' zones 3 to 11) on the right is hardier than the others and looks wonderful tumbling over the edge of a pot.
There are even a few rare and exotic fruiting vines that prefer to grow in the shade. Arctic beauty kiwi (Actinidia kolomikta, zones 3 to 9) is arguably the most beautiful. In addition to producing small, kiwi-flavored fruit, the vine is known for its triple variegated foliage (seen here on the bottom left). Male and female plants are needed to produce fruit, though only the male vines are variegated. Akebia vines (Akebia quinata, zones 5 to 9) are more commonly thought of as shade-tolerant ornamentals, but they occasionally produce a large, sausage-shaped fruit that has a delicious fig-like flavor.
Botanical name: Jasminum nudiflorum Common name: Winter jasmine Origin: Native to China; introduced to the West by the Scottish explorer Robert Fortune in 1843 Where it will grow: Hardy to -10 degrees Fahrenheit (USDA zones 6 to 9; find your zone) Water requirement: Average Light requirement: Full to partial sun Mature size: Up to 10 feet tall and 7 feet wide, depending on how you plant it Benefits and tolerances: Bees enjoy the early source of nectar, and birds may nest in its twiggy branches. Seasonal interest: This is a deciduous vine, but its main season of interest is from November to March, when the leaves have fallen. The bare stems are then studded with an abundance of yellow, star-shaped flowers, each one emerging from a rose-colored bud. When to plant: Spring or fall
The hardy kiwi vine (Actinidia arguta) is pictured here on a wooden pergola. It’s hardy to zone 4 and produces edible fruit.
I was speechless the first time I encountered ‘Hana Matoi’. This rare mounding dwarf reaches a 10-year height of only 2 to 3 feet on its own, so it is usually grafted onto a taller trunk. In spring the leaves emerge as a feisty mix of purple, pink and cream; the purple changes to green as temperatures warm, but the pink and cream remain well into the summer months. ‘Hana Matoi’ grows in my garden amidst pink Visions astilbe (Astilbe chinensis ‘Visions’, zones 4 to 8), where it makes a beautiful June display.
The Circle Pot, White - $89 Create your own circle of love with this clay pot. One of the most popular designs by Potted, this white ceramic plant holder was seen on the television show Two Broke Girls. Its flat-bottom design allows you to use it on a tabletop, or you can hang it with the included 18-inch stainless steel cord
Spotted Dead Nettle A good option for edging your containers in spring is spotted dead nettle. While it won’t bloom until May or June, its attractive foliage will look lovely spilling over the edge of your pot. The variety in this photo is 'White Nancy'. Botanical name: Lamium USDA zones: 3 to 8 Light requirement: Partial sun to shade Water requirement: Medium moisture Size: 6 to 9 inches tall and 2 to 3 feet wide
Oso Easy'. This is actually a group of roses, and all live up to their name. They need no spraying or deadheading, stay compact (1 to 3 feet tall) in small gardens and thrive in USDA climate zones 3 to 9 (find your zone here). Their small size and low maintenance make them perfect for container plantings and for beginning gardeners. And you have to love plants that have yummy food names like 'Cherry Pie', 'Honey Bun', 'Paprika' and 'Strawberry Crush'.
5. 'Marmalade Skies'. This lovely pink to tropical-red bloomer is a floribunda rose with flowers that develop in clusters at the ends of the stems, making them ideal for cutting and displaying. It's a continuous bloomer with a sweet, fruity fragrance, and it stays low and compact, growing to 3 feet tall. Throw out the sprays after planting 'Marmalade Skies' — you won't need them. Grow it in zones 5 to 9.
purple drought tolerant fragrant herbs and flowers full sun
Pincushion Flower Scabiosa spp. A nearly indefatigable bloomer, this easy-growing perennial produces lavender-blue, deep blue, white or pink flowers from early summer to early fall. Deer resistant and tough, the plant’s common name refers to its resemblance to small pincushions. For best effect, plant in containers or in groups near the front of beds and borders. Deadhead for even longer blooming. USDA zones: 3-11 Water requirement: Drought tolerant, though it prefers humus-rich, moist soil Sun requirement: Full sun. Can handle part shade in the southern United States. Mature size: 10 to 24 inches tall and wide
Perennial SageSalvia X sylvestris ‘May Night’Most salvias give a lengthy performance in the garden, and cold-hardy 'May Night' delights with a late-season encore when regularly deadheaded. The plant's indigo-blue spikes of large flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds and make a no-fuss addition to beds and borders. Mix with yellow flowers, purple sedums and lamb's ears.USDA zones: 4-9Water requirement: Drought tolerantSun requirement: Full sunMature size: 18 inches