Townhouse Residents: Think Big With Your Tiny Yard

24 August 2015
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American homeowners who live in townhouses or condominiums often feel that landscaping is something they either can't do or don't need to think about. After all, it's such a small space. What is there to do with it?

But you can make your tiny townhouse yard into something inviting and grand if you can adjust your thinking just a little. Here are 4 ways to start thinking like a winner when it comes to such a small front yard.

Think Neat

Try to organize your yard before purchasing anything, so it has a uniform and manicured look once filled. Small box hedges provide a neat and trim barrier. A single small tree in the center gives the yard a focal point while minimizing clutter. A simple walkway lined with colorful but small flowers, such as snapdragons, adds pops of color to your yard without overpowering it. Add sufficient lighting to make the entrance inviting. 

Think Containers

A small area has its own problems, and container gardening might be a way to solve more than one. Pre-planned townhouses often have a lot of hardscaping but little useful soil for planting. Using containers as a base for your yard design allows you to add color and texture to hardscaping. And since containers are easily moved, you can rotate plants in different seasons and change the look of your yard as you want. They bring versatility to a small, tightly-regulated space.  

Think Small

Landscapers and homeowners tend to focus on large objects or plants that stand out in a yard. But a small space requires a different point of view. Smaller is better on a townhouse lot, where large items will likely overpower your yard. Smaller varieties of your favorite plants (like roses or ornamental trees) will often provide a better scale, as will shrubs and plants with slender leaves.

Think Vertical

While your yard may lack square footage, it still has height. So, why not make use of that by looking for ways to go upward in your landscaping design? Trellises, porch posts and walls are natural places to grow vines and creeping plants. Columnar fruit trees make a nice border and bring a little wild nature into your city dwelling. They may also provide privacy from neighbors tightly packed together.  

For ultimate privacy, consider a vertical garden. A vertical, or wall, garden is a simple wood or PVC frame you can custom-design to your size needs and cover with a plastic sheeting to keep water where it belongs. Layer water-absorbing foam on top of the plastic to place plants directly into. By cutting slits into the foam and attaching your own variety of plants, you can create a garden of virtually any type in a very small area. You can often find detailed instructions at your local home improvement store or on the internet. You can even start with a simpler version based out of a crate or pallet

Landscaping a restricted space requires planning and an eye to creating a harmonious space that is warm and inviting. If you attack the project from a new point of view using the tips above, you can make something fantastic in a small area.  

For more information and tips on landscaping, contact a local landscape design company or local nursery, such as Glynn Young's Landscaping & Nursery Center.