Here in the suburbs of East Bay California where I live and design, the houses keep getting bigger while the lots get smaller and smaller. The photo at the top of this post reflects how it often feels around here - like life in a fishbowl. If you want to be successful in my neck of the woods, you need to master small space design, so I was excited to blog about this topic for the Garden Designers Roundtable. What I didn’t anticipate was that I would end up writing an article for the September issue of Fine Gardening magazine on solutions for narrow back yards, leaving me with the challenge of blogging on the same topic from a completely different point of view. Fortunately, there is more than one way to approach a “size-challenged” garden, so I’m calling my mini-design lesson today:
In Praise of the Straight Line
The go-to strategy for small, fenced back yards is often to counteract the boxy feel by introducing organic curves. While this classic solution is one I turn to frequently, there is also a case to be made for geometric shapes and hard edges, a style often (but not always) favored by clients looking for a contemporary vibe in their garden. If you are considering this style yourself, here are a few guidelines I’ve found helpful.
No, not me – my writing claim to fame is still this blog – but this past weekend I had the great pleasure of showing Michelle Gervais from Fine Gardening Magazine what we East Bay California gardeners are all about. Accompanied by her husband Rob and chauffeured by fellow designer Rebecca Sweet, we enjoyed a sunny, garden-filled day. Read on to find out what was included on our tour and what I learned about how magazine editors roll.
First things first
You must know by now that whenever a fellow tweeter arrives from out of town, it’s an excuse for a tweet up! Saturday night, Laura had a group of us over for a get together in her fantastic garden.