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small gar­dens

Space-

en­hanc­ing ideas for

If you have a com­pact gar­den, in­clude one or more of these clever space-en­hanc­ing ideas

Curve ap­peal

In a small gar­den, it’s im­por­tant not to see ev­ery­thing at once and to give the il­lu­sion that there’s more around the cor­ner. This is where curv­ing paths come in. Even if they don’t lead any­where, they en­cour­age vis­i­tors to slow down and en­joy the jour­ney. De­sign: Aileen Jou­bert, The Rain For­est Com­pany.

Up­wardly mo­bile

Use fea­tures like arches and per­go­las to draw the eye up­wards. They also give you ex­tra plant­ing space. You can also trick the eye by com­bin­ing a se­ries of arches, start­ing with a big­ger one in front and a smaller one at the end, which gives the im­pres­sion of depth. De­sign: Mal­colm Sin­clair.

The best cir­cles

Rep­e­ti­tion of shapes es­tab­lishes con­ti­nu­ity in gar­den de­sign. In par­tic­u­lar, cir­cu­lar shapes coun­ter­act straight lines and vis­ually open up bound­aries. Soften the edges with plant­ings. De­sign: Craig de Necker, The Friendly Plant.

Make a splash

Noise from traf­fic and neigh­bours is of­ten a prob­lem in small ur­ban gar­dens. The sound of water, whether from a big or small fea­ture, helps to muff le this con­sid­er­ably. Water fea­tures also add move­ment and ref lec­tions, giv­ing a tiny gar­den an ex­tra dimension. De­sign: Jan Blok.

Break it up

De­tract from loom­ing walls by in­tro­duc­ing dif­fer­ent lev­els. Here, a raised bed is fol­lowed by a con­tainer on an­other level, cre­at­ing a change in pace and slow­ing down the eye. De­sign: Karen Gardelli.

Spe­cial ef­fects

One way to in­stantly dou­ble the size of your gar­den is to mount a mir­ror on the boundary wall or side of the house so that it ref lects the gar­den. How­ever, make sure that what it’s ref lect­ing is at­trac­tive and that it doesn’t beam sun­light onto a flammable sur­face. En­hance the il­lu­sion by plac­ing con­tain­ers in front of it or plant­ing just be­low it. De­sign: Karen Gardelli.

Sit­ting room

A clever space-en­larg­ing idea is to build in out­door seat­ing. This frees up space in pa­tio ar­eas and the change in heights adds in­ter­est. Plus, it min­imises the ef­fect of high boundary walls. De­sign: Craig de Necker, The Friendly Plant.

SOURCES Jan Blok jan­blok.co.za Craig de Necker082 805 0910 Karen Gardelli 082 745 2891 Aileen Jou­bert 082 903 9393 Mal­colm Sin­clair 083 674 8713

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