Landscaping for small spaces - University of Minnesota Extension

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Sustainable design
for small landscapes
MASTER GARDENER PROGRAM
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“… A small plot of ground well ordered,
turns to greater advantage than a large one
neglected …”
- Leonard Meager
The New Art of Gardening, 1697
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Designing small spaces
may feel less
overwhelming
… but more restrictive.
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SUSTAINABLE DESIGN
 Designing for plant health and longevity;
 Creating “outdoor rooms”;
 Important in design regardless of size or
cost.
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FIVE CONSIDERATIONS OF
SUSTAINABLE DESIGN
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1. FUNCTIONAL
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2. MAINTAINABLE
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3. ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND
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4. COST EFFECTIVE
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5. VISUALLY PLEASING
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SITE ANALYSIS: CLIENT INTERVIEW & SURVEY
 Client interview
– Activities in the landscape
– Timeline for installation
– Budget – install and maintenance
 Site survey
– Site inventory
– Specific, honest evaluation of site features;
measurements
 Landscape Design Questionnaire, Site
Evaluation Form
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DESIGN PRINCIPLES
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DESIGN PRINCIPLE 1: UNITY
A feeling of “oneness”
Mix & match plants based on texture, form
Repetition of hardscapes and plants
All aspects should complement one another, not
compete for attention;
 The entire design comes together to form one
landscape.
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© 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
DESIGN PRINCIPLE 1: UNITY
 The entire design:
– Comes together to form
one landscape;
– All aspects should
complement one another,
not compete for attention;
– Repetition of materials
builds unity.
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DESIGN PRINCIPLE 2: SIMPLICITY
 Large masses and groups
 Fewer individual species /
cultivars
 Backgrounds, backdrops
 Color pallets
 1-3 focal points in a small space
 More important in commercial
design than residential
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DESIGN PRINCIPLE 3: VARIETY
 Variety in plants: type,
form, texture, seasonal
interest;
 Variety in hardscapes:
color, texture
 Variety in location:
areas viewed up close,
entry gardens, decks,
walkways, etc.
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VARIETY VS. COLLECTION
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DESIGN PRINCIPLE 4: BALANCE
Formal vs. informal, symmetrical vs. asymmetrical
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DESIGN PRINCIPLE 5: EMPHASIS
Integrate focal points,
accent, and specimen
plants in the
landscape
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DESIGN PRINCIPLE 6: SEQUENCE
The repetition of textures,
colors, form and materials
to transition the viewer
through the landscape.
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DESIGN PRINCIPLE 7: SCALE
The relative size of one part of a
landscape to another and to human
beings using plants and hard features of
various sizes.
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PLANT SELECTION
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SELECT PLANTS FOR SUSTAINABILITY
 Right plant, right place, right purpose
 Select plants based on their elements of
design (characteristics)
– Plant type
– Size
– Form
– Texture
– Seasonal interest
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PLANT SELECTION: PLANT TYPE
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PLANT SELECTION: SELECT PLANTS BASED
ON MATURE SIZE
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PLANT SELECTION: FORM
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PLANT SELECTION: FORM: GO VERTICAL
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TRELLISING & ESPALIER
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PLANT SELECTION: TEXTURE, MIX & MATCH
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PLANT SELECTION: SEASONAL INTEREST
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COLOR
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COLOR
 Warm: Focal point, draws
attention
 Cool: Calm, relaxing, larger
 Neutral: Transitions, softens,
expands
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DESIGN TIPS FOR SMALL LANDSCAPES
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1. DESIGN ELEMENTS TO SERVE MORE
THAN ONE PURPOSE
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2. INTERPLANT ORNAMENTALS
WITH EDIBLES
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3. CONSIDER VIEWS
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4. USE TALL PLANTS AS BACKDROPS
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5. DESIGN TURF AREAS FOR MAINTENANCE
 Mowing – avoid tight radii
 Light & moisture requirements
 Repeated traffic, equipment
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6. AVOID DIVIDING THE PROPERTY
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7. DE-EMPHASIZE NARROW AREAS
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8. LOCATE DETAILS & VARIETY CLOSE-UP
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RESOURCES
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Sustainable Urban Landscape Information Series (SULIS):
http://www.sustalnd.umn.edu
Gardening Information http://www.extension.umn.edu/gardeninfo
Rice, Graham, The Ultimate Book of Small Gardens
Messervy, Julie Moir and Susanka, Susan, Outside the Not So Big House
Beaulieu, David, “Color Theory in Landscape Design”,
http://landscaping.about.com/od/flowersherbsgroundcover1/a/flower_photos
.htm
Luss, Gunda, “Color Techniques for Landscape Design”
http://www.sustland.umn.edu/design/colortechniques.html
Boulden, Steve, “Big Help for Small Gardens”, http://www.the-landscapedesign-site.com/smallgardens.html
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© 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
Discover more at
extension.umn.edu
Created by Julie Weisenhorn, University of Minnesota Extension, Department of Horticultural Science
© 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities
Act, this PowerPoint is available in alternative formats upon request. Direct requests to the Extension Store at 800-876-8636.
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