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Sustainable design for small landscapes. Master gardener program. “… A small plot of ground well ordered, turns to greater advantage than a large one neglected …”. - Leonard Meager The New Art of Gardening , 1697. Designing small spaces may feel less overwhelming … but more restrictive.

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a small plot of ground well ordered turns to greater advantage than a large one neglected

“… A small plot of ground well ordered, turns to greater advantage than a large one neglected …”

- Leonard Meager

The New Art of Gardening, 1697

sustainable design
Sustainable Design
  • Designing for plant health and longevity;
  • Creating “outdoor rooms”;
  • Important in design regardless of size or cost.
site analysis client interview survey
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
design principle 1 unity
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.
design principle 1 unity1
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.
design principle 2 simplicity
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
design principle 3 variety
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.
design principle 4 balance
DESIGN PRINCIPLE 4: BALANCE

Formal vs. informal, symmetrical vs. asymmetrical

design principle 5 emphasis
DESIGN PRINCIPLE 5: EMPHASIS

Integrate focal points, accent, and specimen plants in the landscape

design principle 6 sequence
DESIGN PRINCIPLE 6: SEQUENCE

The repetition of textures, colors, form and materials to transition the viewer through the landscape.

design principle 7 scale
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.

select plants for sustainability
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
color1
COLOR
  • Warm: Focal point, draws attention
  • Cool: Calm, relaxing, larger
  • Neutral: Transitions, softens, expands
5 design turf areas for maintenance
5. DESIGN TURF AREAS FOR MAINTENANCE
  • Mowing – avoid tight radii
  • Light & moisture requirements
  • Repeated traffic, equipment
resources
Resources
  • 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-landscape-design-site.com/smallgardens.html
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