Site map of finished outdoor landscape
Photo: Mathew Benson
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Make Every Inch Count


When designing for a small yard, make every inch count. Pay special attention to hardscape features such as fences, walls, and paved areas; make sure they have the right scale and proportion. Along with established trees and shrubs, they lend structure year-round. Put the front yard to work to establish a mood—here, an English cottage-style garden to suit the cozy 1924 Tudor Revival house.

Layer plants of various heights, colors, and textures to add depth, and choose varieties with successive flowering times, so something is always in bloom. Personalize your home's exterior with hardware, lighting, containers, and trellises that tie it into the landscape. Last, plan and plant with views from inside the house in mind—and illuminate the garden at night. After all, what better way to gain ground than to blur the lines between outdoors and in?
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