Small Yard, Big Impact
We just finished up a project for one of our contractors, Federal Point Development, redoing the front of a Reston townhome. Many of the properties there are surrounded by mature trees that make them feel nestled into the woods. The original landscaping had gotten tired and overgrown and the clients were looking for a way to make the entrance more useful and more inviting.
We removed an old tree stump and most of the original plantings to make way for a charming and functional drainage solution with a variety of plants to add interest and beauty.
This lot was only 20' x 25' or so. It is more important to use space well and thoughtfully than to have a lot of it. A well-designed space can add value to your property and provide you with a beautiful respite from the day to day noise.
Tips for enhancing a small space
- Start with function. What do you need space to do? Is it your primary entrance? Do you regularly sit outside? Do you have pets who use the space? This client wanted a space to enjoy both as an entrance and as a welcoming area to share a cup of tea with a friend. The extra widening of the walk allows for a bench or set of chairs for visitors to enjoy the flora.
- Use a variety of heights and textures to create depth. Layering is especially important in a small space to provide a sense of depth. In a small space, layer up and down as well as front to back. Plant ground-hugging plants around slightly taller plants that are at the base of yet larger plants/trees. The variety of heights and textures draws the eye up as well as across.
- Incorporate different mulches. Break up a solid patch of mulch with stone waterways or paths to give a sense of different areas within the small space.
- Plan for multi-season color. Use bulbs and annuals to have shots of color that do not compete for space at the same time. Bulbs like daffodils and tulips will come and go in the spring before the summer annuals can be put in.
- Be in harmony with the neighbors. Eccentricity is frowned upon in most communities. If the space you are working with is the front of your home, as in this case, consider the impact of your design on your neighbors and the community. This home happened to be surrounded by other properties that had been evolving over the years into garden yards. Most of the homes had maximized their small footprints by removing the lawn and replacing it with appropriate plantings and patios. This design was in harmony with its neighbors and added value to the property because of it.
Are you a commercial property manager or owner looking to improve the value of your property with creative solutions? Contact us today to discuss how Rivas Design & Landscaping can add value to your property.