Ah New Orleans! A city complete with funky shotgun style houses, gorgeous Southern mansions and…extremely small yards. Whether you just have a front porch, a small French Quarter style courtyard, or a tiny backyard, you probably don’t have a lot of space and you want to use it well. Here are some top tips and design ideas that will allow you to enjoy your small garden and use it in the most efficient way possible.
1. Add Seating, but choose it wisely
With a year round green season, the outdoors are meant to be enjoyed in New Orleans. Why not sit outside? In a small space it is wise to use a round table (think bistro style table) with some chairs that you can easily add to for those summer soirees. This way you can put the table in the center of the garden, or put it in a corner to be enjoyed. In the case of a porch, a small bistro table can work, too. Another great seating alternative for a small outdoor space is a bench. A bench can easily go into a variety of spaces and one can eat food or enjoy a lovely cocktail or two while sitting on it.
2. Embrace container gardening and use pots
Many of us in New Orleans already love to garden in pots and display them on our porches. But in case you didn’t know, pots are your best friends when it comes to small outdoor spaces. The advantages are that you can move the pots to wherever you need. Additionally, they add a lovely green element to your space without needing a garden bed or spacious lawn.
3. Eliminate a lawn and add gravel
Why mow a lawn that is tiny with a lawn mower? However, using a weed eater to maintain a small space is time consuming and so much effort for such a small space. Give some time back to yourself and add gravel to your front yard or backyard. This still leaves a porous surface for drainage and adding pots to the space will give you the lush greenery that you would like to have in a garden.
4. Camouflage your trash
Nobody likes to sit in their garden and see (or smell) their trash. In a tiny outdoor space, there is only so much to look at and thus, your trash will be a focal point no matter what. Why not hide your trash? Build a fence to hide your trash cans or plant a screening hedge using plants. Another idea is to find an alternative place to put it all together. Either way, enjoying a small garden space is much more enjoyable when you are not looking at your trash.
5. Plan and plant for the seasons
In a small yard, it is important to incorporate plants for all four seasons into your garden design. Since you only have a tiny space, having a garden where everything is blooming one season but dead or brown the next, is not going to work. Design your garden with plants that will give you some greenery at any given part of the year, and something blooming at any given part of the year. For example, you might plant some camellias (that bloom in the winter but will be green the rest of year) with some gardenias (that are green in the winter but bloom in the summer).
6. Elevate your pots for more space
Lifting your pots off the ground is not only good more plant health and drainage, but it will save you valuable space in your small garden design. A plant shelf or rack can easily be incorporated into a porch space or in the garden. Lifting pots up will draw the eye upwards for good aesthetic but also allow you to put plants underneath the shelf, too.
7. Add a trellis
A trellis can serve many functions in a small garden. It can hide unsightly objects (like that before mentioned trash!) or give you privacy for your porch or your shared shotgun double garden. Additionally, adding a trellis against a wall or fence into your garden design can draw the eye upwards and elevate the space. We recommend using an evergreen vine on your trellis so that it provides privacy or greenery all year round.
We hope that these tips and ideas for designing a small garden in New Orleans gives you some inspiration to create a space that you can enjoy no matter what size it is. Come visit us in the garden center to get expert advice on plants or pots. You can also find a large variety of any outdoor features or plants to help you with your small garden design and projects.