The CourtyardContemporary Terrace, San Francisco
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Raise the bar Raised beds will naturally make any of your plants look taller. You can also use the change in levels to great effect by adding pots at a higher position than they would normally be.Using trees with a single clear stem along a boundary wall or fence will accentuate length and height. The top layer, especially if evergreen, will give the appearance of a hedge at a higher level.You could also grade your soil to create mounds, so that plants sit at a higher point. This will bring drama into a previously flat landscape.
Add some heightTrees are a great way to add interest and privacy in a garden, and they can work just as well in pots or troughs as in flowerbeds. There are many varieties that don’t grow too big and are suitable for containers, including fruit trees and Japanese maples (acers). These olive trees give this outdoor space a sophisticated, Mediterranean feel. Their slim, pale leaves don’t block too much light while still boosting privacy.
Create the illusion of levelsThis garden could seem oppressive thanks to the high fencing and the close proximity of the surrounding buildings, but an ingenious design turns this negative into a positive by using the full height of the wall to create the illusion of a stepped garden. Raised planters provide an elevated bed for a neat row of box hedging, and olive trees planted closely together reach up to cover the very top of the fence. Three raised planters behind the sofa provide another layer of greenery. By elevating everything in this way the floor space is left clear to allow for furniture, and it also makes it easier for the homeowners to move around the space, especially when entertaining guests. Clever ways to add levels to your flat garden
Think bigYou may have a pocket-sized outdoor area, but that doesn’t mean you need to treat it as such, with teeny furniture and diddy potted plants. Get some grandeur going on! This little patio in the sky has the attitude of a large and smart suburban garden – that clipped box hedging, the confident trio of pots and the matching trees elevate this space into something very stylish. Equally, don’t automatically think you need to create a tiny seating area – cut back on planting space instead (there’s always trellis) and let an outdoor sofa take up lots of room and give you some luxury.