Small solutions – with big effects

Small details and big experiences that gives a sensational effect to the entire garden. It can be furniture, paving, vegetation or maybe a little of everything.

By Anne Fischer Stausholm, landscape architect and member of PLR (Danish Practicing Landscape Architects Council).

Do you dream of a more beautiful and substantial garden now that the season is upon us? Even small solutions can have a big effect. Start by defining your goals and enjoy that the goal is within reach, because it is agreed that it is a minor project.

There are many solutions, but a fine approach to the project is to figure out whether to work on vegetation, paving or furniture, or may be a mixture of several things. Also select the location in the garden, where the work is to take place.

If you want to work with plants, the place could be, for example, a dark and shady spot that today lies near a patchy and mossy lawn. There may be room here for a beautiful shaded bed of perennials, with hosta, ferns, comfrey and Solomon's seal.

Or it may be a boring flat lawn. A large tree here can do wonders and we are not thinking of trees that grow big, but trees that are sold big. It can completely transform the garden.

Also consider whether the tree should be evergreen. It provides an experience throughout the year and birds and squirrels are happy to snuggle between the evergreen needles. Yew, cypress or perhaps pine, the latter being very modern, could be suitable choices.

To incorporate beds planted with monocultures is also a detail solution that gives a marked effect. Monoculture is the use of one type of flora in the entire bed. It can be done with all plants, but most significantly are plants that are cut in a tight form, for instance, yew or flowering plants, such as Chinese anemone or lavender. Shrubs such as the Beauty Bush also look great in a long row, but it requires a garden of significant size. The disadvantage of monocultures is that they are only at their peak for a short period. Therefore, it is best to combine with other types of beds.

Lay a green blanket on the carport roof. Green roofs are popular these days. It is environmentally friendly and gives a great effect. How much the roof can bear, is crucial for the choice of plants. Houseleek can handle long periods of drought and therefore only requires a thin layer of topsoil, while a grass roof requires a thicker growth layer.