“Stone” wall

This is a concrete wall in the SF Botanical Garden made to look like ancient layers of stone by lining the inside of a form with tinfoil and pouring multiple layers of concrete, each with a different texture and color.

Very cool way to add interest to what otherwise could have been a boring garden wall.

Mission Pie Sidewalk Replanting

I just helped Mission Pie finish up the first phase of their sidewalk replanting at 25th and Mission in San Francisco.  I’ll post more photos soon but missionlocal.org has some here: http://missionlocal.org/2011/04/a-garden-grows-at-mission-pie/

Insanely low budget garden

This is one of the most creative and interesting gardens I have ever seen.  It’s a bunch of jade and aloe cuttings stuck into red painted plastic containers and aluminum cans.  The plants have a reddish hue and the combination against the blue is incredible.  Cheap, bold, compact, recycled, creative and on top of all that it’s all on a tiny plot covered with concrete.  Maybe not classy but definitely beautiful in its own way.  The dripping rust stains even work.

About the Small Spot Gardens blog

An incredible garden wall inside an Irish pub in Bogota, Colombia

For the gardens I work on I need new ideas for small areas all the time.  I’m inspired by creative use of colors, space, natural resources and materials and awhile ago I started taking photos of great little gardens so I could refer to them later when I was designing for clients.

At first the photos weren’t really organized in a way that I could use them so I started categorizing them and then I started making notes about each.  Now I can recall and combine multiple inspirations to make something new and special for each client.

Rather than continuing with a sort of personal photo journal I’ve decided to share what I’ve seen in the hope that others will be inspired by creative projects or that they’ll share similar ideas – especially designs that help make small space gardening more sustainable.

Cape oxalis that works?

For the moment I’ll be posting about any great small spot that catches my eye for aesthetic reasons but I’ll be particularly looking for:

  • good reuse of materials that would have otherwise gone into a landfill
  • low or no toxicity construction materials and techniques
  • designs that help with water issues – either by helping manage stormwater so runoff doesn’t pollute nearby bodies of water or by reducing the amount of water needed in a landscape
  • plants that thrive with minimal inputs
  • plants that thrive despite being in full shade in the winter and full to part sun in the summer (a common issue when the garden is surrounded by tall buildings)
  • designs that make good use of tight spaces
  • gardens that can handle drought and still look good, or better yet awesome combinations that embrace the browns, golds and yellows of a summer dry climate

designed by Small Spot Gardens

I’ll also show you projects that I’m working on, share plants that grow particularly well in difficult areas in my gardens, and report back on any pest management strategies that seem to work well.  The plants will be for my climate (San Francisco, CA) but the hardscape ideas will probably be appropriate for anyone.

Coming Soon