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Illusions of space for a small garden

by Jan Smithen
photographs by Jeff Cameron

For the full article see The Mediterranean Garden No 47, January 2007

Jan Smithen writes:
"When you’re faced with designing a small garden, it's a good idea to see how you can divide it up so it cannot be seen all at once. One of the best space-making illusions is actually dividing up the area by planting or erecting walls so each smaller space becomes a room. These walls can consist of informally planted shrubs that rise higher than the eye can see. They can be clipped hedges or trellises laced with a vine. Even a modest patio or balcony can be divided with a trellis so that it cannot be seen all in one glance."

Views of Jan Smithen's garden:

Hedge of Arbutus unedo ‘Compacta’ hiding the fence
behind, with my old front door attached to the fence to
imply there is something behind.

The end of the arbutus hedge and vine-covered fence
with cypress at the foot of the garden. Neighboring
house and tree can be seen beyond. Citrus trees behind
low wall mask fence at the back.

A narrow pergola from the house to the rear wall
divides the garden so it cannot all be seen at once.
One wall of this hall-like pergola is trellis for plants
to splay against; the other is the espaliered pear tree.

Through the narrow pergola to the edible garden side, a standard
pomegranate in a pot stands in front of a fence covered with Parthenocissus
quinquefolia and Lonicera confusa ‘Kate Sessions’.

An espaliered pear tree
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