When choosing a house many people are concerned about the size of their yard. Will it be big enough for the dog, our kids, a party, a pool, or a vegetable garden?
The truth is that most adults, kids, and dogs don’t spend a great amount of time over their lifetime in the yard unless it’s nicely landscaped. And once you’ve put in all the hard work and expensive to make it nice, do you want every kid and dog in the neighborhood to turn it into their playground? Wouldn’t you prefer that they do their playing at the park? The same thing goes for parties. Small gatherings are nice, but once you have a crowd there will likely be damage. Solution: Host your large parties at the park, beach, community facility, or hotel.
As far as a pool goes, this expense hog is often the most underused luxury item in many homes. In most places, you can only use it for a few months during the summer. Solution: Install a hot tub or small pool instead.
The advantages of a small garden or yard outweigh all the concerns of accommodating dogs, kids, parties, and pools in my opinion. Early in my working career, I had a landscaping business that specialized in small spaces including yards, gardens, courtyards, and atriums. I called it “Private Paradise Micro Landscaping.” Through this experience, I learned to appreciate the many advantages of a small garden or yard. Here they are.
- Less expensive to landscape.
- Can do more with a limited landscaping budget.
- More likely that your vision can be realized.
- Less expensive to feed and control pests.
- Less expensive to water and light.
- Less effort to maintain.
- Less time to maintain.
- More manageable.
- More intimate.
If you channel your monetary, time, and energy resources into a small garden it’s more likely that you’ll get it done like you want as opposed to taking on a huge yard that will likely drain you dry. Then you have to compare the advantages of a small garden over a large one when it comes to maintaining it.
My dad has an unusually large yard. According to city building department officials, it’s one of the biggest yards in the area by far! He has put a lot of money and countless hours into the yard over the years to make it a tropical paradise. His inspiration came from visiting his father’s house in Hawaii.
My grandfather’s backyard overlooked a tropical forest preserve. It was breathtaking. So naturally, my dad planted dozens of different types of palm trees and tropical plants. It really turned out beautiful. But here’s the rub.
It takes a massive amount of time, effort, and expense to maintain it. To me it’s overwhelming. To my father, it’s still a labor of love, but he has struggled to stay up with it as he has gotten up there in years. Whenever I’m visiting him I always devote a few days to helping him out. His first request is always about trimming and pruning the palm trees and shrubs. I usually do the entire front and back yards over several days. Once I’m done there is a pile of palm leaves, tree branches, and other cuttings as big as two cargo vans. No exaggeration.
It only takes a few hours and one trashcan to trim and prune a small yard. And you’re not completely exhausted when you’re done. And no matter how small the garden or yard, you can make it beautiful with some creativity and innovation.