Good things in small packages

The difference well-edited spaces can make

Credit: Pacifica Landscape Works

Pacifica Landscape Works won a 2009 Landscape Award of Excellence for this decidedly sleek yet warm rooftop transformation. Up-lighting emphasizes the sculptural quality of each plant. Wooden decking and stainless steel illuminated bar create contrast. Each element was selected for light weight, and was craned into place.

The smallest gardens can benefit the most from the skills of a professional

If you live in less than palatial quarters, you know the difference that well-edited spaces can make. Your outdoor living space is no different. When the room is snug, the old adage of a place for everything, and everything in its place, is all the more important.

Enter the small-space landscape pro. Specialized companies have been quietly squeezing in to the urban market, with a mission to do more than just decorate, for years. With a focus on designing and installing real landscapes on patios and balconies, on rooftops and in courtyards – and with a chic design esthetic that goes along with metropolitan style – small space landscapers are a growing hip new trend.

2010 Healthy Garden Guide

More on sustainable gardening >

Modern materials like acrylic furniture and creative uses of lighting, have influenced a pared down approach to plantings. Each piece must earn its keep, and that goes double for plants. To get the look, consider form, colour, and texture: three things that will add artsy allure. Choose plants as you would a sculpture or a piece of art. Don’t be afraid to pull a funky Phormium from the garden store bench and have a good look at its shape and colour. A single excellent plant in a sleek pot can give your small space garden big heart.