A-Z OF REALLY SMALL GARDENS

This week's extract from 'Really Small Gardens' focuses on theatricalit y and privacy

P

IS FOR RIVACY

In contemporary living, privacy is highly prized. In a tiny, enclosed city garden you may well feel exposed to all - but solutions can be found. If you are overlooked from above, erect slim wires above head height to support climbers like wisteria or vines which are not so heavily foliaged that they will block light. Alternatively, if you have room for it, a small tree like Betula pendula 'Tristis', will filter light without creating dense shade, yet provide a canopy giving privacy.

Q

IS FOR QUIRKY

The art of theatre has long prevailed in gardens. In the 18th century classical temples and statuary were glimpsed along allees or displayed in arborial splendour. ainters like Fragonard depicted landscapes and gardens as romantic unreality; this, in turn, influenced attitudes to garden design. Many such allusions are still used today.

Not all garden theatre is classically inspired. Many of the world's famous gardens graft other cultures on to their own, like the Indian styling at Sezincote in Oxfordshire or the Moorish gardens at the Alhambra in Spain. But a tiny space can equally indulge such fantasies. In the picture, this small roof garden is both quirky and theatrical with its chequerboard floor and the pots of white and pink foxgloves placed as chess pieces, and the mosaic fruit on the mosaic table.

READER BOOK OFFER

A-Z of Really Small Gardens is taken from Jill Billington's RHS Really Small Gardens, published by Quadrille, available from bookshops. To order your copy for the special price of pounds 20 (a saving of pounds 5), including p&p in the UK, call the credit card hotline on 01256 302 699 quoting ref GLR 991

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