Small gardens are not unusual these days, especially in big cities, so exceptional plants for small spaces are much in demand. One of the advantages of a cozy garden is the close focus on each plant, encouraging you to admire details of blossoms or foliage that might be lost in a mass planting.
You can make a big statement in a small backyard by bringing in unusual colors, textures and fragrances. Whether your goal is to dress up a patio area, dramatize a courtyard or just add to a container garden, you’ll find oodles of options with plants. Here are ten great smaller-footprint plants that deserve a separate look.
1. Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) – Graceful and charming, these small maples are popular for their lobed leaves and dramatic fall color. Japanese maples do best in filtered sunlight.
2. Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) – This little fruit tree is a broad-leaved evergreen with attractive shiny leaves and white winter flowers. The loquat fruit ripens from April to June.
3. Oakleaf hydrangea – The compact Ruby Slippers oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’) won’t grow taller than you are, but it produces spectacular upright flower clusters that open white in early summer, blush a pale pink before maturing into deep rose.
4. Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’ – This Agastache offers dusty blue spikes of blossoms and spicy, anise-scented foliage.
5. Bleeding Heart ‘Red Fountain’ (Dicentra spectabilis) – A garden perennial with some of the most intricately beautiful flowers, heart-shaped and delicate is the bleeding heart. The foliage is an attractive blue-green.
6. Fountain Grass Karley Rose (Pennisetum orientale) – Ornamental grasses are wonderful backdrops for flowering shrubs. Karley Rose has unusual rose-colored plumes that grow to 3 feet (.9m) as they mature.
7. Weeping Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria ‘Pendula’) – Here’s a holly with an unusual and graceful growth habit. It has small, shiny leaves and white flowers followed by the familiar red berries.
8. Forsythia x intermedia Show Off – This compact version of early blooming forsythia produces egg-yolk yellow flowers that ae brighter, larger and packed more densely than the specimen plant, ideal for a tight hedge or sunny corner.
9. Fairy Rose Shrub – Look for wave after wave of small, fully double flowers in frank pink all summer and into autumn. It’s a great ground cover, perfect for a hedge.
10. Veronica ‘Purpleicious’ – This veronica’s royal-purple spikes make a bold statement in the backyard garden. The flowers are sweetly fragrant and the color contrasts dramatically with the deep green foliage.