We have one of the smallest and most awkwardly-shaped lots in South Main. Shaped sort of like a badly cut piece of pie, it seemed our yard was doomed to not be much- besides our wonderful vegetable garden. There is a narrow, sunny space along the south side, protected from the win- the best thing I could think of for two years was to maybe put a table there. We never used it. Flat and boring. But I was OK with it. Step outside and I have the Boulder Garden right out my door, the river trails.
But I have a son now. It sure would be nice if he had something to do in the yard besides eat every strawberry I pick. So we built a sand box. We never used the space anyways- why not? The sand box started an inquiry that has ended with, in my mind, a surprising realization of just what can be done with a small yard. After advice from two good landscaper friends, we started with a small excavator and dug out what everyone thought was going to be a swimming pool. Or maybe a wading pool. But instead, it’s our 84 square feet of grass, already heavily used by our son, Heron, and his little buddies. Not to mention our dog, Hurley, who thankfully has the sense not to use it for a bathroom. We built a retaining wall and are gradually sticking little plants in the nooks and crannies, starting with a super yummy creeping thyme. We bought a big Autumn Purple Ash tree (which we haven’t yet planted) and plan to build a small patio sometime. Not this year.
The reality is, we’re inspired. Our son is entertained. We’ve claimed our little space and we love it. The potential for creating extraordinary places in small spaces is in my mind….infinite.