I love me a good secret garden. The interesting thing about Brooklyn backyards (and in most urban cities), because of the densely populated buildings so close together (literally touching) on the street side, you can’t see what’s going on in the backyard until you go inside and walk through the house. I think it’s kind of charming and creates a very private magical space to escape the hustle and bustle of street life.
This ain’t the suburbs kids…..
Below are my 9 best tips for creating a bad ass backyard garden oasis, no matter how small your little patch of nature is……
Create a Green Ceiling
This could be a DIY project with a few two by fours or you could create a more detailed trellis situation (in that case perhaps hire someone). The idea of an overhead trellis is to fill it with greenery to create an intimate little green cave, a shelter from the weather and also for privacy overhead from the neighbors above you. Don’t forget the garden gnome!
Not only does a green wall create privacy, but it also makes you feel like you’re in your own little forest. It takes some maintenance and knowledge of plants, but it is so totally worth it. We all know the benefits of plants, but just gazing at the wall of green from the inside of your home every day has amazing benefits to your well being.
If your space is narrow but you have the length (which is true for most Brooklyn backyards), create different heights by adding a level change with a few steps. This is a smart way to achieve a multi-layered backyard with several different seating areas and opportunity for tiered greenery. It also looks great from inside the house because you can see the back because its elevated!
Ground Material - Mix up Textures!
Think about a combination of different materials underfoot. There’s a bunch of options to choose from like stone pavers, wood planks, loose stones, grass. Mixing up the material, colors and textures create a warm and inviting look. Who doesn’t like the feel of soft grass on their feet or smooth stone pebbles….hello foot massage.
Fire tables or fire pits are an excellent choice for your backyard parties, and all those delicious smores you’re going to gobble down then regret later. If having a natural fire pit isn’t an option because you have a small terrace, you can opt for a fire table, Restoration Hardware has a good selection to fit your size and fuel type needs (natural gas or propane).
There is something about a big ole wood farm table that’s super charming, the more rustic the better. Wood can weather over time so make sure you treat your table on a regular basis and cover it during winter months. If it’s from an old antique shop or flea market and you don’t care about weathering that’s cool, but I would still cover it during winter if you live in the northeast or anywhere it gets cold and snowy.
I love these built in benches and they can also double as a planter! If your feeling crafty and are looking for a weekend project this is pretty easy to do. But not all of us have time or interest, easy to find someone to do this for you at a pretty reasonably price depending on where you live. This creates a lot of charm and character. I would even add built in lighting inside the planter.
Add those final touches that really enhance the atmosphere. String lights and lanterns are playful and create ambiance to the max. This planter latter is super cute. check out Terrain for more garden accessory ideas.
Planters, Planters and more Planters
Can’t have too many planters. The more the merrier, different shapes, sizes, textures and materials. For plants I would suggest your local home depot, farmers market or garden store. For affordable pots go to a local Flea Market, Secondhand Store, Salvation Army, Target or Ikea.