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Thursday, 09 March 2017 05:05

Design a Small Garden Featured

Garden Design for Small Spaces. Designing a Small Garden Differs from Designing a Large Garden. Techniques for beautiful gardens.

Watters Garden Center Classes

March 11 – Fruit Trees from Planting to Pruning. Learn the insider’s tips from the pros who know varieties, planting techniques, food, and more. Get ready for a blockbuster harvest this year. We cover local success stories, best varieties and how to prune each. Dress warm and bring garden shoes, there is a working demonstration that includes a walk-through Watters vineyard and orchard after the class.

March 18 – Living Screens – Privacy that Block Prying Eyes and Wind

We’ve curated a local plant selection that is sure to block out even the noisiest neighbor. We share the easiest to grow living walls and plant combinations that block while showing off all four seasons. Create that secret garden and enjoy your backyard this spring. This class includes a walking tour of Watters display gardens with living examples of the best local evergreens and vines.

March 25 – Top 10 Trees of Spring

Not all trees are created equal in the mountains. You will be an expert on the best ornamental bloomers this spring. We also delve into the fast growing shade, low maintenance varieties.

April 1 – Controlling Gophers, Bugs, and Disease in the Gardens

If you let these pests gain a foothold they are nearly impossible to rid from your garden, until now. Learn all the rat deadly secrets to a disease free garden this spring. Pinyon pine scale, aphids, powdery mildew, grubs and much more are covered.

April 8 – Advanced Container Designs

Lisa Lain, Watters owner, has been creating container designs for decades. This 3-step program puts the floral style back into your garden. The class is free to onlookers, but the first 12 students to sign up create their own design with her professional guidance, and take it home same day for a $35. fee. Come ready to get your hands dirty and your containers beautified. Bring your own pot.

April 15 – Drip Irrigation Design and Installation

Newest technologies in irrigation introduced. April is time to turn that irrigation back on. Learn the benefits of drip irrigation, the best emitters, and parts, how to set a system up or add a plant to it. With the right system, you can save water and have healthier plants all at the same time.

April 22 – Going Native and Low, Low maintenance

This class coincides with our annual native plant sale along with a host of other Low, LOW, LOW water use plants that once established require little to no water and even less care.

April 29 – Grow Your Own Groceries From Tomatoes 2 Fruits

This fun filled class has everything edible for the garden this spring. Nothing is genetically modified here at Watters, but we will cover the best heirloom varieties to local favorites. The ideal soil preparation, best foods, and care are all covered in this fast-paced class. 

Small garden spaces are so much easier to design and decorate than big open spaces, but gardening in small spaces is generally overlooked in gardening manuals. Garden design is often presented as a list of principles or rules, and while there is value in the key elements of garden design, usually garden design principles are illustrated for gardens of grand scales. Many of us don’t have the time or the inclination to undertake the maintenance of acres of gardens. Most of us don't have acres of land to cultivate!

Gardening in a small space has its limits, but in a small garden, the gardener can pay attention to detail. With a small garden it is easier to keep on top of maintenance, while still having time to sit and enjoy the well-earned results. In fact, many smaller gardens are designed around entertaining and sitting areas rather then the need to nurture plants.

Whatever your reasons for having a small garden, there is no reason it cannot be a well- designed show stopper. Virtually any plant or garden style can be worked into a small garden space.

The principles of good garden design still apply, but they'll need to be tweaked slightly.

Small Garden Design Challenges

1. The entire garden can be viewed as a whole. Some small garden spaces will be able to accommodate a hidden turn around a path or even be divided into garden rooms, but for the most part, an entire small garden can be taken in with one look. This means that a small garden will be viewed as a single composition.

2. Limited space means having to make choices. You won't be able to grow every plant you love. You'll need to curb your inclination to buy a plant on impulse assuming you'll find a place to plant it.

3. Color should also be limited, to give your small garden cohesion. Less is more. Cooler colors will make the garden appear larger and give the garden a feeling of depth. You can compensate for the limited colo palette with a variety of textures. The textural contrast helps blend the various plants and allow the garden to flow.

4. Every plant or feature needs to serve a purpose. There is no room for wasted space or under-performing plants. Plants should offer at least two seasons of interest. Get rid of ugly plants and under-performers!

Small Garden Bonuses

1. Design is easier when you take in the whole garden in one glance.

2. Smaller gardens require fewer plants to make a dramatic effect.

3. Gardeners get to know every space and plant in the small space. Any plant that is out of place or not thriving can be spotted and corrected quickly and easily.


4. Small gardens lend themselves to being enclosed. You may not want to install a stone wall, but a flowering or evergreen hedge creates the illusion of a secret garden. A simple low boxwood edge transforms a small garden into a formal one. Stepping stones, paths, and fencing enclose and define a space for entertaining and/or children's play.


A small-space garden lends itself to personal expression. Smaller gardens are extensions of gardeners' homes, speaking volumes about the sensibilities and tastes of each gardener. And if those tastes and sensibilities should change, it's much easy rework a small garden.

Much of my own yard is a series of small garden settings. I set up a Pinterest Board that showcases small garden designs. Many of the photos are from my own gardens.


Spring Open House March 17-19 A budding romance with Spring bursts into bloom with Watters Garden Center's 55th Spring Open House! Watters is bringing farmers from the field to show off this year's newest flowers, the brightest evergreens, and freshest new bloomers to start this year's spring planting season.

Friday, March 17th kicks off the fun-filled weekend in honor of St. Patrick's Day by offering free shamrocks with purchases of evergreens.

Saturday, March 18th the free class, Living Screens for Privacy, begins at 9:30. Guest speakers will include Kent Broome, Bailey Nursery's western grower. Kent will feature this year's fastest growing privacy screen.

Sunday, March 19th continues the fun for all ages with giveaways, impromptu free gardening classes, gorgeous new plants, corn hole, and face painting for the kids.

Experienced gardeners and those just starting out will delight in brand-new, first-time-ever plants, plus gifts, prizes, specials, and a chance to hang out with other people that think it's awesome to get their hands dirty growing their own flowers and vegetables. It will be fun, so join us!

Until next week, I'll see you at the garden center.

Ken Lain can be found throughout the week at Watters Garden Center, 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd in Prescott, or contacted through his web site at or .



Last modified on Thursday, 09 March 2017 05:26
Ken Lain

Ken Lain the Mountain Gardener, is attracted to sunshine, beauty, happiness, success and health through gardening, and wishes to point the way to others. Throughout the week Ken can be found at Watters Garden Center located at 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd, Prescott, or contacted through his web site at
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Prescott, Arizona