Designing a Small Hobby Garden
Hobby garden as the name suggests is merely a leisure pursuit and has nothing to do with formal garden. It has a small patio area, which is small enough to accommodate sun-loungers or chairs. Natural stone is used mostly in a paving with random rectangular or crazy paving style. This natural stone is more likely the color of rockery stone, i.e. if the rockery stone is gray then the modern gray sets made of natural stone or from concrete might be laid in a square or rectangular pattern. It is quite odd to use plain square or rectangular concrete slabs in the hobby garden. Rocks used will form the topmost of the terrace and holding back much of the soil. For hobby garden, use walls on each side of the neighbors’ boundaries and at the top of the garden. At the top of the garden you can use stone and for the places that are not much visible, you can use concrete blocks. It is seen that large pieces are more useful than small pieces and make sure that all the lines of weakness in rocks (strata) face the same direction.
To give realist effect to your hobby garden, the rocks should go right down to the water surface in the pond. To give more practical look to your garden, you can use reinforced concrete or molded fiberglass rather than a flexible liner such as butyl rubber. Using a cascade in the garden will improve the looks of your garden.
Stone steps will join the two terraces and the color of the paving stones should be the same like everything else. Sidewalls are covered by mixture of shrubs and climbers, whereas the clusters of rocks keep the informal theme alive at the two opposite corners. Remember, you need to have a gradual change from pure chunks of rocks to walling stone, as a result the wall emerging from the rocky outcrop, gives an attractive look.
On the corners and edges of the garden you can use small specimen trees such as Japanese maple, medium sized conifers, weeping cheery and weeping birch. Keeping the central area of the small garden free from tall plants is a good idea. The small lawn usually serves the purpose of connecting the shed and the top step. Usually stepping-stones are used for this junction, but there are other ways like using a mixture of grass and chamomile or grass and alpine bulbs. The planting is made so that it screens the fences and the shed. For limited space, you can use shrubs like pyracantha and garrya. They are handy at limited space because you can trim these shrubs so that to fit them in size and shape according to the space available. For covering the shed, Vitis coignetiae or Polygonum baldschuanicum are really helpful.