KD's Pocket Paradise

Small, Cool Outdoors Entry #2

Name: KD
Location: San Francisco, California
Size: 235 square feet

Your Favorite Thing About Your Outdoor Space: I feel so lucky to have any outdoor space in the city, so even though it's tiny, I try to make the most of it (which I also do with my front porch, but that's another garden and another story). I know that some would consider it cluttered and claustrophobic, but I love sitting out there lazing in the (two hours of) sun with my cats, a bellini and a stack of books and magazines.

Biggest Design Challenge With This Space: My house is between two taller buildings, so my garden only gets a few hours of sunlight a day (if the sun even deigns to come out - this has been a particularly gloomy summer in SF). Although I guess there is sufficient exposure from the back and front of the house so that it gets enough "bright shade" that the cactus and succulents I love still thrive. And if they don't, they're OUT, which is the beauty of gardening in pots; it makes replacing poor performers easy. That tallest cactus bloomed again this year, despite the weather. Only one blossom, but almost as big as a dinner plate!

Tips for Creating a Great Small Outdoor Space: Accessorize with things you love. I have been collecting those California flowerpots for years, and they add color and cheer even when nothing's in bloom. Also, consider how your garden looks from different angles (through the kitchen window, looking down from a second story) since that way you can enjoy it even when you're not in it. My sitting room/library looks out onto the deck's main railing, so I combine specific colors of pots and plants to enhance this view.

Thanks, KD, and good luck!

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