A significant part of my practice in New York City is designing and installing small gardens, in particular Brooklyn brownstone gardens.  Here are a few ideas for small garden design specifically for a Park Slope Brownstone garden.

1. A small garden outside your home is an extension of your indoor space. It is an outdoor room, or rooms -- if you have the ability to create multiple levels. Inherently there should be a relationship between the outdoor space and the architecture of your home.

2. Maximize your space. In many situations designing round shapes in small gardens create leftover, wasted spaces.  Try using squares/rectangles so that every square inch can be used. Try designing with a grid. (An alternative would be laying your hardscape pavers on a 45-degree angle)

3. A Park Slope, Brooklyn garden design should plan for the most effective way to install and manage the garden before building it.  Transporting materials, equipment, plant material, soil, etc. through small spaces, basements and garden apartments needs to be thought through carefully.

4. Consider the seasonal views looking out to the garden from inside the brownstone or townhouse.

5. Keep the plant palette simple!  Repeating plants and combinations of plants bring cohesion to a design. Different foliage shapes create complexity within the planting design.  This becomes even more critical when you are designing a shade garden.  Many Park Slope gardens are shade gardens.

Park Slope garden by Todd Haiman.                                                 Photo:©Better Homes and Gardens 

Park Slope garden by Todd Haiman.                                                 Photo:©Better Homes and Gardens