Most classically beautiful gardens incorporate some sort of structure to give shelter, frame a view, or provide a destination. In small lots, adding something like this gets tricky, so your best bet is to utilize a feature that may already be there. For many, this would be the garage.
Since garages are used only for storage or parking and are usually unattractive, the typical strategy for landscaping around a garage is to hide it with foundation plantings. But take a second look. There are huge advantages to co-opting a garage into the garden scheme by treating it as a theatrical backdrop for an outdoor living space. Changes that can be made include enlarging the entry door, incorporating vertical greening, or adding a faux porch. Stylish alterations can imbue a service building with personality and charm, turning it from intruder to welcome addition. The benefits of such improvements go beyond cosmetic—they can reinvent the way you use and enjoy the garden.
Photo: Linda Oyama Bryan