Sunset show displays small space gardens

If you've ever dreamed of having a big backyard, but maybe you can't afford one, do not fret. 7 On Your Side looked into ways to make the most out of what you do have.

You don't have to sacrifice just because you have a small yard. I'm about to show you how you can continue to have big dreams, even in confined spaces.

Whether you're looking for a tropical garden, an edible one, or maybe something a little more contemporary, you can have it even in the tight confines of the San Francisco Bay Area. Johanna Silver, with Sunset Magazine, showed us how it can be done.

"A lot of Bay Area backyards are no bigger than a postage stamp, sort of like these yards and we wanted to show people what you can do in such a small space," Silver says.

On display and open to the public all weekend at Sunset Magazine in Menlo Park are five small gardens, each in a space approximately 25 by 25 feet.

"Absolutely, you can expect a lot out of a small space. There's ways to go up in height to get more planting space and choose really interesting plants," Silver says.

Their tropical garden includes a vertical wall with plants, each wrapped in felt and tucked in a pocket. Add a few benches and a fire pit to go with the water feature, and you have a tropical retreat in your own backyard.

"You can save money on vacations by building your own vacation at home," Silver says.

If you prefer to be out in the woods, convert old tree stumps into a sitting area. Even an old pick-up truck can blend in with the decor.

"I love this vintage truck that has become part of the garden. It belongs to the designer's dad and the designer filled it with Sunbrella fabric pillows and straw bale and suddenly it's this stargazing platform," Silver says.

You can add your own chicken coop to provide you with fresh eggs. And you're a bit cramped inside your house add a tumbleweed tiny house to your yard. It is 172 square feet and it's a great way to add living space.

You can also have a desert modern garden. Low water plants combined with modern furnishings will give you an eco-chic garden that will make you the envy of the neighborhood. And finally, the city garden can give you peace and quiet in an urban space.

"One of the things I love most is how the designer has taken cinderblocks, which are pretty common sheet material, and dressed them up with a coat of paint," Silver says.

The garden exhibition is part of the "Sunset Celebration Weekend 2014: Next In The West" in Menlo Park this Saturday and Sunday. They'll also have cooking demonstrations and plenty of exhibitors.
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