Less is More: Why We Need To #GreenYourScene In Small Spaces

Less is More: Why We Need To #GreenYourScene In Small Spaces

Do you want a beautiful landscape, but think your space is too small? Well, we at John Mini want to tell you that micro landscapes are not only possible, but are critical for enhancing our towns and cities.

The awe-inducing nature of professionally executed, small landscapes are a cornerstone of garden design. Beginning with the ancient Persian gardens, water was harnessed into a quadrant that ultimately delivered the visitor to a focal point of respite. The effect of the dramatic scale and masterful engineering of these gardens can be achieved with the greening of small space by simply applying the same thoughtful intentions. Urban environments, where large open spaces are a luxury for both indoor and outdoor landscapes, dramatically benefit from the concept of greening small spaces. The range of style possible within the designs can suit any aesthetic if the appropriate proportions and materials are selected.

These days, more and more people live and work in urban environments. The small spaces within these unique cityscapes are filled with immense potential, and it is our goal at John Mini to reveal the green opportunities hidden in these untapped spaces. The beauty and the benefits of nature may be lost in that sea of concrete. On the flip side, subtle and purposeful touches of nature in a sea of concrete create exponential impact.

Humans possess an innate desire connect with nature. We have a natural affinity towards other living things, and plants are certainly no exception. The cityscape is appealing in its own rights, but deprive yourself of nature and you’ll quickly find yourself longing for it. Even a touch of greenery in an otherwise sparse area can have a significantly positive effect on mood and promote a relaxing environment.

A design approach we are particularly fond of for small spaces is blending and “down-sizing” ecosystems in order to create unique and eye-catching displays. In small outdoor gardens, it is possible to make dynamic landscaping compositions through carefully grading multiple environments into one another. An example of this design concept would be duplicating the palette of a wetland but then bordering it with a mini meadow. This allows for gorgeous displays that can bring the beauty of multiple locales to a space of any size. Our team amplifies the visitor’s experience by precisely defining the contrasting environments, and applying the design principles of pooling and channeling explored in Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture.

Indoor, a similar approach is utilized to direct the attention of guests and employees alike. These methods, however, have their own individual draws that are possible only for the captive audience of an indoor arrangement. In small indoor spaces, terrariums are what steal the show. With proper proportioning and a masterful use of negative space, even a desktop sized garden can transport viewers to lush forests and rugged mountain tops.

There is more to small-scale landscaping than just aesthetics. Green spaces have just as much function as they do form, and smaller ones are no exception. Plants improve air quality and make spaces pleasantly cooler, an effect which is more pronounced in a small urban area. In addition, plants reduce noise pollution. It’s easy to see how these qualities are both particularly beneficial in an urban environment, as noise and poor air quality are often cited issues.

At John Mini Distinctive Landscapes, we believe everyone should be able to have an appealing landscape. If you think your building or business just doesn’t have the room, we’ll guide you through creative solutions. John Mini has the passion and the know-how to green your scene no matter the size, so you can trust us to deliver displays that dazzle anywhere you need them.



Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate, Edinburgh, Scotland, P. Carrer, D. Alcini and D. Cavello, 1999, Vol. 1, 129-134. Tarran, J, Orwell, R, Burchett, M, 2007. Proceedings of 6th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality, Ventilation & Energy Conservation-Sustainable Built Environment, Sendai, Japan, Oct. Vol. III, pp 249-256.

John Mini Distinctive Landscapes

John Mini Distinctive Landscapes

With over 40 years of experience pushing the limits of landscaping, John Mini designs, constructs and maintains indoor, outdoor, and holiday landscapes for corporate and commercial clients in the Tri-State area.