Gardener Kate Podobinski shares her tips for making the most of a small city plot.

• Design a curving pathway so you aren't able to see the gardens all at once. "It tricks the eye and makes you think the garden is bigger than it is," she said.

• Plant smaller ornamental trees that anchor the landscape but don't overshade or overpower the yard.

• Choose plants that create a constant flow of color and texture that blend together to give the feeling of a vast garden.

• Experiment with color combinations that are pleasing to your eye.

• The Podobinskis put up a wrought-iron arbor draped with wisteria to give the illusion of more gardens on the other side. It actually leads to the driveway and alley.

• If a plant doesn't thrive, or you don't like it, replace it. "Space is precious," she said.