WHEN I WROTE about gardens for this magazine’s (now-retired) NW Living feature, I often came across small, beautiful gardens I wanted to feature.

Find inspiration in our own backyard through 3 smaller-scale, DIY Seattle gardens

This week, I’m thrilled to highlight a handful of compact, local garden spaces — parts of a yard, versus an entirely composed landscape. These gardens make a big impact without a big budget, imprint or effort.

I chose these three gardens for a few reasons: I wanted to present atypical garden spaces, I wanted to steer clear of anyone who used outside help to design or build their spaces, and I wanted to show you ideas that would be easy to incorporate into your own garden plans.

My hope is that anyone reading this will be inspired and encouraged to get out there and try to plant something.

All of the gardeners in this week’s cover story express this in different ways — the beauty found in experimentation, and learning from mistakes. That is my wish for all of you, as we move into another cycle of staying close to home: Next time you’re craving a break from the monotony, head out to your garden, whatever shape and size it is, and be inspired.