When I gave a presentation on Monday night I had a lot of questions about small space gardening. I am blessed to have almost too much garden and haven’t gardened in a small space in many years. I think that when you live in a condo or townhouse you need to come up with some unique eye-catching ideas to make your garden special. Planting ordinary plants won’t do when you want to make a statement and display your style of gardening. There is a need to think out of the box when it comes to small spaces. We have all had hanging baskets and containers but how can we go the extra mile to make our garden different?
Try to visit as many gardens as you can to get ideas. Joining a garden club that has tours to different gardens allows me to take photos of unique gardens. Above is one of my favourite planting ideas. Here they have used a pallet and planted it full of Primula. Once the Primula are finished you can add whatever plant you like depending on the season. This can be mounted to a fence or gate if you have the room and if you move, you can take it with you.
This homemade vertical planter was seen in a very small garden in Ladner. The gardener had built individual planters on a frame to hold herbs. They mounted it along the back fence where it would get the most sun. This small garden was no larger than a townhouse garden but was packed with plants, a waterfall and pond. You could have some fun with this planter by using blackboard paint and indicating which herb is which. Always remember when creating a vertical garden like this that you can access the garden to harvest your herbs. Try placing a few stepping stones between in ground plants to create a path.
I don’t recall where I took this photo but it is definitely the first time I have seen an old washing machine with flowers in it. Sometimes we need to think out of the box by using art and antiques to add a bit of fun and uniqueness to our gardens. You can often transform a garage sale item into a piece of art for the garden.
For condo dwellers, gardening doesn’t have to end just because your patio is tiny. Think about planting up unusual containers like tea pots, pottery or kettles with the flowers of your choice. Place them at different heights using stands, crates or tables. Hanging a mirror behind your plant display will make your garden look larger than it really is.
Try repurposing an old cracked bird bath into a container for the garden. I like to plant succulents in a bird bath as they don’t mind the shallow soil and don’t require as much watering as other plants.
So think vertical in small spaces and repurpose old containers to make one of a kind planters that won’t break the bank. Try to use plants in containers with more than one season of interest. A plant that has great foliage, flowers and berries will reward you all year long. Above I have featured a blueberry plant as an example of a plant with more than one season of interest. It has tiny white flowers in spring, fruit in summer and this amazing red fall colour.