Things to Consider When Cultivating an Inner City GardenColin Campbell-Preston
You might think that your tiny inner city flat doesn’t have enough outdoor space for growing delicious food, pretty flowers, or stunning foliage, but a little imagination can make even the smallest space into a garden wonderland. There are all kinds of things that you need to take into consideration when you’re making a garden in the city, but a little bit of work can go a long way in small spaces.
From choosing the right plants to investing in the right tools, the little things can make all the difference. Our guide will give you the lowdown on all the things you need to think about to get you started and before you know it your tiny outside space will be transformed into a beautiful garden.
When you’re trying to make the most of a small space, it’s important to plan how your garden should be planted. Bad planning can make a small space look even smaller, which is obviously something you want to avoid when you’re planting a garden in a limited inner city space. Most plants will grow and spread out over time, so leaving space for them to expand will stop your small garden from looking overcrowded. Designing in open areas to enjoy your garden is also a good way of making the space feel bigger, and leaving more open space than you usually would will allow your plants room to grow.
Larger plants can quickly overwhelm a small plot, so think about the space you have to create your garden before you invest in that fruit tree. Choosing small plants will allow your garden to have plenty of variety without feeling like it has been crammed into the space. If you have your heart set on a larger plant, consider making it a centrepiece of the garden with smaller plants in the rest of the space. One sweeping climber can be a visually dramatic feature, where several look as though nature has started to take over.
Use Your Surfaces
One of the best ways to make the most of a small space is to think outside of the flowerbox and use every surface that is available. From a well-sized windowsill to a tall garden fence, there are plenty of spaces that can house plants to make the most of your garden without taking up limited floor space. Window boxes and flower pouches are good ways to make use of surfaces and are easy to cultivate. Choosing climbing plants is also a great way to make use of trellising, fencing, or even the side of a shed. There are all kinds of plants and vegetables that like to climb, so you can choose from some stunning foliage or a delicious edible.
If space is at a premium, and especially if you are in rented accommodation that doesn’t allow for attaching things to walls and fences, then you should consider tall planters. With multiple levels and a minimal base size, these are the perfect solution for the inner city garden. You can buy ready-made ones from your local garden centre, or even just make your own using different sized pots stacked on top of one another. Plants like strawberries do particularly well in this type of pot, as it keeps them out of the reach of predators. Consider layering up succulents, trailing flowers, and edible leaves for a visually interesting display.
Make it Edible
You might think that growing edibles isn’t possible in an inner city garden, where you don’t have room for raised beds and a greenhouse. With a little bit of clever planning, however, you can grow a whole host of delicious fruits, vegetables, and herbs in your city garden. Window boxes are perfect for filling with salad leaves, pea shoots, and chillies, whereas hanging wall pouches make for perfect herb growing conditions. Climbing vegetables such as Tromba squash will thrive in a small garden with a high wall or fence and grow a tasty, unusual crop.
The Right Tools
Investing in the right tools for your small garden will make all the difference, taking the hard work out of the regular cultivating it will need. Hand tools are best for gardening in raised beds, containers and window boxes, so things like a trowel and hand pruners are a must. A decent pair of gardening gloves are also essential, as they will protect your hands while you’re keeping up with your garden chores. As you won’t usually need to move large quantities of soil, a good sturdy bucket should meet all your carrying needs in the urban garden. Consider investing in a good storage box for all your garden tools, as many urban homes don’t have space for outdoor equipment.
For everything you need to get started on your inner city garden, as well as some tip top expert advice, why not pop down to one of Capital Gardens’ three store locations? Our Plant People know a thing or two about making the most of a small space and our garden centres have everything you need to make a beautiful garden of your own.