Having a garden at home doesn’t need to be a luxury for only those who live in bungalows. “There’s no space” is a common excuse for apartment owners, to deprive themselves of the pleasures of having a garden. However, ‘no space’ is too small for a garden. A garden can be designed anywhere; in a parking lot, on the rooftop, against the walls, and even in narrow corridors both inside and outside of a house. Gardens can even be a part of specially designed furniture, such as garden panels on table tops or mass gardens in trays.
Small gardens can be grown in a number of ways. The key to making a small garden work is to use space effectively. When designing such gardens, scale is one of the most important factors. The size of plants should be directly proportional to the size of your garden space. So, avoid bushy plants in narrow corridors. Lighting is another vital factor in designing a successful corridor garden. The type of plants you can introduce will depend on the corridor’s level of exposure to sunlight.
Corridors are usually too narrow to grow a lawn, but are ideal spaces for rock gardens. Rock gardens possess natural rugged beauty and are easy to maintain. Rock gardens are typically designed on mounds or slopes but can be planned on flat land as well. The first step to creating a rock garden is to arrange rocks of different sizes in a scattered natural setting. Fill soil in the pockets between rocks and plant a few draught friendly plants.
For an indoor rock garden, you could try designing a Japanese Zen garden with rocks and gravel. Rake the gravel to create interesting patterns and adorn it with a single plant.
From delicate flowers to tall bamboo, there is hardly a plant that can’t be grown in a pot or container. With containers, even the narrow corridor leading to a bathroom can be given a green touch. To avoid clutter, choose long rectangular containers for corridors. You can also place pots on a long rectangular table which is set against the corridor wall.
There’s no rule that says a container can’t have more than one plant grown in it. Check with your local nursery to find out which plants complement each other and grow them together in a container. While choosing plants, pick varieties that differ in terms of heights, forms and textures. Container gardens are also a good way of growing herbs in your kitchen corridor.
Even the narrowest corridor has wall space that can be transformed into a garden. A trellis is the easiest way to create a vertical garden in a corridor. Wooden crates stacked on top of each other can also be used to create a vertical garden. Sleek wall mounted planters are another great option for narrow corridor gardens. Vertical gardens in corridors can also act as wall art. Take a hint from this aesthetic wall garden with mirrored water feature from Evergreen Trees & Shrubs, garden and landscape suppliers in United Kingdom. To grow an artistic green wall, you can also use a frame made of plastic and fabric. Rock lilies, ferns, bromeliads and orchids are a few plants that are well suited for vertical gardens.
One of the ways to save floor space is to go for hanging gardens. If you feel your balcony or corridor space is too narrow to place containers, try suspending narrow or small planters from the ceiling. Creating a suspended garden is an easy weekend DIY project and can be designed to suit small budgets. Choose lightweight pots for your suspended garden and avoid ceramic or terracotta containers.
When planning a suspended garden, hang planters at varying heights to create interest. You could also suspend a series of pots below each other to create a natural curtain. Petunias, lavenders, impatiens and many varieties of the Wandering Jew are ideally suited for growing in suspended containers.
When designing a narrow corridor, you can try to explore beyond traditional garden ideas. Why not dig out a section and create a water channel? Sometimes all you need is a rectangular container sunk into the ground and bordered with stone tiles to add an aquatic element to your design.
To beautify it further, scatter pebbles at the bottom and grow a few floating plants. You can even add a few fishes if the water body is large enough. Alternatively, you can excavate a section of the corridor and line it with plastic to create a faux pond. For indoor corridors an aquatic garden can be created using large cement containers. Along with lotuses, water hyacinth and water cabbages can be grown and maintained with ease.
Staircases are not only meant for connecting different floors; they can also be good spots for planning small gardens. The area under or next to a staircase is often the most underutilised space in most homes. And it is ideal for growing a green patch. Planters and pots can be easily arranged in these spaces for both indoor as well as outdoor staircases. With a bigger budget you can also design an indoor pond with floating plants in such areas. You can place a planter along the railing at the end of each tread. Choose a bunch of identical plants, or a mix of different textures, shapes and sizes for visual interest.
Accessorize your corridor garden to complete the look. Mirrors when strategically placed can make a space look much bigger than it is. If it’s an open corridor, then a small birdhouse will invite birds to your garden. You can also install wind chimes to create a musical garden! Planter sticks with cute animal and insect motifs can be used to add colour and cheer to your corridor garden. Whatever you choose to use for ornamentation, ensure it reflects the style of your home interiors. By doing this, the garden will look connected to the home and the entire space will attain a harmonious look.
For more inspiring gardening ideas, you can take a look at this ideabook – Design ideas for small city gardens.