When you live in a small house or apartment, often, space is a constraint that prevents you from having a garden and experimenting with your green thumb. However, the lack of space shouldn’t discourage you from giving it a try. From vertical gardens to railing planters, the options are aplenty when you want to bring greenery into your home. Today, we present small garden ideas and designs that will help you to get started with growing a beautiful garden within a tiny space.
Like with all other gardens, to grow plants in small spaces, you need the three essential ingredients – sunlight, water and soil. If the space where you plan to design your garden doesn’t get too much sun, then you can choose plants that thrive in the shade. Similarly, if your balcony or window ledge doesn’t have a source for watering the plants, you can use a watering can or consider getting self-watering planters or drip irrigation. As for the soil, it depends on the variety of plants that you want to grow. When you are looking for garden ideas for small spaces, you should pick between growing vegetables or ornamental plants. While flowers bring beauty to a space, growing vegetables and herbs helps to get fresh produce to feed your family. Of course, you can have a combination of ornamental plants and vegetables.
Before you start growing in small spaces, the first step is to measure the area where you will place pots or planters. This will give you an idea about the size of the planter that is suitable for the space as well as type of plant you can grow. For example, if the space around the pot is restricted, then instead of a bush variety, choose a creeper or vine that can be trailed along the wall or a tall and lean plant.
Decide from where the water for the plants will come. Whether you use a watering can or a hose pipe, try to have a water source close to the garden so that you don’t get lazy with watering. Make space for garden tools, and don’t crowd the garden so much that there isn’t enough space for the gardener to work.
Consult a landscape architect or interior designer for advice on designing the space.
Space optimization is essential in a tiny garden. Whether you are looking at small garden pictures for ideas to beautify the narrow strips at the side of your driveway or are considering adding railing planters to bring greenery to your balcony, planning the layout of the space can help to make the design more efficient.
Here are some options:
Vertical garden: A green wall or a vertical garden refers to plants that are grown in a wall-mounted system. The advantage of a vertical garden is that it doesn’t take up floor space. It’s the best option when you are looking for very small garden ideas as all you need is a wall where you can grow plants. Of course, you need to choose the plants carefully as those with tiny roots are ideal. Additionally, installing drip irrigation for the vertical garden makes it a low-maintenance option for growing plants and bringing greenery to your home.
Railing planters: These are planters that can be hung on the balcony rail. They not only help to save floor space in a small balcony but can be used to grow flowering plants that add a splash of colour to your view from the living room or bedroom. Some railing planter designs include self-watering systems, which are an excellent option if you are worried about forgetting to water your plants.
Hanging planters: When you are looking for tiny garden ideas, hanging planters are another great option as you don’t need floor space for them. Hang them on hooks or frames from the ceiling. You can choose flowering plants such as petunia and geranium or foliage, depending on the amount of sunlight in the space.
Tiered planters: Creating tiers or layers is a well-known trick for making a small space appear larger than it is. Whether you use raised beds set at several levels or a tiered pot or planter, it gives you the option to grow more within the limited space. Choose plants carefully to ensure that the taller ones are grown in the higher planters so that they don’t block the sunlight from reaching the smaller plants.
Trellises: If you have limited floor space, growing creepers and vines is an excellent option. In addition to a pot or a planter, all you need is a trellis to trail the vine. This can help you to create a green curtain of privacy, if you want to protect your home from the prying eyes of neighbours or passers-by.
A vegetable garden is a functional option when you want to add greenery, as it gives you crops with which you can feed your family. The challenge with small space vegetable gardening is to pick the right type of plants to grow. Get advice from a landscape consultant to learn more about square foot gardening, companion planting, succession planting and other methods that make it easier to grow more crops within a limited space.
How do you pick the best vegetables to grow in small spaces?
Besides space, sunlight is essential for plants to grow. You should choose plants that will thrive in the natural light conditions within the area. For instance, cut and grow lettuce or herbs such as basil will be the ideal choice for small vegetable gardens with limited sunlight. Like with an ornamental garden, you can grow vegetables in tiered planters to increase the number of seedlings you can plant. Additionally, picking dwarf varieties or growing creeping vines such as beans and gourds ensure that you get a variety of crops from the tiny garden.
All it takes is a bit of creativity to grow a garden on a budget. You don’t have to invest a lot in pots and planters.
- Look around your home for cups or containers that can be used as planters. You will need to make a few holes for drainage and fill the planters with a potting mix before you sow seeds.
- Upcycle plastic soda bottles by placing them horizontally and cutting out a rectangular section out of the body. Fill it with soil and plant seeds.
- You can also make your own self-watering planters by cutting a plastic bottle in half, piercing a hole in the lid and passing through some twine or ribbon. Then, pour water in the bottom half and invert the top half so that the lid is immersed in the water. Fill it with soil and grow a plant. The ribbon or twine will wick water to the soil and keep it moist. All you need to do is replenish the water in the bottom half every few days.
- Grow bags are a cheap alternative to plastic and ceramic pots. They are also lighter, so you can easily move around plants to experiment with the spot that works best for them. Get bags with handles as they are easier to carry.
Get inspired by these clever small garden ideas and designs.