An essential guide for the urban gardener
It’s a common misconception that you need acres of land to grow your own food. Portable containers, crates or pots are a great way to grow lettuces, tomatoes, peppers, beans and Asian greens like Pak Choi.
Connecting two beds with a decorative arbor also helps create a showpiece and gives vines, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, or squash, a place to climb. A lean-to greenhouse is also a great space-saving option to extend the growing season.
Forming different zones with things like a small growing patch, sitting area or pebbled miniature zen garden will help create the illusion of space. Keep seating low for a cocooning effect and anchor corners with larger plants.
Matching your outdoor furniture with the same décor theme in your kitchen or living room will help to blur the distinction between indoors and out. Weather-resistant mirrors can also accentuate a sense of space and reflect sunlight into shadier areas.
An urban garden doesn’t have to be outside. Besides purifying the air in our homes, they also have great aesthetic value and retailers are now stocking a wide variety of both plants and display products such as terrariums, hanging baskets and terraces.
Succulents are a great option for beginners because they require little TLC – try Echeveria with its rainbow-coloured leaves, Dudleya with its chalky powder colouring and Crassula with its braid-like geometric patterns.
If you fancy a challenge, Calatheas also known as the Zebra plant for its beautiful stripped leaves, needs regular watering, misting and feeding during the growing season
Create a micro nature reserve to let your mind escape to the country. Simple additions such as bird baths, brightly-coloured flowers, log piles and bee bricks will encourage flying friends to visit you.
The presence of birds, butterflies and bees will also support your ecosystem, keeping plants healthy and encourage pollination.
Storing your gardening tools can be complicated in a small space. To keep your urban garden tidy, try installing a wood-cladded or rattan storage box which can be used as a bench in the summer months with the addition of a few throw pillows. A lick of pastel paint will instantly make this a statement feature.