Gardening doesn’t have to be for country dwellers who have actual ‘gardens’ - anyone can exercise their green fingers.
All you need is a bit of imagination and creativity to turn even the most bland concrete outdoor space into a beautiful, plant-filled sanctuary.
Here are our favourite hacks for urban gardeners:
1. Egg shell plant pots
Making the most of your tiny urban garden means choosing decorative and interesting pots for your little plants and choosing mini varieties to do them justice.
Egg shells work wonderfully for succulents, look adorable and take up very little space.
2. Grow potatoes in a bucket
Small spaces don’t have to prevent you growing a successful vegetable garden. Try growing potatoes in specially-designed buckets. Perfect for not messing up your concrete lawn.
3. Reclaim, reclaim, reclaim
With a tiny garden, you need to be creative with space, growing things from every nook and cranny possible. Increase your crannies by reclaiming old wooden pallets (you can usually find them at garden centres and even supermarkets), then grow between the slats. The wood will give your garden a cute shabby-chic feel.
4. Vertical garden
If you’re really pushed for space, the best thing you can do is grow upwards. Plants are pretty clever, they’ll always grow towards the light so you can plant them flat to the wall and they’ll grow outwards and upwards, creating a beautiful living work of art.
Our favourite example is to attach a wooden box to the wall, full of soil and planted with succulents (they tend to be some of the hardiest and hardest to kill so great for imperfect growing conditions). Cover the box with chicken wire to keep the soil in and watch the plants grow to create wonderful patterns.
Speaking of growing upwards, a painter’s ladder is perfect for raising your growing space. Either turn each rung into a flower bed by adding wooden sides to the step, or simply use them as a space to keep more pots.
6. Grow in a canoe
For a quirky flower bed - whether you live on water or not - fill a kid’s mini canoe with soil and use it as growing space. If you live on or near water you can float it to give you extra space, and if you don’t, attach it to your balcony or hang from the ceiling or fence.
7. Corner garden
We said use every inch of space and that means making the most of your corners. Instead of jamming lots of plant pots together, which inevitably leaves gaps you can buy some triangle planters that fit right into the corners.
Build them in tiers so that you can get as many plants in as possible.
8. Hanging gardens (of Babylon)
Once you’ve used all your corners, your walls, shoved a ladder in and a canoe, the next frontier is the ceiling.
There are some gorgeous modern hanging planters now, in geometric shapes, that will make your mini garden look stylish and allow you to grow on all levels.
(We love these on Etsy.)
9. Jar herbs
These have to be our favourite option to adorn your walls, and as some herbs have the tendency to spread like wildfire, it allows you to keep them contained.
10. Grow in a chair
If you don’t have much space, do something unique and different with what you do have - grow a garden in the upholstery of an old chair.
11. The mini-est urban garden
If you really have absolutely no space, you can make a miniature Japanese-style garden in a single pot.
All you have to do is choose some tiny plants (cactuses work well), stones and ornaments and arrange them as you like.
Go forth and grow!