Very few people are lucky enough to own homes with rolling lawns and luxurious flower beds. Living in the city means you’re even less likely to boast a large square footage in the garden department. Unfortunately, living in a concrete jungle necessarily means that you’re unable to enjoy the foliage related benefits of living in an actual jungle.
But all is not lost, there are still plenty of ways to bring a little nature into your home. Even if you’ve only got a balcony or a very small space to contend with, that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge your green fingers.
If you love to garden, you shouldn’t let a small garden hold you back, and even if you don’t enjoy gardening, there’s no reason to leave a perfectly good balcony bare. Nurturing plant life is good for you, it’s good for the neighbours, and it’s good for the environment, so with that in mind, here are a few ideas for helping turn a small space into a green wonder.
This is probably the most fundamental of our small garden design ideas. If a small garden means that you can’t garden outwards, go vertical instead. Have you ever seen buildings with “green walls” – soil and plants built into the walls and growing vertically? You can apply the same idea to your balcony or small garden.
If you want to take the balcony garden jungle concept to its natural limits, you can literally redesign your walls to incorporate plant life. Obviously, you shouldn’t start knocking down your outer walls and replacing them with soil, but you can build a living wall on top of your existing walls.
If you’re a hydroponics expert or have a lot of free time, you can do this yourself. Alternatively, you can find plenty of services and shops online that provide living walls to businesses and homes.
These living walls are essentially built like normal walls around a structure that provides stability. Instead of being made of brick or wood, they are made from a growth medium that is able to support plant life. Seeds are then planted in the walls, and hey presto – a green wall that looks beautiful and helps improve air quality.
More complex green walls have hidden pipe mechanisms and others require hand watering. For your home, it’s probably best to go for the latter option.
There are some types of plant that are better suited to vertical growing than others, but there are an extensive range of flowers and herbs that will flourish when grown in this manner.
Green walls are an excellent way to economise on space and creatively tackle urban environmental issues, but you can take advantage of vertical space in other ways. When it comes to simple small garden ideas, a trellis has got to be high on the list. A trellis is a simple wooden grid structure, and you can find them at most garden stores.
You can grow lots of beautiful vines along these contraptions, and they are wonderful tools when making use of a small garden. An aromatic jasmin is particularly powerful when grown on a small city balcony.
Hanging pots are another frequent feature of small garden design. Instead of taking up floor space, you can hang pots from the roof, or from the wall, to take advantage of as much space as possible.
Look at the positive aspects of small garden design
If you’re a keen gardener it can sometimes be disheartening to limit your green fingers to balcony planters or a small garden. But there’s another way to look at the problem of a small garden, that is, as an opportunity. A big garden is actually somewhat cumbersome. It’s time consuming and expensive, and often difficult to properly fill.
The advantage of a small garden is that you can emulate that jungle vibe fairly easily. Without too much effort, you can fill a small space to the brim with plant life, giving the impression of abundance and real natural beauty.
Take advantage of the wall space with living walls, and cover every available surface with grow bags and pots. With limited resources you can achieve a lot in a small garden.
Of course, if you’re lucky enough to have a small garden space at all, you’ll want to spend as much time in summer as possible enjoying your little slice of jungle. To do so comfortably, and to enjoy meals or drinks outside with your friends, you’ll probably need furniture.
When considering a small garden balcony, you should probably opt for folding furniture that will allow you to take a versatile approach to space. The other thing to make sure of is that the furniture matches the style of your balcony space.
If you have wooden decking, you should opt for natural wood chairs, and if your balcony has more of a metallic style, try finding some wrought iron chairs. Again, both of these styles can be found in collapsible versions.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of small garden ideas and balcony ideas, but hopefully it gives you a taste of what you can achieve with a tiny garden space. Remember, gardening in a small space is a different ball game entirely, but there are plenty of opportunities to look forward to.