City life is hectic – the noise, the fast pace and the stress of being surrounded by thousands of other people can make an outdoor oasis of your own a much-desired luxury. But how can you create that haven from modern life when you’re limited by space and layout?
As a city gardener, you often need to be more imaginative with your design and landscaping materials to achieve the same effects as gardeners with bigger outdoor spaces. Living in the city, you are often limited by an awkward layout and a small outdoor area such as a balcony or roof, with not much space – we’ve put together some inspirational tips to help you maximise your urban garden and reconnect yourself with the natural world.
By planning your bijou outdoor space before you begin implementing that creative vision, you’ll be better equipped to maximise its potential. Using our free online software will allow you to make decisions about the layout and style you like before committing to the most suitable products to achieve them.
Light up your life
Whether it’s simple spike beacons embedded in soil, wall lights drawing the eye to your most beautiful plants or easily installed LEDs giving you softness as well as versatility, great outdoor lighting can introduce a warm ambiance and make a space appear much larger than it actually is.
Poor quality soil is the bane of urban gardeners’ lives. One way to solve this issue is to choose raised beds, which you can fill with nutrient-rich compost to give your plants the best chance of thriving in the city.
Vertical planters are essential, so don’t restrict yourself to standard pots. Almost any container can be converted to hold beautiful blooms – aluminium buckets hung from silver chains, brightly coloured plastic pipes cut lengthways or retro tea caddies can all be repurposed. Just remember to add drainage holes.
Choose shade lovers
Unless you’re lucky enough to have a sun trap, your compact city space will probably be a shady area for much of the day. Plants like fuchsias, hydrangeas and some geraniums will all respond well to shade and inject a bolt of colour to your space.
Come into the fold
Fold-up furniture is an easy way to maximise what little space your have at your disposal. Affordable wooden furniture painted in pastel colours quickly transforms your garden into a welcoming open air dining area.
Hang it all
If you’ve the right type of space, why not secure a few beams across the boundary walls of your green urban oasis? Once in place, these can be used to hang a range of items, from traditional baskets to contemporary sculptural and mirrored artworks.
Pave the way
Indoors, using the same flooring material throughout the inside of your house creates an illusion of space. The same is true for the outdoors – using a quality paving across your space will make every corner work that bit harder for you. You can take this one step further and create a seamless flow from the inside to the outside of your house by choosing the same material for both spaces. Marshalls Symphony Vitrified paving is perfect for this on-trend style.
A small urban garden can be an excellent opportunity to get creative and pull out all the stops to make yourself a green rural retreat in the very heart of the city. By using a few key design tricks and working cleverly with the space you have, you can enjoy a glimpse of the natural world every day.