The Inner Gardener

Inner City Gardening for the Soul

Using the space you’ve got (Part 2) 05/06/2012

In the inner city areas, and many other places, the space set aside for the domestic gardens is continually shrinking. Despite this lack of space and the tendency for denser living and a smaller average personal space compared to 20  years ago, human beings will always have the urge to nurture and grow. Even one or two plants in the tiniest of spaces can provide aesthetic and psychological benefits.

Imagine this scene without the flaming red rose.

In many other countries the phenomenon of tight urban living has been occurring for a very long time. Perhaps we can learn from examples of overseas gardening in restricted spaces.

With apartment living being the most common form of accomodation in many cities and towns, the balcony, or if you are lucky enough a rooftop often becomes the only outdoor spot to enjoy the day and to grow a garden. There are lots of clever ways to achieve this.

A Rolls Royce Parisian rooftop garden, complete with cubby bouse!

Simpler but still as effective are these balcony gardens in Spain.

A tiny balcony becomes something special with a selection of vibrant hardy flowering plants contrasting against the white walls.

On tiny ‘balconettes’ in Granada, Spain there is still room for the beauty of plants.

This gardener has managd to fit a mandarin tree on this little balcony in Spain. Not only stunning but productive too.

Window boxes are another popular way of using every last inch of space. Plant selection is important in these spaces as conditions can be very harsh, especially at higher levels.

France – now that is using every bit of space. Note the good plant choices (succulents) for a spot that could get quite hot during the day

Here in a town in Burgundy, the stairway is utilised to its full potential to display potted colour. A welcoming entrance for visitors.

A stairway in Paris used to effectively display a selection of plants, leading to the front door.

A potted topiary garden in Belgium. Pots also allow the garden to be portable for relocation in winter, if necessary.

In this small street in Paris there is even room to allow this vine to grow, virtually out of a crack in the pavement!

This beautiful tiered plant stand in a garden in Ireland allows efficient use of the vertical space.

Another example of tiering or terracing to make use of the vertical space (Paris).

In Australia, we have the good old ubiquitous nature strip or verge which is underutilised as a a garden space. Just remember to plan for car parking when designing a verge garden.

As you can see, with a bit of imagination and adaptation of ideas from other countries, there is always a way to fit some plants into your space.