In your dreams, you have a garden that stretches as far as your eye can see. You grow your own fruit and vegetables; can walk through a riot of colour of summer flowers; can inhale the heady fragrance of honeysuckle and jasmine as they climb over your huge potting shed.
That’s the dream, anyway – the reality can be very different. How do you cope if you’re a gardener with no garden, or at least, only a very limited space to work in? It’s a reality that many people find themselves facing, especially if they are forced to live in urban locations due to work commitments. Do you just have to surrender your greenthumbed desires until you move to somewhere more suitable, or can you make the most of the space you have and still achieve some of your garden dreams?
Never fear – the latter is possible. There’s no denying that working a garden in a small space isn’t the easiest of tasks, but there are definitely options to ensure you get your garden time even when confined by a lack of space.
If you can’t spread your plants wide in a horizontal fashion as most large gardens tend to do, then you need to take advantage of the vertical space. Any kind of structure will suffice, provided it has multiple levels on which you can rest pots and containers. You can buy purpose-built stands, a full lean to greenhouse to take advantage of existing wall space, or just cobble a free-standing structure together using pallets if you’re looking for a cheaper option.
With this option you are going to be restrained to growing things that can be grown in pots, but that’s not quite as limiting as you might think. Corn, for example, responds well to pot growing, and there’s also a multitude of herbs that will do as well in a pot as they would in the ground.
If space is at a premium, then you need to make the most of what you have. Companion planting can be an excellent way of doing this. A simple read through of which seeds to plant where can allow you to create a garden that complements itself at every turn. This helps not only to ensure that you get the best yield from your plants, but done correctly can also provide you with natural repellents against insects and pests that you might otherwise have to use pesticides to tackle.
You might associate window boxes with bright blooms rather than planting vegetables, but they can be used for any purpose. Of course, a stunning array of flowers in a window box is wonderful in and of itself if you want to go down that route!
If you want to plant fruit and vegetables in a window box, then look for those with shallow roots such as kale or strawberries. As a window box is more attractive to birds than ground planting, always ensure you use horticultural netting to prevent any pesky feathered foes stealing your homegrown delights!
So there you have it; gardening, but not quite as you know it. No matter how much space you have available, there’s always something you can do to get your gardening fix.
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post.