Start talking garden and most of us picture lush expanses of greenery, or maybe row upon row of planted vegetables. But what if you don’t have a big yard? Or your only outdoor space is a tiny balcony? Or there’s that awkward piece of dirt next to the driveway or garage. Whatever the reason, square footage doesn’t a garden make. Really, a garden is what you make it, and you can make it almost anywhere there’s enough sunlight to grow things. All you need is a little dirt, some organic seeds or plants, a way to water and a lot of creativity. The Urban Organic Gardener has an entire blog on managing a thriving vegetable garden – on a NYC fire escape!
Need some ideas to get inspired? That’s what we do! Whether you want a garden full of pretty plants or luscious edibles, we’ve got some creative ideas for where to grow.
If your only choice is a small balcony, you’re limited to container gardening, but that doesn’t mean you’re limited to pots sitting on the floor, or hanging on the rails. Hang planters from the eaves, or go vertical. Some industrious repurposes have even used reclaimed rain gutters or pipes as wall planters. How cool is that? And don’t overlook the stairs and stair railing if you’ve got steps leading up to your balcony or door.
Take a tip from our European friends and garden in your windows – inside and out. Herbs do amazingly well in small pots on a sunny windowsill and are easy to reach for kitchen use. Extend your garden with a window box, just make sure you can easily get to the plants for watering and care.
Anywhere there’s a little bit of outdoor space is a potential garden. How about that narrow strip of dirt next to the driveway, or the tiny patch between the sidewalk and the street, or that bare spot on your patio where a tree or post used to be? All are fair game for planting and can look gorgeous.
You can always go truly tiny with a hanging terrarium garden, all you need is a sunny spot and some pretty plants, or go plant a bonsai forest of redwoods that can live on your windowsill or desk. If you’re in a whimsical mood, why not create a collection of tiny fairy gardens in your containers and terraria. Your only limits are your imagination and the sunshine!
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