Gardening is a hobby that can deliver fresh food, beautiful flowers, a connection to nature, and a sense of calm. Not everyone has the luxury of gardening in an expansive outdoor space, however. The convenience and affordability of apartments, condominiums and shared spaces can often come with the compromise of little or no outdoor space to call your own.
Having said that, it’s possible to embrace small space gardening, no matter how tiny your outdoor space is.
Perfect small space gardening projects
Here are ten unique ideas for gardening in small spaces that will help you embrace nature and greenery in your home.
1. Creative Container Gardening
Concrete may cover your tiny patio, but container planting is a method of small space gardening that gives you lots of scope to grow flowers and vegetables.
Think beyond plastic containers: you could use hollow tree stumps, earthen pots, hanging flower baskets, or weathered wooden crates. You could even upcycle an old teapot, sink or a pair of wellies to create a unique and thrifty container.
The presence of natural materials and plants will quickly transform a cold, bare patio into a lush, inviting area to relax.
2. Garden Trellis Panels
Build a cosy outdoor space by using trellis to block out noise and provide privacy. If you’d prefer to avoid a major DIY project you can buy freestanding trellis panels in a range of sizes.
Once your trellis is installed, add flowering climbing plants to make a colourful statement and provide additional privacy. Great climbing plants include clematis, honeysuckle, trumpet vine, passion flower and ivy.
3. Raised planters on your porch
Raised beds allow you to play with height in your garden, and they’re a great way to make use of every inch of space.
For example, if you have steps leading up to your front porch, fill them with pots and planters to green up the entrance to your home. Make sure your pots have drainage holes in the bottom to keep your plants happy.
When it comes to plants for raised beds, there’s a huge range to choose from. From herbs to grasses to perennials, you can bring life to any small space gardening area. Here are some suggestions to get you started.
- Insect-repellant plants and grasses
- Bundles of herbs that provide scent
- A mix of wildflowers that are attractive to pollinating insects
You can decorate your porch planters for upcoming holiday seasons as well. Tiny LED lights will add a festive look to evergreen branches in the winter and sprawling ivy in the spring.
Another idea for planters on porches is to place them immediately below a window, so that your plants will be visible from indoors too.
4. Artful Indoor Air Plants
Not all plants need compost and pots. Air plants, or Tillandsias, are brilliant for small space gardening indoors, because you can tuck them into tight spots and incorporate them into wall decor without taking up valuable floor or shelf space.
Without the bother of soil and water, these little plants are perfect for adding colour and texture to tiny spaces. They’re low maintenance too: a few hours of sunlight and temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit is all the care that an air plant needs. Tuck them into seashells, hang them in a glass globe, mount them in a wall planter, or use them to decorate the soil around an orchid or cactus.
5. Window Box Gardening
You don’t need a garden to embrace small space gardening outside your home. New window boxes provide an easy way to grow plants throughout the year, while also improving your home’s kerb appeal.
Perennial plants can showcase the outside of your home for many years, but you can also add in seasonal bedding plants to give your displays a boost of colour.
You can use seasonal decorations here too. For example, ferns, evergreens, poinsettias, pinecones and twinkling lights are a few simple ideas that can be used to decorate your window boxes during autumn and winter.
6. Small Space Vegetable Gardening
Even the smallest outdoor plot can provide lots of fruit and vegetables. Plants that grow up and not out are a great option for a small vegetable garden; tomatoes, runner beans and peppers all work well. Bear in mind that you may need to provide some plant supports such as canes or trellis to keep things looking good and ensure your plants provide a good crop.
If you don’t have a patch of earth to work with, you can grow your veggies in containers. My post on ten easy vegetables to grow in pots has lots of tips and plant suggestions for the best vegetables to grow in small spaces.
7. Small space herb garden
A herb garden is one of the most compact ways to grow your own. You can create a herb garden using plant pots, go for a clever vertical system to save on space, or create a windowsill herb garden indoors.
Make sure you check the ideal growing conditions for each variety of herb before you start planting. Some prefer free-draining soil, while others like more damp conditions. And don’t plant mint in the same container as other herbs – it will quickly take over and crowd everything else out!
If you can, position your herb garden within easy reach of the kitchen, so it’s quick and easy to harvest your herbs while you’re cooking.
8. Vertical Medicinal Herbs
Fancy a simple DIY project? How about creating a hanging herb garden first-aid kit?
To make this, secure a pegboard to a sunny area in your kitchen, patio or living space. Add hooks or brackets to hold individual pots of medicinal herbs such as turmeric, lemon balm, spearmint and echinacea.
Because herbs are perfect for small space gardening, you can try your hand at several different natural medicinal aids without taking up too much room. You might like to branch out into growing your own herbal teas too; chamomile, lemon verbena and mint are all good options.
9. Hanging planters
Container plants don’t have to sit on the ground. You can use hanging baskets and pots to create a stunning display indoors or out.
Outdoor hanging baskets are ideal for creating a mini wildflower patch, an edible feast of strawberries or salad, or simply a stunning display of seasonal flowering plants. The small scale also makes them perfect garden projects to do with children.
For a hanging display indoors, you could go for a suspended plant pot or a wall-mounted planter. Group a few plants together to create a display with real wow factor.
10. Gardening Cubes
This is a great upcycling project for a small garden. Simply buy some plastic storage cubes, drill drainage holes in the bottom, and turn each one into a planter. You can stack your planters to create lots of impact in a tiny space, or choose a variety of coloured cubes for a bright, modern display. And if you decide to move home you can take the whole thing with you!
Hopefully these small space gardening ideas have given you lots of inspiration on how to create a beautiful garden when you don’t have much room. Do you have a small space gardener hack to add to this list?