If you live in the concrete jungle, having your own private green space can seem like a bit of a pipe dream. Small spaces, lack of light, high rise living and a hectic work schedule are just some of the challenges that the urban gardener faces, but if you’re willing to put in the thought and effort, establishing an inner city garden gives can be incredibly rewarding. This week, we look at five things to keep in mind if you’re considering taking on the challenge of urban gardening.
Be realistic about what you can do
First and foremost, you need to be realistic about what you have time to do, and the resources you have available. Gardens of any size need to be tended to several times a week, so only plant as much as you can take care of.
Start small and expand as you learn
The urban environment is quite different to a suburban backyard, so different species of plants are naturally going to thrive in these spaces. Low light from skyscrapers and the urban heat effect are two of the most obvious variables that you’ll need to take into account, but the best way to learn about what thrives in your garden is through experimentation. Start with woody, low maintenance plants and then gradually expand to more delicate specimens as you learn more about the growing conditions.
Size doesn’t matter
Most inner city homes don’t have the space or sunlight to achieve the cumulative layered effect of a garden bed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a statement with your greenery. Look for colourful foliage and strong shapes if you want a plant that makes a statement, or group smaller plants of a similar size and shape together in a vertical planter to create a wall of green.
Get creative about creating green spaces
In the city, direct sunlight is a precious commodity, so you may have to do away with the traditional notion of a garden as being a fixed space and let sunlight dictate your approach instead. Identify all the places in your home that get sun between six and seven hours a day, and then come up with creative ways to utilise this sunlight. A frosted bathroom window for example, is the perfect place to grow moisture loving plants like ferns and bromeliads, whilst high windows in entranceways can look fantastic with a hanging plant that cascades downwards like chain of hearts or string of pearls.
Prestige Concrete Services are established concrete contractors in Melbourne. We offer a range of quality decorative surfacing solutions for outdoor spaces of all sizes. To learn more about our services, please call 0411 440 157.