Micro Gardening in Small Spaces

Small space gardens can be beautiful, abundant and low maintenance.

Make the most of the vertical space you have by layering.

The Micro Gardener blog is for people who want their own garden but only have a small space.

Urban gardeners with a windowsill, indoor pot, balcony, verandah, courtyard or not-so-squeezy backyard can all grow incredible edibles for the kitchen table, fragrant cut flowers or  vibrant colour, privacy screens and much more.

Whether you’re a beginner gardener or a ‘green thumb’, here you’ll learn tips and tricks about everything relating to gardening in small spaces including:

Most of us live busy lives in urban locations with limited time and energy to spend on the dream of a healthy beautiful garden.  One that seems to grow effortlessly almost on its own, that costs us virtually nothing, produces incredible volumes of food, flowers, fragrance and enviable looks from visitors and takes little time to manage or maintain!

A variety of vegetables freshly picked from our small garden

A variety of vegetables freshly picked from our small garden - eggplants, cucumber, zucchini, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, red onion and garlic


Is urban abundance an impossible dream? Based on my experiences, I certainly don’t think so!

We all have different visions of what our perfect garden looks like.  What do you want from your garden?


Think about your priorities.   Your likes and dislikes.

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • An abundant supply of nutrient dense organically grown food
  • Perfumed flowers and foliage

Repetition of  colour with these potted geraniums makes a bold statement

You may want colour all year round


  • A private retreat from indoors or the neighbours
  • Indoor pots for healthier air quality and serenity
  • A formal, neat and structural space
  • Organised chaos of diversity with habitat for birds and other creatures

Bill and Ben flowerpot men

Perhaps you want to add some humour with garden art or quirky collections


  • A child safe, edible and indestructible garden for kids
  • A medicinal herb garden
  • A privacy screen from the neighbours
  • Fruit or culinary herbs for the kitchen
  • A jar of sprouts

    Sprouting seeds in a jar

    Sprouting seeds in a jar is one of the easiest projects to get started with in a kitchen garden

  • Cut flowers for vases
  • Natives for habitat
  • A bird attracting garden


Treasure your small space


Whatever your dreams are – whether you are at the start of your journey, had some successes and failures or have been gardening all your life – a small garden can be incredibly rewarding.  One thing’s for sure:  downsizing has some distinct advantages and working with nature and plants in particular, is a very humbling experience.

I grew up in a temperature climate in Sydney, on a little over a quarter acre block with an incredibly productive garden.  Every space was designed to fulfil a particular function.  It was a garden on a budget but well thought out and planned.  There was room to play, a cubby house, the chicken coop, the vegie garden, fruit trees, compost bays, a burn pile, swings and shade trees to screen out nosy neighbours (there were lots of those!)

This was me as a toddler picking flowers near one of the many fruit trees in our backyard

This was me as a toddler picking flowers near one of the many fruit trees in our backyard. I developed a love of the outdoors from an early age.


Out of necessity, my parents grew just about all our fruit and vegie needs from our own backyard.  We picked homegrown flowers and made posies for the neighbours and friends.  We had fresh food, eggs and pet chickens to help connect us with nature.  At that time, I didn’t appreciate fully what an amazing heritage I was given.  What I took for granted as a child … I now treasure.


“It often happens to children – and sometimes to gardeners – that they are given gifts of value of which they do not perceive until much later.” –  Wayne Winterrowd

Kids salad garden in a box

I enjoy teaching children how to grow their own incredible edibles in a simple portable and colourful box garden


When I moved out of home and into a tiny unit with no balcony, it was a shock to the system to go from abundant green space to growing a few herbs on the windowsill and a couple of pot plants.  I moved like a veritable nomad over the years from units to townhouses and houses on both small blocks and acreage.  I had to have flexible gardening practices as I scaled up or down to suit the location.

After sixteen moves, from the temperate zone of Sydney in NSW to the tropics overseas and then back to the sub-tropics of Queensland, I’ve had time to reflect on all these gardening experiences – the successful ones and the dismal failures.  Mistakes have been opportunities to learn and observe and change.

I’ve come to realise bigger isn’t always betterMore space means more work! In fact, it can be incredibly liberating not having to worry about looking after a huge number of plants that you just don’t have time for.


“Just because you’ve only got houseplants doesn’t mean you don’t have the gardening spirit. I look upon myself as an indoor gardener.” ~Sara Moss-Wolfe

My small space gardens have enabled me to become a more creative gardener.  Adding personal preferences with garden art, colourful fragrant cut flowers for vases, heaps of herbs for the kitchen, hanging baskets and privacy screens on vertical trellises.


Your small garden should reflects your likes - grow what you love!

Add a little bit of your own personality to your garden - here shell mulch and colourful pots make a great display in a small space


Our family has slashed what we used to spend on fruit and vegetables by growing our needs in a compact space with thoughtful plant selection.  With the right techniques and tips, you can too. I encourage you to wander around this blog and explore some of the banquet on offer … I hope you find some inspiration and share your ideas here too.


Want to learn more? Consider some of the benefits of container gardening, check out some clever ways to save money with frugal gardening tips and be inspired with garden design ideas.


If you don’t want to miss future posts, subscribe to my newsletter at the top of the page (and grab your free eBook) or click on the RSS feed below or to the right.


Garden Art - Welcome to my garden sign

Welcome to my garden here at The Micro Gardener Blog

© Copyright Anne Gibson, The Micro Gardener 2010-2013 – All rights reserved.

28 responses so far

28 Responses to “Micro Gardening in Small Spaces”

  1. Helenon 07 Feb 2011 at 8:17 pm

    This is a wonderful site for information for the home gardener! A great help for encouraging children to understand nature. The site is colourful and inviting, and addresses so many interesting and topical aspects of home gardening. A real treasure!

  2. The Micro Gardeneron 09 Feb 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Thanks Helen for your feedback. There are plenty more articles on their way including more money saving ideas, problem solving Q&A from readers and some fun ideas specifically for kids gardens. Come back and visit again soon!


  3. Gardens for Kids | The Micro Gardeneron 19 Feb 2011 at 3:47 pm

    […] you liked this article, you might also like Inspirational Small Garden Ideas, Micro Gardening in Small Spaces or come along to one of my Small Garden […]

  4. […] more ideas on growing flowers and fragrance in small spaces, check out Micro Gardening and Inspirational Small Garden Ideas for lots of pictures […]

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  6. […] “Designing your garden space is even more important if you have a micro garden.” […]

  7. […] Plant Cages – there are many ways you can use these – some are filled with soil at the base and then planted with potatoes and covered with more compost or straw mulch as they grow; others are like the ones below, sitting on top of the soil or pots to contain the plants as they grow, providing them with an internal climbing frame.  Wire cages are a compact, frugal design idea for micro gardens. […]

  8. […] the solution might be right at your feet … so to speak!  If you’ve only got space for a micro garden, shoes make easy planters for herbs, shallow rooted leafy vegies and succulents that all do well in […]

  9. […] vertical gardening offers.  The advantages of vertical gardens really come into their own in micro garden spaces where options are very limited but as most people live in urban areas, clever design ideas […]

  10. […] When giving garden lessons to groups of school students I had to teach them a system to make tepees fast but one that would still last the distance!   I developed this quick, easy, cheap and fun way to make your own tepee and a practical way to grow climbers like beans, peas, tomatoes, cucumbers and eggplants in a compact space. […]

  11. […] at micro gardening in a pot?  If you are confused about what kind of pot or container to choose for your plants, […]

  12. […] Published by The Micro Gardener at 12:58 pm under Container Ideas,Repurposed Planters Short of space?  Renting or on the move and need a mobile garden solution?  Get a little inspiration from these ‘pick up and grow’ creative ideas for micro gardens. […]

  13. […] more inspiring ideas? Consider some of the benefits of container gardening, micro gardening in small spaces and be inspired with garden design […]

  14. Growing Your Own Food Without A Gardenon 20 Oct 2011 at 10:05 am

    […] In Containers, Without a Garden; Your Questions About Gardening Vegetables Tips […]

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  16. […] replace with some wire mesh nailed on for natural drainage and strength.  The possibilities for micro gardening in repurposed containers are only limited by your […]

  17. […] in particular are drawn to bright colours and they very much add to the appeal and interest in a micro garden or small […]

  18. […] I try to learn from and imitate natural systems in my own garden environment – both in my micro gardens (pots and containers) and raised beds. For example, in nature, there are a mix of naturally […]

  19. […] Growing a Garden in PotsImitate Nature for Higher Yields & Less Pests | The Micro Gardener on Micro Gardening in Small SpacesImitate Nature for Higher Yields & Less Pests | The Micro Gardener on Coping with Caterpillars […]

  20. […] can make a HUGE difference to the enjoyment of your garden space and particularly so, when it is a micro garden.  Designers use these principles all over the world to make spaces really stand out and visually […]

  21. 6 Easy DIY Container Garden Projects |on 31 Jan 2013 at 9:04 am

    […] Gardening,Container Ideas,How To Projects & Recipes,Portable Gardens,Repurposed Planters Micro Gardening in containers offers you SO many benefits but if you are a beginner or need some ideas to get […]

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    […] Related posts: Grow Sprouts on Your Benchtop | Growing Your Own Food from Seed | Micro Gardening in Small Spaces […]

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    […] at 3:03 pm under How To DIY Projects & Recipes,Repurposed Planters,Vertical Gardens As a Micro Gardener, I’m always looking for compact solutions for my garden. If you have limited time, money, […]

  24. […] and growing something tasty and nutritious to eat. One great blog about growing in small spots is The Micro Gardener.  You don’t need a green thumb, either. Some plants grow with little care other than some good […]

  25. […] Micro Gardening in Small Spaces […]

  26. […] There is great satisfaction in doing a small job well. Less IS often enough! There are loads of micro gardening options, like sprouts, microgreens and container gardens. Add one or two new edibles at a time, […]

  27. Kunbion 20 Feb 2015 at 2:26 am

    Hello,I loved everything I read on this page.kimdly let me know if it’s reall true that one can make a living growing microgreens.Is it okay to expect that people would buy and pay actual money for the microgreens.Please let me know with examples of people that have actually been successful.
    Thank you.

  28. Anne Gibsonon 20 Feb 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Kunbi you will have to research microgreens as a business. I don’t have statistics on this sorry! Good luck with your venture.

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