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

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

Many people have the challenge of gardening in small spaces. If you’re short on time, space, energy or money, don’t despair! There are many options you can try, even if you have limited room to grow a garden.

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’, on this site 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. One that costs us virtually nothing; produces incredible volumes of food; flowers; fragrance; and enviable looks from visitors but takes little time to 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.

Ideas for Gardening in Small Spaces

  • 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 or tray of microgreens.

    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 Garden

 

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. Working with nature and plants in particular, is a very humbling experience.

I grew up in a temperature climate in Sydney, Australia 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 vegetable 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 vegetable 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. I went 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.

I’ve moved sixteen times – from the temperate zone of Sydney in NSW to the tropics overseas and then back to the subtropics 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, 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.

 

 

Garden Art - Welcome to my garden sign

Welcome to my garden here at The Micro Gardener

© Copyright Anne Gibson, The Micro Gardener 2010-2013 – http://www.themicrogardener.com. All rights reserved.