Check out the Clever Design Ideas series of articles for some visual inspiration and tips on ways to incorporate design principles into your micro garden for maximum effect.

15 Helpful Design Tips for Vertical Gardens

Important Factors to Consider with Vertical Gardens

Got a small space? To help you decide what kind of structure to use for your vertical garden, consider these 15 practical design tips.

 

Vertical gardens can be anything you imagine. Take some inspiration from these ideas to start your own project.

This garden gate has been used not only for functional vertical growing space with a mounted planter box filled with flower pots but also a handy place to hang some garden art.

 

1. Don’t overlook your garden entrance

A gateway is usually the point of entry and the place where you make first impressions!  With a little imagination this space can be another creative vertical garden.  (more…)

12 Reasons Why You Should Garden Vertically

Vertical Gardening Benefits

Regardless of where you live, I’m a firm believer you can take advantage of some of the many benefits vertical gardening offers.

12 Reasons Why You Should Garden Vertically

The advantages of vertical gardens really come into their own in micro garden spaces where options are very limited. As most people live in urban areas, clever design ideas are a key to make the most of the space you have.

So if you’re not yet growing up, here are 12 reasons why you should!

“Vertical gardening is an innovative, effortless, and highly productive growing system that uses bottom-up and top-down supports for a wide variety of plants in both small and large garden spaces.” – Derek Fell, author Vertical Gardening: Grow Up, Not Out for More Vegetables & Flowers in Much Less Space

12 Reasons Why You Should Garden Vertically

1. Maximise Limited Space

When you garden vertically, you can ncrease your growing space especially when it is at a premium in a very tiny area.

 

An edible kitchen garden with clever tiered vertical beds, make great use of a narrow space that was formerly a dog enclosure.

This kitchen garden has effectively used techniques like stacking raised garden beds and growing climbing veggies up trellises. These increase productivity and make maximum use of space.

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Add Space with Creative Vertical Gardens – Part 2

How to Design Creative Vertical Gardens

Beautiful window box with potted colourful flowers - easy to care for and a stunning view from inside! Photo: Anslatadams

Many would-be gardeners have micro spaces to grow plants. Clever use of vertical structures like a feature window box with colourful flowers or edible herbs is a simple solution.

 

“Vertical gardening saves time and work, allowing you to spend less time tending and more time enjoying your garden.”

Derek Fell, author ‘Grow Up, Not Out, For More Vegetables and Flowers in Much Less Space’

In Part 1, we looked at some creative vertical structures to help you grow plants ‘up’ and save space in your garden.  This post inspires you with more ideas on how to use two other types of vertical structures – ones to grow down and stackable systems. (more…)

Add Space with Creative Vertical Gardens: Part 1

Small Garden Design Idea: Maximise Vertical Spaces

Why should you utilise this clever design idea in your garden? Because, no matter what size your garden is, I firmly believe you can improve the productivity, beauty and functionality by maximising vertical space.

Add Space with Creative Vertical Gardens Part 1

What is Vertical Gardening?

Simply put, vertical gardening creatively utilises a structure to maximise the growing space and exploit the potential of both the vertical and horizontal planes. Think outside the square: 3D gardens with colour, shape and texture not just flat designs!

Traditional in-ground garden beds have very limited potential. However, growing ‘up’ or ‘down’ and ‘stacking’ techniques provide you with loads more options. (more…)

Clever Plant Container Ideas

DIY – Make Your Own Garden Planters

Why buy new when you can DIY and save money?  Need a little inspiration to get your garden started in a container?  Check out what some amazingly creative people around the globe have used to grow a garden in – just about everything!

 

School desk edible planter - just one of many Clever Plant Container Ideas @ www.themicrogardener.com

This old desk school desk has a new life in the garden as an edible planter filled with luscious lettuces, shallots and colourful flowers.

 

Ideas for Repurposed Planters … INCLUDING the Kitchen Sink!

 

Stuck for where to start?  Looking for inspiration for what to grow your next garden in?  Look no further! I hope you like these creative planters as much as I do.

 

Porcelain planters seem to be quite popular in some gardens.

A new meaning for ‘potted’ plants! These old toilet cisterns have also been given a new life as planters. Porcelain is long lasting and with built in drainage, their prior lives could be concealed behind other plants or a bamboo screen around the base.

 

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Repurposed Container Gardens – Turn Trash into Treasure

Ever wonder why some people’s gardens look so beautiful, full of character and have that special charm?  If you look closely at pictures in garden magazines or visit open gardens and nurseries, you’ll notice one of the clever design tricks they use is adding interesting features, repurposed containers and collections.

Small courtyard garden with good design creates an appealing space to enjoy.

This small courtyard garden is a good example of clever design and use of a collection of new and old pots. A seating area, water fountain, screening plants and coordinated colours also help unify this tiny space.

These little touches help to:

  • unify a garden
  • give it focus
  • create a theme
  • reflect your personality
  • add character

and enhance the visual appeal so you want to spend time in that special space.

 

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

 

With a limited space and budget, it’s not always possible to buy new plant containers or garden art but you can still achieve a dream look and great functional growing spaces by ‘turning old into new.’  You don’t need special skills – just a little inspiration … and perhaps a little time to hunt around for the right object.

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Ten Benefits of Using Repurposed Planters

Don’t have the time or money to buy a new pot or build a garden bed?  It’s much easier than you may think to find the perfect container without costing an arm and a leg!  If you’re not in the habit of finding ‘new ways with old things,’ read on to find out why you should consider reusing what you’ve already got. Repurposed planters may be just the solution.

 

Twinings Tea Tin Windowsill Planters - Items you might otherwise throw away can be useful plant containers instead. | The Micro Gardener

These quaint little metal Twinings vintage tea tins have been reused as small herb pots. They make a cute set of windowsill planters. To avoid rust damage, sit metal tins on a tray to catch water from the drainage holes.

 

1. Save money/make money

Turning ‘trash into treasure is one sure way to be thrifty in the garden.  If you don’t have to buy a container, you can keep your money in your purse for plants or other garden supplies you really need to buy. Being creative with your hands and making attractive, affordable planters, potting benches and unique pots for other gardeners may also be a niche market to make money or raise funds for a worthy project. (more…)

Gardens for Kids – Design Ideas & Themes

“Gardening has a magical quality when you are a child.”- Barbara Damrosch

Gardens for Kids - Design ideas and themes for gardening with children

Inspirational Themed Gardens

A garden is Nature’s Classroom. If you have children, grandchildren, visitors or are homeschooling, this article will give you some ideas and inspiration for designing your space with little ones in mind.

You can include a wide range of learning experiences. There are loads of creative ways to encourage kids to start small or think BIG!

Growing plants and being in contact with nature is a therapy in itself. Now more than ever, we need to spend time connecting with the outdoors and plants for our mental and physical wellbeing. Not only adults, but especially children. They often don’t express the stress and anxiety they feel, so a garden can be a quiet space to calm and centre them emotionally.

“Many studies both in Australia and overseas in school gardens have found students who grow organic fresh produce not only increase their consumption of vegetables at home but also improve their ability to identify new fruits, herbs and vegetables and develop knowledge of how to grow them.”

What a great gift we can give to children! I hope you enjoy some of the ideas I’ve put together from my experiences.

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Ten Tips for Creating Beautiful Gardens

Do you want to create a beautiful garden? No matter how small your space, there are design principles you can apply to beautify your balcony, porch or yard.

Ten Tips for Creating Beautiful Gardens

Beautiful gardens appeal to our senses. The colours and immense diversity of design combinations, fragrance, flavours, sounds from birds and insects attracted to the plants and variety of textures.

Go for a drive around your neighbourhood and take notice of the gardens that catch your eye or next time you visit a friend’s garden, be observant and tune in to what you love about it.  No doubt they will be applying some design principles and elements that apply whether they are used in art, graphics, building, interior or garden design.

“A garden is a thing of beauty and a job forever.” Richard Briers

Simple concepts 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 beautiful.  Less really can be more if you know how.

An elegant terracotta planter is used as a focal point with purple and white petunias. Understated beauty and a simple garden feature.

An elegant terracotta planter is used as a focal point with purple and white flower theme. Understated beauty and a simple garden feature.

10 Tips for Beautiful Gardens in Small Spaces

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Tips for Growing a Garden in Pots

Low-Cost Creative Ideas for Container Gardens

Looking for some inspirational ways to give your small space or garden a facelift?  I’ve put together some thrifty and creative ideas to get the most out of growing a garden in pots.

New ways with old pots

Got an odd assortment of containers of all colours, shapes and sizes or black plastic pots and want a more harmonious look for grouping them all together? Try these ideas:

  1. A couple of coats with water based non-toxic acrylic paint to coordinate the colours.
  2. Wrap them in hessian bags for an earthy look (hold in place with wire and tie at the top with rope or plaited string).
  3. Hide them inside another container or cachepot.

    Painting old pots is a low cost way to give them a new life

    Try revamping old pots with a quick coat of paint for a colourful facelift.

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