The gardens are no longer just about food. They have reclaimed their role of community gathering place, a place to meet friends and family, a source of entertainment for kids, a refuge for spiritual contemplation.
Also, a relaxing outdoor with a beautiful design is one of the many factors that can give you peace and assist you in coping with life. However, it is not as easy as it sounds, especially for those who live in a big city. Properties in big cities can be way expensive. Thus, many people have to give up hope of having a beautiful garden due to the limited space.
Well, don’t give up yet! Read along, and we hope our 10 small city garden ideas can enlighten you on building a small city garden. As always, Simphome presents you with the list.
Polluted air can make you ill, especially if you are living in a city. Thus, it is best to give your body some fresh air through your garden. The backyard wall can divide your garden from the outside world.
The wall can protect your privacy and shield the house from other people’s eyes. It can also prevent your dog from running off or unwanted animals entering the garden.
- No 1. Draw a fence or wall outline for your garden space and decide how high you want it to be. Then, choose materials that are easy to clean up, such as wood or brick, since dirt and dust can easily stick on such materials.
- No 2. If you have any leftover materials, stack them up and use them as a wall. You can build your fence to whatever height you want. Just make sure that it has a flat surface since the painting will be easier to do.
- No 3. You can paint it with vegetable-based paints so that it is not toxic for you or your plants.
- No 4. Consider adding an entrance gate if security matters for you and decide what gate design to put on your garden wall or fence. You can create an arched gate using iron rods or just paint a simple door on it; no need for any fancy designs as long as it serves its purpose well.
10. Know the Layout
Knowing your backyard gives you some ideas on what you should do with the garden. It’s better to have a straightforward design so that everything can just follow the intended steps as drown on the paper or screen.
You know the width and length of your garden which you can decide the size of an area. The plan you drew can tell how it looks like before you execute the idea. It can begin from what to build there, such as a seating area, path, fence, etc.
If you’re afraid any wildlife would destroy your garden, build a fence to surround it. It can save you from a disaster that comes from uninvited guests.
- Start outlining your garden in a simple sketch. Use a ruler or a yardstick to assist you. We suggest drawing the layout first with lines instead of dots since it will be easier to follow on the paper. Then, fill in the perspective with the color you want for your backyard.
- Sketch out two fence designs; one is tall, and another is short.
- Make a list of what to put on the space. Based on the blueprint, you can decide which one is best for your garden.
9. Decorate Your front House
Gardening doesn’t have to be limited in the backyard. It’s possible everywhere as long as you have the space. It can be on a terrace or a rooftop, just like this one. A terrace garden would make your front house look prettier. It’s a simple notion for you who might not have a backyard and are more concerned with the upfront part of the house.
Choose the proper containers for each plant and arrange them according to your desire. You should be aware of the growth of different plants such as perennial, shrubs, or annual types of plants, including their blossom period.
- No 1. Estimate how much you want to invest in the terrace garden. Prepare some money in advance so that you can buy plants.
- No 2. Calculate the size of your garden space and where you will build it. Again, it’s better to be straightforward with the design so that all your plants will have a specific place for them and not be left out because of limited space.
- No 3. Outline and add some detail to it using your favorite colors to create a nice contrast from the rest of your house. And then, you can start planting!
- No 4. Do not forget to water your garden regularly.
- No 5. You can also add some garden accessories, such as a bench or table for people to rest while enjoying the view of your front house with a lovely garden.
8. Build New Garden Dividers
Polluted air causes several health problems, and that’s a typical risk one should face when living in a crowded city. Fortunately, a city garden can tackle this problem because it not only makes your house look prettier but also cleans and detoxes the air you’re breathing. It would be better if you surround your garden with fences.
Fences create privacy, safe feelings, and borders. They give you a lovely shade and decorate your small city garden as well. It takes a little work to do, but you will be satisfied with the result if carried well.
To build a simple garden divider, your instructions are:
- Use the hammer and nails to attach the boards of the fences.
- Put a layer of wood over a layer of wire mesh. Use it to cover the edges as it may be sharp and could hurt you when you’re gardening or simply walking over.
- Secure it firmly in place using either more nails or connect it to form a pole-like shape slanting from the bottom, covering the top with grass, plants, or stones, depending on your desire
- Choose proper plants for your garden that can help clean out air pollution like lavender, citrus fruit trees, or any other flowers that are capable of producing oxygen
- Decorate Your Home Using your favorite Plants
7. Choose Your Plants
Flowers or trees with different colors, leaves, or branches are lovely materials you can use to adorn the garden. Although there are many plants you can choose from, be sure that they can go along with the weather. It wouldn’t be pretty if they make an exquisite display for a certain period but die right after the season changes.
Annuals are types of plants that live for one growing season and will eventually die annually.
Perennials last for many growing seasons, and the top part of the plants can’t endure the Winter. But don’t worry, they have the ability to grow back in spring.
Shrubs are types of plants that have a life circle like annual or perennial plants, and they are also trees or climbers. You can pick them based on their functions and match them with the design you have in mind.
To choose the plants, you need to pay attention to:
- Consider the size of your house (more than 9 square meters)
- Decide the planting area and how you want to cover it (it does not have to be large)
- Choose which plants can live within the climate you have. If you’re planning for a terrace or rooftop, make sure that they can grow through Winter.
- Be sure that the plant you’re planning to use is not ornamental and can survive in your area, besides having different colors or shapes.
- You can also think of using trees, rocks, and other plant accessories to finish the plants and garden plan you have executed.
The names of the plants you can select are deciduous, evergreen, or citrus fruit trees. The reason is that they can let you know how long they will last in the same spot.
An additional idea, Choosing the Right Accessories.
The small urban garden does not only focus on plants; it can also have accessories that come from different materials and shapes such as rocks, waterfalls, or even artificial things like a statue of an animal you like.
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6. Pay attention to the Drainage System
Raising the edge of the garden highlights an exciting part of your outdoor heaven. It means you care about the design, not just simply putting random plants to clear the air or fill your garden.
It has to come with a good drainage system to let the plants breathe and save them from being drowned by excessive water during the rainy season. It won’t be pretty if water inundates around.
Another critical issue, a good drainage system has to:
No 1. Be free of all clogs.
No 2. Add proper soil for your plants to grow well.
No 3. Prevent your garden from getting too dry or too wet
No 4. It does not have to be big, just enough for the plants to have enough air with a proper drainage system, so they can avoid being choked by water
Steps to solve this problem (in case you eventually have to deal with it) are:
- Compress the soil using a rake or hoe, determining the right level and spacing accordingly
- Dig holes so that plants can get some air but still be able to return it to the soil after being used from the roots
- Add mulch (to cover the dirt) or plants to prevent erosion of dirt
- Water regularly to keep the soil moist
- Plan for your Winter
You are going to have a great garden, and that’s fine. But not everything you think is going to work out as you intended it to be, so plan ahead.
Before Winter arrives, check if your garden still needs some more preparation for Winter. If so, do it now and save yourself a lot of time from being stuck digging holes and watering later on.
5. Alleviate the Sun Exposure
Having a small area with high sunlight exposure can blind you as it locates just right next to your house. Therefore, having a tall fence or trees can reduce the sunlight.
It’s even better as the wall panel features climbers, and it helps lessen the brightness. The door glass is expansive, but you can install window film on it so that it can stop the sunray from penetrating the room as well.
It may be scorching when summer comes as it has concrete walls and floors. To tackle this problem, giving the outdoor area more trees and plants are the right decision.
You can even build “artificial sun” benefits in your garden by:
No 1. Covering the walls of your house with glass to let the hot sun pass-through
No 2. Placing planters outside windows on the walls of the house
No 3. Adding decorative plants near the window and adding hanging plants
No 4. Install low-key lighting in a corridor or around windows
No 5. Install dark-colored curtains to cover unwanted light
No 6. Choose plants that can cover the light like the hedgehog cactus, dwarf yew, or cactus and other succulent plants
4. Be Creative with the Beds and Containers
If you plan to have a seating area, you can put plants on the edges to border the hardscape. You had better stick to two or three types of plants and then repeat the order as you go. This way, you can create a harmonious look. Variety is vital in creating a garden with a natural look.
Another brilliant idea for those who cover their backyard entirely with hardscapes is by growing plants in containers. Plants in pots are a simple solution when you don’t have any more ground for gardening.
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Basically, choose any pot that isn’t too compact for them to grow. Make sure it has a good drainage system or holes. If you might move your plants, but weight is an obstacle, go for lightweight pots such as plastic, fiberglass, or metal.
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To build new garden beds for cheap, your instruction is:
- Choose the materials and measure your surface area for the project
- Dig holes to determine the correct distance for your plants and lining the bottom of the hole with rocks (optional)
- Add organic material and backfill it by adding soil, water, and compost to help make a reliable drainage system
- Fill the container with earth, and then you can start planting your favorite plants and then add your edgers or top dressing, and then the plants
- The next step is to add mulch (for sanitation purposes) or decorative rocks
- Adapt Your Garden Decor according to Seasons
3. Install Umbrella
Creating a path in the middle of the garden is necessary when you often go back and forth. Besides, it offers a lovely design, and it can also separate the garden without having a border or a fence.
A path helps prevent your feet from getting wet by water or mud. Having a big tree that will grow tall is fine as long as its roots don’t destroy the fence or wall or attack your neighbor.
Finally, a piece of installment you can add is an umbrella. It’s when you want to spend your time quite long here, and it saves you from heat.
2. The Rooftop Garden Idea
A rooftop provides an ideal space for gardening in the city you’re living. Where there are only roofs or buildings as far as you can see, your little garden can be an exciting entertainment while enjoying the city’s view from above.
Make space for you to walk around the garden and be careful not to fall. Or you can build a fence just in case. The rooftop should also be waterproof as you’re going to water the plants.
It will be a disaster if the water leaks down to the room underneath. You should as well try keeping the rooftop clean and get rid of unpleasant smells.
In detail, to build your first rooftop garden, your requirements are:
- Make sure the slope is low, and you don’t need many stairs to get there.
- Place some plants that are used for compost so that the garden could be secluded.
- Install a fence as you have to make sure it is secure, as well as it also creates shade which can protect your plants from direct sunlight.
- Add some temporary planters built with plastic so there won’t be any water leakage.
- Install a support pillar or trellis, too, if you would like to grow berry vines or vegetables inside the garden house since they take up less space than flower beds and pots compared to soil gardening.
- Another option is using a rooftop garden box. This way, you can get more space to grow vegetables without blocking the view of your city from above.
- After you have finished your rooftop garden, make sure the plants are well taken care of and don’t let them dry out so that they can retain the nutrients in them and grow healthier all through summer.
- Some of the recommended plants perfect for a rooftop garden are:
– Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
– Lavender (lavandula ssp. spp.)
– Catnip (nepeta cataria)
– Angelica archangelica
– Horsetail, (Equisetum arvense)
– Amaranth, (Amaranthus caudatus)
- Mix colors and textures to make your rooftop garden more exciting and beautiful while growing those that are easy to grow.
- And if you prefer the vegetable rooftop garden concept, your selection of vegetables are:
– Arugula (Eruca vesicaria)
– Peas (Pisum spp.)
– Strawberries (Fragaria X ananassa)
– Lettuce, (Lactuca sativa)
– Tomato (Solanum Lycopersicum)
Lastly, number 1. Pond Installment
Adding a water feature in your small garden is always a great move. A pond, for example, is an additional installment that creates some sort of oasis. You can decide the depth, width, and shape of it first.
Be careful when you have toddlers who like ponds very much, and never lose sight when they’re playing around it.
A shallow pond will give you a nice view. You can highlight it with rocks for a more dramatic look. More importantly, you don’t have to spend too much energy digging it. Invest in a good filter and make sure the water is clean, or else mildew will grow and, eventually, produce a pungent smell with an unsightly view.
Now you know what to do to build your garden after reading our 10 small city garden ideas. Which idea you’re going to have a go?
Build a new Raised Bed Garden
A raised bed garden is better than the other gardening styles because it will provide a proper drainage system, which is essential for the soil to stay healthy.
You can build a miniature raised bed garden on the patio or any other space outdoors with concrete, stone, or bricks. All you need to do is making a wooden frame. And then fill it with soil and compost, and then choose the plants to decorate it.
To make sure your plants are well taken care of, build a wooden bench nearby so that you have ample space to sit down while watering them or tidying up the garden.
- No 1. Prepare the wood: You can build the frame using different types of wood for various soil and climates, including a wooden stake, which you should place first, then you can use 2 x 10″ stakes to hold the frame and 1×8″ for the feet.
- No 2. Add some soil and compost: Add two inches of good potting soil with some compost, but only if organic fertilizer.
- No 3. Add some plants: You can add flowers or vegetables that are suitable for your climate zones like kale, carrots, onions, radishes, or any kind of green leafy vegetable garden that needs a little support.
- No 4. Build the bench: Next, build a wooden bench beside the garden so that you can sit down and water without getting your clothes wet.
- No 5. Install a fence: Use a garden fence to keep your plants safe from stray animals or children who will go to the neighboring garden.
If you’re going to do this, make sure the soil is well-cultivated and not too hilly, though it might be better if you rotate your plant family so once you’ve done that for one family, it’s easier to find a spot for another.
Just make sure all of them are well watered and sheltered from heavy rain.
7. Houszed.com, Aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu