Garden School

 

Summer Gardens for Small Spaces

 

There are many people who relish the idea of having a summer garden but feel that the reality is well outside the realm of the possible. The good news is that in the modern world in which we live nothing could be further from the truth. The only thing is you may have to rearrange your idea of what a summer garden is and is not. You can still manage to have the beauty of flowers or fresh picked vegetables in almost any situation if you are willing to take the necessary extra steps required to do so.

First of all, those who live in high rise buildings often feel as though they have no options larger than a window sill for their gardening needs. This is often not the case. Discuss with the landlord the option of establishing raised gardens on the roof top of the building in which you live. These are becoming more and more popular and some buildings also offer greenhouse possibilities, usage, or space to tenants to satisfy the urge many of us get to give our green (or not so green as the case may be) thumbs an adequate workout. Raised gardens are a great choice for many landlords and building owners as long as they are created and maintained at the expense of the tenant who proposed the garden. Some buildings even offer gardening coops as perks to those who live within the building and a system of contributing and sharing the fruits of the labor of those who have contributed to these gardens by planting and maintaining flowers, plants, fruits, and/or vegetables. This is also a great way to meet neighbors that may share your passion.

If you live in a smaller apartment type of setting that has little or no lawn space you still have a few options available to you. First of all, many of these types of apartments come with balcony space or a small patio area. This means that you can use ferns or flowering plants to add a little bit of green and other colors and have the plants hanging along the patio or balcony. Another thing that is growing in popularity for small spaces is hanging vegetables such as tomatoes. This is a little outside the area of traditional but provides the opportunity for fresh tomatoes to even those who have very limited gardening space. Small peppers also do well growing upside down though this isn't recommended for the larger sweet peppers as they are too heavy for the vines to support. Going up with your garden frees up that valuable ground space for must have plants to be planted in raised gardens that can be made quite small to accommodate your specific needs.

A vertical garden is yet another option. This requires some degree of handyman skills or knowing someone that has these skills for designing and building a platform for your gardening needs that allows you to grow the flowers or vegetables you crave without taking up nearly as much ground space. This is also a convenient way of gardening for those who are in wheelchairs and cannot get up and down for regular gardening tasks as easily. A vertical garden can be planted with very little ground space, such as what would be available on a patio or a balcony and allows for many more plants that one might expect with such a small growing space. Combine this method with hanging plants and you may find that you have quite an impressive little summer garden growing.

Do not allow limited real estate to be an obstacle for your summer garden needs. One way to overcome this is to begin thinking vertically when it comes to real estate rather than horizontally. You may discover that you have a lot more room with which to work than you realized. The important thing to remember is that your summer garden does not have to conform to anyone's idea of what a summer garden should be. Make it your own and have fun.