Last Updated Jan 22, 2018 · Written by Rob Schneider
What is an urban garden? In most cases, it is much smaller than a suburban garden. There may be only a small area in the front yard and the backyard may be small as well. In some cases, there may be only a balcony to work with. An urban garden can be just as beautiful as a large garden, but there are some tricks you need to know.
Urban gardens can be quite small. Pot plants can be perfect for them because they are more noticeable than plants in the ground. The trick to using pot plants is creating a display with both the pots and the plants. Use pots of different sizes and maybe mix them up a bit to create more interest.
Use large, small and different types of pots. Stone, terracotta and other types of pots can go well together or you can even use something unusual like an old wheelbarrow or bicycle with a basket as a pot. Paint the wheelbarrow or bicycle to give it a new lease on life and even in the smallest garden, it will be a standout feature.
Raised beds are another solution for an urban garden. Like pot plants, they raise the profile of the garden and make it more noticeable. You can make raised beds out of timber, bricks, rocks or anything that flatters the garden. You can even create a painted raised bed using paint on timber or render on brick.
The idea is to create a garden that is noticeable and distracts attention from the urban environment. By using pots or raised beds, the eye is naturally attracted to the plants rather than the urban view.
If your backyard is small and has fences, you can either stare at the fences or use climbing plants to make your garden feel like a natural oasis.
Make the area around the climbing plants more interesting by installing a garden statue or attaching something to the fence.
Another way to spruce up the fence is to install potted falling plants on the fence. They have the same effect as climbing plants and can make any urban backyard more attractive.
You don't want to leave a bare fence in an urban garden. It will make the garden appear smaller and having greenery surrounding you will dampen noise and create a natural feeling to the backyard.
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Another way to make your small garden a natural oasis is to install a vertical garden. Our article, How to Create a Vertical Garden Yourself gives several tips on how to create one. Aside from stacking pots that are available in most nurseries, you can use old pallets, hang pots from chicken wire, use plastic bottles or stack old crates on top of each other.
Use a variety of plants and make a patterned vertical garden. You can even grow veggies and herbs in an urban vertical garden. The beauty of a vertical garden is that it can contain many plants, but doesn't take up precious space in the garden. You may even want to create a vertical garden in your front yard, where space may be limited.
You may not have enough space for a large table and eight chairs in your backyard, but you probably have space for some smaller garden furniture. Look for something that will enhance your backyard.
Even a garden bench with a wide armrest will allow you to read a book and have a place for your coffee or tea to rest on. If not that, you may find a wrought iron table and small chairs that will be just big enough to enjoy conversations with friends.
Do you want a place where you can lie down and enjoy your urban backyard? A hammock may be the perfect solution. You can hang the hammock when you want to use it and remove it when you don't need it. Hammocks can be ideal for small backyards and balconies.
Hammocks are the ultimate in comfort. Close your eyes and imagine you are in a beautiful tropical setting rather than the urban jungle.
Can you have a water feature in a small urban garden? Water features come in all shapes and sizes. Some are designed to take up very little space and all can be wired to recycle water. Do you want a waterfall in your backyard? It won't take up much space and will transform the backyard, especially when combined with plants.
If your backyard is a little larger, think about creating a small pond in the yard complete with water plants. Create steps to get you to the main part of the garden and you'll have a wonderful, cooling pond to enjoy when you're outdoors.
Don't overlook water features. Some even come in pots that take up very little space. Have a look at our Water Feature Design Ideas photo pages for any sized yard.
Do you live in an apartment and have only a balcony as a garden? It's amazing what you can do with a balcony. First, you'll have to choose the right plants. Some balconies are in sunny locations while others may be in semi-shade or shady locations. The right choice of plants is crucial if you want them to survive.
Potted plants can be perfect for balconies. You can stack them or place some on a narrow table and place the others below them. Move them around and see where they grow best.
You may even be able to grow veggies on the balcony. It should be in a sunny location and choose climbing vegetables such as beans or cherry tomatoes. Herbs and some other vegetables can be grown in pots and you can keep the pots close together or even stack them to save space. Zucchini is easy to grow and has beautiful yellow flowers. It may need a larger container, but it doesn't require a full-sized garden.
For some tips on plants that thrive on balconies, read 10 Plants That Will Flourish on Balconies. The article includes flowering plants, herbs, and even a fruit.
And don't forget. If your balcony is small, you can hang plants on the balcony and create a beautiful garden you can enjoy in a limited space.
Don't despair if you have a small urban garden. There are so many ways you can make it a beautiful garden. And look on the bright side. A small garden is much easier to maintain than a large garden. Just remember to choose the right plants for the amount of sunlight your garden gets and enjoy the greenery and if you get a water feature, the water.