If you’re anything like me, you love the idea of living with lush plants surrounding you. Ample research supports the idea that green spaces like gardens contribute to better overall health, decreased mortality, and even lower levels of aggressive behavior in teenagers. Living close to plants also improves air quality.
In my often rushed and hectic life, I daydream about lovingly watering spring flowers, herbs, vegetables and succulents in my perfectly shaded backyard.
There’s only one problem: I’m a renter.
For those of us with restrictions on yard use or no yards at all, achieving the perfect leafy refuge can feel like a pipe dream. But with the right frame of mind and a few simple tools, renters and people living in small spaces can build our own tiny oases.
In hopes of finding inspiration for my own urban garden, I reached out to my friend and tiny garden genius, Julie, for advice.
1. Find attractive planters in varying sizes.
Stack them on top of each other in an hour glass configuration to create height without overwhelming the space.
2. Just because it’s small doesn’t mean it can’t make an impact.
Garden figures can find a home on decks and indoors, too.
3. Collect cuttings from your friends and colleagues to start your garden.
Julie has mint from her friend’s garden and a local strawberry plant provided by an historic garden. Propagating plants from cuttings is simple!
4. Consider a theme.
Julie’s is a fairy garden. Creating a theme can make a small project feel special.
5. Mix it up.
Trying growing herbs and flowers for a mix of beautiful and useful.
Renters and tiny space living folks can often feel left out when it comes to creating a space that truly feels like home. But container gardens are simple, portable and just as meaningful as cultivating a larger garden. And with the right touches, they can become the refuge you’ve always dreamed of.
If growing a container garden isn’t for you…
Seek out local community gardens and get involved.
Support a local farm through a farm share.
Volunteer to help with your friends’ and neighbors’ gardens.
(Special thanks to Julie L. for letting me photograph her garden.)