Think ‘garden’ and you get a mind full of fabulous flowers, leafy trees and lush lawns; a gorgeously green place of peace and placidity. But, the truth is, most of us don’t have the ground to grow such greenery.
The busy, concrete congestion of city life can leave us pining for a patch of earth to call our own and nurture our connection to nature. With a bit of imagination, there’s no reason we can’t combine the two and give ourselves some breathing space.
Watching plants grow satisfies a basic, instinctive need. Caring for and cultivating a garden brings health benefits and soothes stress while nourishing you and creating a calm corner to escape to. Even though houseplants have made a comeback, they might not scratch your green itch or counter your garden craving.
While indoor plants give blooms to boost your living space, outdoor plants bring something more. Beyond thriving in artificial and protected environments, they speak to us of fresh air and open spaces, sunlight and summer scents. Bringing birds, butterflies and creatures, this open-air greenery changes with the seasons and plays to the patterns of nature.
By learning to make the most of your space, you’ll be astounded at just how much joy you can gain from gardening without a garden. There’s always a way – even house walls and boundary fences can carry climbers and wall plants. When you think outside the planter box, the variety of available containers means paths, patios, steps, porches and balconies can become green havens.
Don’t let a lack of space deter you; fruit and veggies can flourish in containers. While you’re not likely to produce a commercial-sized crop, they can still bring you great satisfaction. There’s nothing quite like strolling through your garden, gathering your own home-grown strawberries, lemons and herbs.
Get the kids involved in the ritual of gardening. By letting them get their hands dirty, they can learn about living things. Putting them in charge of their own pot plants and including them in basic gardening rituals helps furnish family-time. It’s so important that they gain a greater appreciation for the living world and the creepy crawlies that go with it.
Gardening in a small space can be equal parts challenging and rewarding. Each plant commands focus, and as you watch them reach maturity or follow a fruit to ripening, you get a real sense of achievement that you’ve been part of this growth. Whatever the size, gardening is all about trial and error. We’re not born with a green thumb – the reality is, it takes practice and patience to build the skills to keep your garden thriving in any space.