Whether you want a sophisticated container garden with geometrically trimmed shrubs; a leafy sanctuary to hide away with a book; or a kitchen garden, filled with herbs and vegetables – a small garden, more than any other, needs careful planning and consideration.
#1 Start with the sun.
To establish what kinds of plants will flourish in your small space, spend a few weeks observing the sun. Observe how the light falls, and for how long, in the various sections of your yard and plan accordingly. If you have courtyard space, for example, that gets direct sun all day, you could consider growing succulents and cacti in various sized pots to make an attractive display. Shaded areas can take fern-like plants, impatiens, and Clivias. Speak to a specialist at your local nursery to suggest suitable plants depending on the kind of light your garden receives.
#2 Decide what you need from your space.
Is entertaining outdoors high on your list of priorities, or would you prefer a small jungle oasis with hammocks for chilled afternoon lazing? Before you start planting, map out the requirements you have for your space and plan accordingly.
#3 The sky’s the limit.
You can increase your growing space by including vines and creepers, which can be trained to grow up trellises and along fences or walls. You can even buy special stackable vertical garden containers that allow you to create a living wall made up of plants of varied colours and textures. Even when your horizontal space is limited, the sky’s the limit when it comes to vertical growth.
#4 Take the mow out of your lawn.
For most people, a lawn is a starting point for any garden. But small garden lawns are harder to keep pristine, mainly because there’s likely to be more activity focused on a small space. Lawns also take maintenance, and in the rainy season, you’ll likely be dedicating every Saturday morning to mowing. If a lawn is a non-negotiable element, consider investing in a high-quality artificial lawn, which can withstand the constant activity that children and animals bring to a garden.
#5 Use mirrors to make the space seem larger.
By mounting mirrors in strategic parts of your garden, that reflect the planted areas, you can create an illusion of space. You can even consider mounting long mirrors with an arched top, to give the illusion of an entrance into another garden “room”.
#6 Attract birds and bugs and bees to your garden.
You can attract a large variety of birds to your garden by hanging feeders with seed, suet, and mealworms. Once word gets out that you’re a regular source of food, you’ll have small flocks waiting expectantly at your feeders. Bug boxes are an excellent way to attract garden-beneficial bugs to your garden. And by planting specific flowers (e.g. lavender, bee balm, jasmine, and sage), you can attract bees to your garden.
#7 Friends with gardens are a gardener’s friend.
While it’s fun to shop for a variety of plants at your local nursery, the costs can quickly add up. If you have friends with gardens, ask them if you can take cuttings, seeds, and shoots to help fill your space. Not only will it cut down on what you spend, but you will forever have a reminder of that friend in your garden.
#8 Plant a variety of evergreens and annuals.
One of the benefits of a small garden is that you can make a significant impact by adding just a few colourful flowering plants to the mix. Bulbs are a good idea for year-round colour, but also make sure you have some evergreen plants so that you have greenery in winter and between flowering times.
#9 Invest in quality tools.
Good quality tools not only last for the long run but are also an investment in your garden, and even in your good health. By continually seeking to improve the ergonomics of its products, LASHER’s engineers design tools that maximise comfort (reduce the risk of back and other injuries) and keep the end user in mind.
Lasher recommends the following basic tools, specially designed with small gardens (and less storage capacity) in mind.
The Ecobarrow is the world’s first recycled and recyclable wheelbarrow. The tough, UV-stabilised pan and frame is light but extremely durable, and a wider than usual rubber wheel makes it easy to steer around tight garden spaces.
The Domestic Spade and Garden Fork are two essential tools for any garden. Lasher’s domestic range is specifically designed for townhouse and small gardens. The tools are extremely durable but slightly smaller and much lighter than average, making them easy to use and store.
The Hand Tool Set comprises of a small hand spade for potting and planting seedlings, a hand garden fork for loosening small areas of soil, and a daisy grubber for lifting tough weeds.
Ts & Cs Apply.