Archive | 10 August 2012

Using the space you’ve got (Part 2)

The Inner Gardener

In the inner city areas, and many other places, the space set aside for the domestic gardens is continually shrinking. Despite this lack of space and the tendency for denser living and a smaller average personal space compared to 20  years ago, human beings will always have the urge to nurture and grow. Even one or two plants in the tiniest of spaces can provide aesthetic and psychological benefits.

In many other countries the phenomenon of tight urban living has been occurring for a very long time. Perhaps we can learn from examples of overseas gardening in restricted spaces.

With apartment living being the most common form of accomodation in many cities and towns, the balcony, or if you are lucky enough a rooftop often becomes the only outdoor spot to enjoy the day and to grow a garden. There are lots of clever ways to achieve this.

Simpler but…

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Re-use, Re-purpose, Re-interpret

The Inner Gardener

All good gardeners know the benefits of re-using and recycling in the garden, from the humble compost heap to second hand bits of building materials to make garden beds and other structures.  Apart from being good for the environment and reducing the landfill, it’s also great for the hip pocket and that feeling of self- sufficiency. You can obtain or create some very original items by re-interpreting materials and a bit of imagination.  I often look around at nurseries, gift and furniture  shops for inspiration and also at other gardens during my travels.

Here are some of the things I have found or re-used in my garden over the years. Many have been ‘freebies’ sourced during evening constitutionals around my neighbourhood at hard rubbish collection time, some have been second-hand and purchased at a minimal cost, and some have been fashioned out of materials from my own garden.

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Busy Doing Nothing

The Frustrated Gardener


Unlike my week, which is packed to say the least, the weekend was one of those rare and precious occasions on which there was little to do in the garden other than sit back and enjoy. This is not a state that comes naturally to me, so between reading the paper and soaking up the sun I potted up a few small plants which will bring some colour to the garden later on. Among them were Catharanthus roseus (the Madagascar periwinkle), Lantana camara (Spanish flag), Mandevilla (a deep red one) and Cleome “Sparkler Rose”. The latter have survived two almost fatal attacks from the snails, so they are very precious indeed.

Last night we were lucky enough to enjoy the waterpolo quarter finals at the Olympics, so lots of photos and details of the planting on the park to follow over the next few days.

Below, Fuchsia “Dark Delicious” continues…

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