Posted 12th January
As a nation, we’ve started to embrace gardening for a variety of reasons including decoration, wellness and sustainability
Despite this, many of us believe we lack the space to fulfil our green-fingered dreams.
It's been predicted that by 2030, 92 per cent of the UK population will live in cities with garden space at a premium. This has led to people coming up with their own creative ways to maximise their outdoor space as they look for an area in which they can grow food, relax and support wildlife.
If you're looking to jump on the horticultural band wagon but don't have the square meters, The Greenhouse People have a few tips that will help you become a successful urban gardener...
You don’t need acres of land to grow your own food. Instead, you can use portable containers, crates or pots, all of which offer you great ways of growing on a hard surface and maximising your yield.
When it comes to what you should grow in an urban garden, you should consider lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, beans and Asian greens like Pak Choi.
Create the illusion of space by employing clever tactics. You should form different zones in an urban garden to make the space feel bigger than it is - think of a small growing patch, a sitting area and a pebbled miniature zen garden. You should also keep the seating low - this creates a cocooning effect - and anchor the corners with larger plants.
Match your outdoor furniture with the same décor theme that you have in your kitchen or living room to help to blur the distinction between indoors and outside. Another great way to accentuate a sense of space is to use weather-resistant mirrors, which will reflect sunlight into shadier areas.
Storing your gardening tools can be tricky in a small space. Keep your urban garden tidy for maximum enjoyment - to keep this simple, you could try installing a wood-clad or rattan storage box which can be used as a bench in the summer months, along with the addition of a few throw pillows. A lick of pastel paint instantly provides a statement feature.
There are few better ways to make your outdoor space feel like a garden than to create a micro nature reserve. Simple additions such as bird baths, brightly-coloured flowers, log piles and bee bricks will all encourage flying friends to visit.
Having birds, butterflies and bees in your urban garden will also support your garden's ecosystem, keep plants healthy and encourage pollination.
An urban garden doesn't necessarily have to be outside. Besides purifying the air in our homes, they also have great aesthetic value, with retailers now stocking a variety of both plants and display products such as terrariums, hangings baskets and terraces.
A great option for beginners will be succulents, as they require very little TLC. You should try Echeveria with its rainbow-coloured leaves, Dudleya which has a chalky powder colouring and Crassula which has a braid-like geometric pattern.
If you'd rather have a challenge, Calatheas, which is known as the Zebra plant due to its beautiful stripped leaves, will need regular watering, misting and feeding during the growing season.