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Better Homes & Gardens Small-Space Gardens

Better Homes & Gardens Small-Space Gardens

Beautiful gardens don’t require a big yard or massive property. Even balconies, patios, decks, and rooftops can house stunning plants and gardens. This issue focuses on pockets of space and inspiring examples of what gardeners can accomplish there. Filled with easy projects, plant recommendations, hardscape solutions, and more, the issue will help any gardener create a beautiful garden no matter where they live.

United States
Meredith Corporation

in this issue

1 min
editor’s letter

LIVE LARGE! Confined outdoor spaces don't have to mean confined choices! Expanding your gardening opportunities just takes a little inspiration, education, and a creative approach. Let us get you started. Dare to do it. Dare to fill those barren nooks on your balcony or patio with blooms and swaths of green foliage. Dare to plant out your cramped garden and make it into something worth showing off. With smart plant choices, big containers, trellises, and hanging pots, you can create a lush garden almost anywhere, and Small-Space Gardens magazine will show you how. Start with our list of eight strategies for dealing with tiny gardening situations (page 8). Next, savor the gorgeous solutions other gardeners have mastered, such as maximizing a miniscule front yard (page 20) or establishing plant nooks in a…

2 min
8 strategies for small-space gardening

#1 GO VERTICAL! Use elements to draw the eye upward, rather than outward, creating the illusion of more space. Trees, a trellis, arbor, or tall planter will all bring up the gaze. When you accentuate the height of an outdoor room, the sky is the limit! #2 RELY ON CONTAINERS Potted plants bring the garden to a patio or deck but don’t go overboard. Avoid crowding your location with too many tiny pots that get in your way. In a small area, set clusters of pots where people won't trip over them. Use tall planters to ease transitions between a wall and the ground and keep the design dynamic. #3 SCALE MATTERS When selecting trees and shrubs for a petite landscape, look for compact varieties that will be in scale with their surroundings. The same…

4 min
room for outdoor living

If you build it (seating areas, fire pit, outdoor kitchen, and game area), they will come (to drink tea, warm their toes, eat dinner, play Ping-Pong). Sacha McCrae, owner of Living Gardens Landscape Design in San Clemente, California, has carved her compact yard into a series of outdoor rooms using environmentally conscious materials and drought-tolerant plant species. Shortly after moving into her tidy, mission-style bungalow, she and her husband, Rob, cleared away the overgrown cacti and mesquite. She installed rainwater collection and permeable surfaces such as gravel and “green seams” to filter and clean rainwater. “We live so close to the ocean,” she says, “that cleaning water before it flows into drains is important.” Her handy husband built a wood deck for a seating area in the front yard; an adjacent seating…

2 min
how to design & care for a container garden

Maintaining Container Gardens GENERAL CARE Remove dead flowers and leaves from the soil surface regularly to reduce the chance of the plant fungus botrytis. WATERING Water your containers regularly. Apply water at soil level; do not sprinkle the leaves. Small pots should be watered if the soil feels dry to the touch 1 inch down. In larger pots, water when the top 2 inches are dry. Water slowly until water drains through the holes at the base of the pot. FERTILIZER In spring, add a half inch of compost and sprinkle a slow-release fertilizer, such as Osmocote, onto the soil surface. For ongoing care, water with a compost tea (such as Moo Poo)every two weeks to keep your plants lush and vibrant. In October add a half inch of compost over the soil surface around…

1 min
the welcome-to-my-house garden

2 min
smart plant choices for a vertical garden

Elements of a landscaping or plant design can draw attention upward or disguise an unattractive view. Tall structures or columnar trees can create the walls for garden rooms or define hidden spaces ready for discovery. Trellises, anchored in the ground or to large containers, allow you to grow vines, flowers, and vegetables vertically, using much less space than traditional gardening requires. Apartment dwellers, small-space urban gardeners, and disabled gardeners can all maximize space with hanging or raised containers. Even gardeners with large, traditional spaces can produce eye-pleasing layers with these hanging gardens. To construct vertical gardens, consider the amount of sunlight required and the support your plant selection may need. Depending on your location, consider these popular ingredients for creating green walls. Perennial Vines Easily grown perennial vines—which will come back each spring—include sun…