How To Make A City Garden In A Small Space

Garden with curved paths and benches

Want to make a, easily maintainable city garden? Just follow this plan, as illustrated above.

  • Select your space. The heart of a medieval city is ideal (the more souls that can overlook the garden, the better), but almost any space will suffice.
  • Create one or more organic shaped beds in the centre and another around the perimeter, leaving room for a sinuous, scrollable path (experts advise laying out the path first).
  • Edge the beds in a stone coloured material, selecting a darker tile to define the perimeter border.
  • Scatter shrubs, small, decorative conifers, grasses and herbaceous plants that can tolerate some neglect in the central beds. Keep it on the minimal side – you don’t want to crowd things.
  • Artfully place decent-sized rocks in small groups or piles.
  • Mulch with crushed slate.
  • Add curved, benches that will invite passers-by to linger. Chocolate coloured metal ones will match those tiles around the outer borders.
  • Fix trellises to the walls and encourage vines to soften them, creating the effect of a glade within a city (if you lack walls, add a fence or baffle first).
  • If the same vines can be pruned low to provide ground cover for the perimeter beds, so much the better. If not, plant something green to do the job.
  • Pave, staying true to the neutral, natural theme.
  • In winter, tie the grasses up into neat bundles by wrapping a few of the long outer strands around the clump.
  • Sit back and enjoy.

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Pedestrian Walkway At The Missouri Botanical Garden

Covered path at the Missouri Botanical Garden

I rarely take people pictures. It makes me feel sneaky (when I try to take pictures unobserved) or shy (when I’m spotted). I’d be hard pressed to estimate how long I’ve spent in gardens waiting for people to clear away from my shot and how often I’ve captured a random back or stray bottom by mistake when looking too excitedly at a flower to thoroughly check the periphery.  Continue reading

Garden Art: David Harber’s ‘The Mantle’

Orb

I caught a bit of stick about the rusty found art I shared earlier this week, so I thought I’d go to the other extreme: a verdigris bronze sphere I’ve seen and admired at shows and exhibitions that is embellished with gold leaf. As it says on the artist David Harber’s website:

…the gold leaf constantly shimmers and glows, flooding the centre of the piece with light – soft and subtle light when the sky is overcast; bright and intense when the sun’s rays hit the piece.

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