For many homeowners and renters in urban settings, condominiums and apartments present the most common and practical choice of property for city living.
As any seasoned condo and apartment dweller in Toronto knows, living in these settings means perfecting the art of maximizing your space with limited square footage in mind. This explains why furniture stores and decorators in the city have done so well in offering compact condo-sized pieces and catering their decor concepts to these smaller spaces.
Looking beyond the interiors of these condominiums and apartments, one area of prime real estate not to be discounted is, of course, the balcony. This exterior area presents the perfect opportunity for residents to satisfy their green thumb.
The main objective with small-space gardening for urban dwellers is to create a designated space for the purpose that won’t occupy the exterior area in an inconvenient way. Remember: the purpose is to enrich your space, not clutter it.
To get you inspired, we’ve assembled the top small space gardening ideas for condo and apartment dwellers in Toronto.
Your first move when setting up a small-space garden should be selecting the best area available. Depending on the kind of garden and vegetation you’re envisioning, your garden’s needs will be specific to amount of light exposure (or shade), watering schedule, potting soil, fertilizer and nutrients, etc. Every garden is different, but most plant species (or vegetables, if that’s more your garden style) will have commonalities with other plants, and in selecting those with similar needs, you’ll facilitate maintenance and encourage optimal growth.
If you’re lacking in the square footage needed to accommodate the garden you’ve envisioned, why not take re-work your plans for a vertical green-scape instead?
Vertical gardens and “living walls” continue to be a popular choice for gardeners who are limited on space, or simply love the unique appeal of a garden that scales up versus the traditional boxed and grounded garden layouts.
Privacy walls along balconies present a great opportunity for a vertical garden. You can use column plants and flowering vines to create a beautiful climbing effect with your garden, creating a lush and “living” atmosphere while leaving your ground space clear and open for other use. You can also achieve this look with a leaned decorative ladder, lattice wall - you can get creative here!
Another space-saving small-garden idea that lends itself to the vertical garden concept is a raised garden bed that also has a bench component. This allows for a multipurpose use of designated space to create a bench area with a raised garden bed from the backrest-upper area (hollowed out to allow for soil). Essentially anything that works to the same effect as a plant potter can be used here, so the options really are limitless.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy vertical garden option, try a multi-pocket fabric wall planter, like this one from Wayfair Canada. This is a great way for foodies to create an herb garden with thyme, chives, basil, rosemary and more in one designated quick-reach area for when you’re cooking up a storm and want to toss in some fresh, home-grown herbs.
The ideal plants for the low-maintenance gardener would be those requiring less daily care and with less particular “needs” for health and growth.
Some examples of low-maintenance outdoor plants include:
For those lacking private exterior space in the form of balconies and landings, this doesn’t mean you’re out of luck for garden options within your property.
There are plenty of unique and easy-to-implement interior gardening ideas, including:
Whatever your space allowance, whether you’re looking to take advantage of balcony or other exterior space – or wanting to add some greenery and florals to your interior living area - there is an option for every gardener, from the novice plant enthusiast to the seasoned greenthumb.
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