How to make a garden in a small space?

Written by ArqBahia

ArqBahia team of authors.

I. Introduction

In this article, we will present some innovative ideas to make the most of the space available in small gardens. We know that it is not always easy to create a green and pleasant environment in small spaces, but with a little creativity and planning, it is possible to transform any area into an oasis of tranquility and beauty. Let's explore how to use vertical dimensions, multiple layers, functional furniture and technology to benefit your garden. In addition, we will answer some frequently asked questions about how to choose the best plants, implement these ideas on balconies and patios, and consider important aspects when choosing functional furniture. We hope this article inspires you to renovate your garden and enjoy a green and harmonious space.

II. Maximizing Vertically

One of the most effective ways to make the most of the space available in a small garden is to use the vertical dimension. This means exploring the possibilities of planting on walls, ceilings and elevated structures, creating an effect of depth and diversity in the environment. In this chapter, we will present two innovative ideas to maximize your garden vertically: vertical plants and hanging gardens.

A. Vertical Plants

Vertical plants are those that grow on vertical surfaces, such as walls, walls, fences and trellises. They can be grown directly in the ground, in pots or in panels modular, which allows greater flexibility in the layout and management of plants. The advantages of vertical plants are:

  • They take up little horizontal space, leaving more free space for other plants or furniture.
  • They create a visual effect of spaciousness and beauty, transforming a dull wall into a focal point of the garden.
  • They improve air quality, filtering pollutants and producing oxygen.
  • They reduce the ambient temperature, providing shade and coolness.
  • They increase biodiversity, attracting birds, butterflies and other beneficial insects.

To choose the right vertical plants for your garden, you need to take into account some factors, such as:

  • The sun exposure of the wall where they will be planted. Some plants prefer full sun, others partial shade or full shade.
  • The need for watering of plants. Some plants are more resistant to drought, others need more humidity.
  • The wind resistance of plants. Some plants are more fragile and can easily break or lose leaves.
  • Compatibility between plants. Some plants may compete for nutrients, water or space, harming the growth of others.

Some vertical plant options that adapt well to different conditions are:

  • Ferns: They are plants that like shade and humidity, ideal for internal or external walls that receive little sunlight. They have delicate, hanging leaves that create a waterfall effect.
  • Succulents: These are plants that tolerate sun and drought well, perfect for external walls that receive a lot of sunlight. They have varied and colorful shapes, which create an interesting contrast.
  • Orchids: These are plants that prefer semi-shade and moderate humidity, great for external or internal walls that receive indirect light. They have lush, fragrant flowers that last a long time.
  • Ivy: It is a plant that adapts to any type of lighting and watering, excellent for covering large wall areas. It has small, green leaves that form a dense, uniform mass.

In addition to choosing the right plants, you also need to choose the right support structures for them. Support structures are the elements that fix the plants to the wall, and can be of different types, such as:

  • Vases: These are containers that contain the substrate and plant roots. They can be made from different materials, such as plastic, ceramic, metal or natural fiber. They can be hung on the wall with hooks, ropes or chains.
  • Panels: These are plates that contain pockets or cells where plants are fitted. They can be made from different materials, such as wood, metal or fabric. They can be attached to the wall with screws, nails or tape.
  • Trusses: These are grids that allow plants to wrap themselves around or rest on them. They can be made from different materials, such as wood, metal or bamboo. They can be fixed to the wall with screws, nails or hooks.
  • Pet bottles: These are recyclable bottles, commonly used to store soft drinks, water, etc. You may not know it, but it is completely possible to build a vertical garden with pet bottle, fully recyclable and environmentally friendly!

The choice of support structure depends on the size, weight and style of the plants, as well as the available space and the desired effect. The important thing is that the structure is resistant, safe and allows air and water to circulate between the plants.

B. Hanging Gardens

Hanging gardens are those that hang from the ceiling or other elevated structures, such as beams, logs or posts. They can be made from different materials, such as baskets, vases, bottles, cans or fabrics. The advantages of hanging gardens are:

  • They take up little space on the floor, leaving more free space for other plants or furniture.
  • They create a visual effect of lightness and movement, bringing dynamism to the garden.
  • They make better use of natural light, receiving more lighting than plants in the ground.
  • They facilitate plant management, allowing better access for watering, pruning and cleaning.
  • They prevent plants from direct contact with pests and diseases in the soil, increasing their health and longevity.

To choose the right hanging plants for your garden, you need to take into account some factors, such as:

  • The height at which they will hang. Some plants need more space to develop, others do better at lower heights.
  • The need for watering of plants. Some plants need more water, others can accumulate water in their tissues or leaves.
  • The weight resistance of plants. Some plants are heavier and may require a stronger structure to support them.
  • Compatibility between plants. Some plants can benefit from being close to others, creating a favorable microclimate or repelling unwanted insects.

Some hanging plant options that adapt well to different conditions are:

  • Bromeliads: These are plants that accumulate water in their leaves, requiring no substrate and frequent watering. They like full sun or partial shade and have colorful, long-lasting flowers.
  • Cacti: These are plants that store water in their stems, tolerating drought and strong sun well. They have varied shapes and spines, which can be decorative or defensive.
  • Begonias: These are plants that need a substrate rich in organic matter and regular watering. They prefer semi-shade and have showy, delicate leaves and flowers.
  • Peperomias: These are plants that need a light, well-drained substrate and moderate watering. They like shade or indirect light and have small, shiny leaves.

In addition to choosing the right plants, you also need to choose the right materials and construction for your hanging gardens. Materials are the elements that form the container where the plants will be housed, and can be of different types, such as:

  • Baskets: These are braided containers that can be made from different natural or synthetic materials, such as wicker, straw, sisal or plastic. They can have different shapes and sizes, and can contain one or more plants.
  • Vases: These are molded containers that can be made from various solid or flexible materials, such as ceramics, metal, glass or rubber. They can have different colors and prints, and may contain one or more plants.
  • Bottles: These are recycled containers that can be made from various transparent or opaque materials, such as glass, plastic or metal. They can have different shapes and sizes, and can contain one or more plants.
  • Cans: These are reused containers that can be made from different metallic or plastic materials, such as aluminum, iron or PVC. They can have different colors and designs
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III. Using Multiple Layers

One of the most efficient ways to make use of space in small gardens is to use multiple layers of plants, creating an effect of depth and diversity. In this chapter, we will present two innovative ideas for creating layered gardens and integrating functional furniture that serves as a planting space.

A. Layered Gardens

Tiered gardens are those that use different height levels to arrange plants, creating a dynamic and attractive look. To create a layered garden, you need to strategically plan the layout, taking into account factors such as the incidence of light, the need for water, the size and type of plants.

One tip is to start with the largest and tallest plants, which will serve as a backdrop for the others. Then choose medium-sized plants that contrast with the larger ones, both in color and shape. Finally, add smaller, trailing plants to the front, which will serve as a border and finish.

Some plant options for layered gardens are:

  • Palm trees, bamboo and banana trees for the background
  • Hibiscus, azaleas and bromeliads for the middle
  • Succulents, cacti and ferns forward

B. Functional Furniture

Another way to optimize space in small gardens is to use furniture that serves as a planting space, integrating aesthetics and functionality. This furniture can be made with recycled materials, such as pallets, crates and plastic bottles, or purchased ready-made in specialized stores.

Some examples of functional furniture are:

  • Benches with internal compartments for planting herbs and spices
  • Tables with vases built into the top to plant flowers and succulents
  • Bookcases with shelves to display vases of different sizes and shapes

IV. Conclusion

In this article, we present some innovative ideas for transforming small spaces into charming gardens. We looked at how to make the most of vertical space with vertical plants and hanging gardens, how to utilize multiple layers with tiered gardens and functional furniture, and how to use technology to serve the garden with smart irrigation and lighting systems. We hope these tips inspire you to create your own green oasis in any available space. Remember that size is not a limit to creativity and beauty. Thank you for reading and invite you to leave your comments and questions below.

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