How to Create the Ultimate City Garden
12 Minute Read
Living in a city comes with loads of benefits – in most cases, you’re going to have absolutely everything you want on your doorstep – but garden space isn’t usually one of those things. A city garden is a different type of garden to one that you might cultivate in the country, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful. In this post, we’re going to take a look at the ways you can make the most of the space you have, to create a gorgeous city garden that you’ll love spending time in, whether you have a tiny courtyard garden, a rooftop terrace, or a balcony.
Establish your budget
Before you get started, you need to know how much you have to spend, and even more so if you’re working to a certain time frame. Knowing what your budget is will help you to plan, and means you can decide exactly how much you can allocate to certain parts of your garden.
Whatever type of garden you have, you don’t always need a huge budget to create a stunning garden – and that’s even more true if you’re prepared to wait for plants to grow. Taking cuttings from friends and splitting plants means you can minimise cost, while finding pots from charity shops, and repurposing indoor furniture with a new wood finish are all possible ways to help you keep costs to a minimum – as well as being much more sustainable.
Plan your space
Careful planning will help you to make the most of every inch you have in your city garden. Many city gardens are hard landscaped, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t create the space you want – you just have to go about it a bit differently. A few tips when you’re planning your space:
- Grass is optional, especially if the space is small
- Using pots and raised beds are a much easier option (and need less maintenance) than breaking up paving slabs and digging to plant in the ground
- Privacy screening is an essential in a city garden, especially if your neighbours are close
- Find the right accessories such as lighting and outdoor mirrors to make your garden feel bigger
- Consider zoning the space with plants, grass, or screens. It might seem counterintuitive, but sectioning the space can make it feel bigger
Whatever your vision for your city garden, planning with an online garden planning tool before you start buying will help to ensure that you get it right first time, and means you’ll be able to get the right size furniture and accessories.
Select colour and texture
Many city gardens are likely to be walled, so use paint or tiles to incorporate colour. As with indoor design, lighter colours will make the space feel bigger, but you don’t have to stick to that! Dark colours can look chic, make the colours of the flowers really pop, and help the accessories that you’ve chosen to stand out.
When you’re choosing plants, look for different heights and textures, and plan how they will help to guide the eye through your garden. If you’ve only got a tiny amount of space (like a roof terrace or courtyard) then a minimalist approach to planting will be essential. Look for textured plants and trees, and think about taller plants that can give the illusion of space through height, rather than plants at ground level.
Get the right garden furniture and accessories
You’re almost certainly going to want to use your garden as an extension of during the summer months. To really make the most of your city garden, you’ll need to get the right garden furniture so you can sit out with a tipple, or dine al fresco (don’t forget that you’ll need to be able to protect furniture year round!)
If space is at a premium, you might have found it tricky to get the right size garden furniture, but since we hand make our range to order, you can get the exact size you need – and you’re welcome to get in touch if you’re looking for a bespoke size too.
Lighting your garden is important too, especially if you want to be able to sit out into the evening. Don't think you have to hardwire your garden lighting and that it will increase your electricity bills though. As long as your city garden gets enough sun through the day, solar powered LED garden lighting is a great option, and can even be used for security lights. If not, you can look for rechargeable battery powered lights (often with USB chargers!) to provide the light you need into the evening.
Keep it sustainable
Just because your garden is in the inner city, doesn’t mean that you can’t support the local environment. A few ideas we love include:
- Encourage local wildlife by incorporating elements like bug hotels and bird boxes
- Plant wildflowers in tubs, or choose plants that attract insects like bees love, such as lavender
- Find ways to compost (even if it is by your local council)
- Use water wisely, either collecting rain water or reuse washing up, or bath water
- If you have space, add a pond to encourage local animals
- Choose garden lighting with dusk to dawn sensors, or motion sensors to prevent energy wastage
There are so many other ways to increase the sustainability of your city garden. Growing your own produce – even if it is a tiny herb garden – doesn’t have to take up masses of space. Strawberries and tomatoes can be grown in hanging baskets, there are loads of vertical vegetable gardening ideas that can be put to use, and of course, outdoor shelving can be used to accommodate your home-grown efforts too.
Our final thoughts
A city garden definitely needs a different approach to a country garden, but there are so many options that can make your city garden a place of beauty. Whatever you choose for your city garden, don’t forget to keep it sustainable, and when you’re sharing your space on Instagram, tag us @bensimpsonfurniture – especially if you’ve chosen garden furniture from our range!