One of the joys of having a house in the city is creating a small garden. Your garden gets to be a tiny oasis of nature in a busy urban environment, and the fun and creativity in fitting it all in makes it even more enjoyable. Building this little slice of the natural world is very achievable, and just takes a little bit of time, patience and a dash of landscaping. Perth is a great city for a small garden and while these tips were written with Perth’s climate in mind, they apply generally to tiny gardens all around the world.
So if you’ve ever found yourself wondering what you can even do with your tiny backyard, try your hand at garden design. Creating a garden can be an enjoyable and rewarding activity and in a lot of ways small is the perfect size for a garden! A small garden requires minimal upkeep and offers up a cozy setting, but also means that everything can be done to a slightly higher standard, and you can give more time and attention to each part than you might have with a full size garden.
Here are some ideas to think about when choosing plants for your garden, and what you want your garden to do!
A Bit Of Privacy
Being in the city comes with some of its own challenges, such as the dreaded nosey neighbour. Luckily a great way to do this is with some well-positioned plants.
Bamboo is a great solution here. Fast-growing and tall, you can create a natural bamboo fence, equally brilliant is Golden Cane. Bamboo is a little thicker and denser, whereas golden cane is generally more leafy and bushy.
If you want something a little more traditional, try Mediterranean cypress trees. They don’t require much space and grow straight up- they’re sometimes called pencil cypress for a reason.
Another great option is the Yucca. They’re a hardy plant that can grow almost anywhere, and are originally found in the hot and dry parts of the Americas and the Caribbean. They’ve got tough, sword shaped fronds and work well to screen your backyard space!
A Splash of Colour
While it is always lovely to have green in your green space, you don’t have to only include green things in it. Especially when Australia has so many colourful native plants that can be planted in beds. Try placing some of these absolute classics along walkways and around courtyards.
Flowers are the obvious choice here, and Australia has no short supply of variations! Native flowers like bougainvillea or kangaroo paw are both lovely and versatile, and the bottlebrush tree has some truly captivating flowers as well. You can never go wrong with a classic like roses, or for something with fewer thorns give hydrangeas a home in your garden. A friendly reminder that while lilies are beautiful and look nice in any garden, they are poisonous to cats, so make sure to keep your furry friends safe!
A Snack or Two
While a small backyard might not be enough space to have a whole kitchen garden you could absolutely grow some plants that can be added to the dinner table.
Chillis are always a favourite. They’re small, easy to grow and pack a punch. If you have a lattice and wall space try doing beans or peas, there are heaps of options and they’re all equally tasty. If you want a splash of colour you can eat cherry tomatoes are always a great choice.
Often forgotten are herbs! Basil, rosemary, chives, coriander and more are all easy to grow and delicious in a meal, and they’re extra tasting knowing they came straight from your own garden. Maybe the best bit is how good they smell, a garden full of herbs is really a lovely place to be.
Don’t Forget The Water Feature
Not every garden has a water feature, but they add a really nice element, especially in a small garden. A small pond can be dug into the ground or even made out of an old barrel or other refurbished building material. This water can welcome in nature and you may soon find you’re being visited by new feathered friends.
Even go the whole way, and drop in a pedestal bird-bath! It’s a small touch that will add instant character to your garden, and act as a focal point for the whole thing. Add to that some birds and you’ll soon find your tiny garden is like something straight out of a movie!
An absolutely classic plant in a water feature are water lilies. Floating on top of the water with their lovely coloured flowers, they’re easy to grow and add instant texture and depth to your garden. Another great thing about water lilies, is that they’re not true lilies so they are safe for cats.
Hopefully, this gives you something to think about when selecting plants for your small garden. Remember, your garden is a collection of living things and the time and care you put into it will reward you over and over again with a beautiful place to relax and enjoy.