Around the House: Welcome Spring by Planting Small, Creative Micro-Gardens
By Yehudit Garmaise
Even city dwellers can find tiny corners of space: whether inside or outside, to bring in the first day of spring today with small city gardens that add natural pops of fresh color.
Not only do flowers and plants provide a relaxing and cheerful atmosphere, but plants purify the toxins in the air, and the care and tending of greenery can be fun and exciting, as everything starts “coming up roses.” In addition, herb gardens can provide fresh spices for cooks.
The following are ideas to bring some blooms, greenery, vegetable, and herbs outside in your yards or into your homes.
Create the Perfect Urban Escape: Designer Christina Nielsen suggested on housebeautiful.com that urban residents set flat stones outside into gravel on which to place a small metal table, comfortable chairs, and an umbrella to transform a Brooklyn backyard into “a sitting garden.” To landscape, one designer surrounded the table and chairs with trees that bear fruit, potted sunflowers and plants, flowering bushes, and fern-like greenery that scales a fence behind the sitting area.
Mix Different Size Plants on a Small Balcony, Porch, or Deck: To create a little relaxing corner that radiates calm and quiet, all Brooklynites need is a tiny space on which to set out plants of varying sizes and heights, says a representative of M. James Design Group. Choose tall potted trees, low potted voluminous plants, small pots of colorful flowers, and tiny containers of fragrant herbs to alternate placing on the ground, on small tables, and on garden benches with throw pillows or cushions. Add a rocking chair, a book, and coffee for your own secret garden.
Till the soil and plant some seeds in a tiny vegetable garden to grow tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and fresh herbs that will emerge later in the summer for your family’s salads and stir-fries.
Use your fence as a trellis on which to hang and support plants and flowers: Architect and designer Gil Schaefer created an outdoor sanctuary in one backyard by installing freestanding trellises painted in neutral colors to showcase the plants and flowers that the trellises support.
Plant just one type of flower to blossom, such as roses, hydrangeas, or peonies: to provide a consistent look and to save time on yard work.
Place colorful potted flowers on the stairs going leading up to your front or back door.
Just as the British do, hang window boxes in which to place small pots and plants not beautify not just your home, but your whole street. You can choose different flowers and plants to match the seasons.
A terrarium, which is a glass container that holds tiny miniature gardens, just as an aquarium holds fish and water, is a fun option for New Yorkers who only have indoor space. Plants in terrariums mostly sustain themselves by watering themselves through transpiration and condensation.
Use your wall space: by hanging a small modular or geometric shelving unit on which to place tiny plants that do not need much care, such as cacti and succulents:
Hang plants vertically: by attaching a few hooks to your ceiling or your home’s entryway. On Amazon, you can buy sleek modern plant hangers in different shapes or macrame plant hangers, if you like a crafty, old-school vibe.
Tend to Flowers or Herbs on a Kitchen Shelf or on a Window Sill: Paint a small shelf a bright color, and use it to create a tiny indoor garden in a light-filled kitchen, suggested interior designer Elizabeth Hay. Fresh herbs in small vases also look great on window sills, which both benefit from the sunlight and will be ready for snipping when you need some spice in your cooking.