Northbridge / Castlecrag

Real Talk

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It is a myth that only those property owners with sweeping backyards and wide open spaces can have wonderful gardens and vegetable patches. However, having a garden in an apartment or townhouse means that you have to be much more clever with your ideas and your space.

So here are some bright ideas from the most innovative apartment gardens, and tips for getting started.

Getting Started
No matter where you want to put your apartment garden, chances are that space is going to be an issue. Whether it is a narrow balcony, a window sill, or kitchen bench, space is always going to be at a premium.

But if you have taken to using your outdoor area as an extra storage space, or your window sill is currently home to the dishwashing liquid, then take the time to clear the space. Once these areas are free of all the extra debris, you will have a “blank slate” to work and plan with.

Work With the Sun
Apartments and townhouse balconies and kitchen window sills will generally only get sunlight from one direction. The first thing to do is figure out which direction your planned garden area will get the sun from. Luckily almost all smart phones and tablets have a compass in built to make this task easier (and if you don’t have one, remember, the sun rises in the east, and sets in the west).

East facing balconies get the blazing morning sun, while west facing areas will be baked in the afternoon sunlight. A north or north-east facing garden is ideal, as it gets balanced sun exposure throughout the day without being exposed to the harshest sunlight.

South facing apartment garden areas will see shade-loving plants thrive.

Pick the Right Plants
Now that you know about the sun, you can pick plants to suit. Herb gardens and vegetables, as well as succulents generally thrive in more sun-drenched environments. On the other hand, more delicate flowering plants including orchids, hydrangeas, camellias as well as ferns will do well in more shaded surrounds.

Get Creative
There is a seemingly endless array of clever apartment gardening ideas springing up as more and more people live in the cities of the world. Vertical gardens, small or large green walls, miniature herb gardens, gardens made from reclaimed wooden pallets and functional gardens made up of individually planted herbs in their own mason jars are just some of the ideas to explore.

If you want to see these in action, simply Google any of the above phrases, or better yet, put them into the creative hub that is Pinterest to see curated boards of the best examples from around the world.

Living in an apartment or townhouse does not mean that you have to sacrifice having a garden, and there are some incredible ways to incorporate a bit of greenery into every home.

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