It is not uncommon to have a small space to work with when creating your dream garden. More often than not, living in the mountains and high country requires sacrificing some outdoor space when purchasing or renting a home. With abundant outdoor space around you for skiing, hiking, biking, boating and more, often those shared spaces in the community can be categorized as your back yard. However living in a condo or apartment, or working with a small space doesn’t need to deter you from creating your own personal plant oasis. Here are some small space garden tips:

Use Containers and Raised Beds:

  1. Containers come in various shapes, forms and colors. They can be repurposed and moved around your deck, patio or small space as needed.
  2. Containers and raised bedsĀ provide good drainage, less soil compaction, fewer weeds, and minimal bending. Warmer soil temperatures in spring and fall allow for a longer growing season.
  3. Plant annuals, perennials, bulbs, houseplants or vegetables in containers and raised beds.
  4. Let your children each pick a container to care for and involve them in the garden.
  5. Think about your sun exposure, access to water and hoses, and where you want to spend your time in outdoor space.

Think vertically:

  1. When working with a small space it is important to utilize all the space provided-think vertically and use the entire space.
  2. Stage containers on different levels to help keep interest an all areas of your small space.
  3. Utilize climbing plants and vines on trellis and climbing structures to fill your vertical space.

Personalize your plant oasisĀ 

  1. Personalize your small space and think about how you plan to spend your time.
  2. Some ideas include hammocks or quiet reading corners for alone time, or well lit outdoor spaces for nighttime entertaining and hangouts.
  3. What do you like? Some of my favorite garden spaces include feeding the birds like my grandma’s tradition, and playing “Know how many gnomes?” with my friend’s children when they come to visit. Years of collecting and hiding these garden guardians help the next generation appreciate gardens and plants.
  4. Find new life in something old- refurbish a used garden bench or container, or turn an old candle holder into a new lantern for light.

When starting and planning your small space garden remember the top priority is how you envision spending your time there. Maybe your color palette doesn’t match up with the current garden trends, or you don’t have a lot of extra money to put into your outdoor space. The most important goal is for you to enjoy your space. Start small, look for inspiration around you, add your own personal touches, and enjoy your perfect outdoor oasis.