My Top Tips for Small Gardens

So here are my top tips for those of you with small gardens like mine.  I hope my garden tips inspire you!

Containers are easy to use if you remember these three rules:

Drainage: You must poke big holes and add rocks to the bottom and/or sides of the pot before you plunk the plant in.

Water: Plants need to be watered all of the time, even when they aren’t drooping.

Feed: Plants need vitamins, without them they don’t sprout much! I like liquid seaweed.

Sure, these rules are are easy. It’s keeping them up that’s difficult. It’s like when we tell our dentist ‘of course we’ll floss every day from this day forward’. Hmm. But really, if you just stick to these three basic rules the garden will look great!

Some plants are hardier than others. I find that I have a hard time killing geraniums, violets, jasmine, honeysuckle and petunias. They keep flowering if you dead-head them and water on a regular [like every other day] basis. I tend to buy starter plants at my local DIY in April/May and they keep flowering, growing more robust, peaking late August but are enjoyed through late September. Figure out what’s hardy in your space, or try my suggestions. Don’t opt for delicate plants. You’ll just waste money and be disappointed.

If a plant doesn’t like where it’s been placed, move it! I have some tempermental Hydrangia. It looks beautiful but doesn’t seem to like the sun. Fair enough, I don’t like full sun either. After killing it’s predecessor [in the same spot] I moved the new one around five or six times and it’s finally taken a liking to a partial-sun corner. If I hadn’t moved it, it would have died. Don’t avoid dragging your pots around because you like where you’ve placed them. You won’t like them so much when the plant is gone, so put the plant first and move it!!

Get your bulbs into the window boxes in Autumn. This should be done the same week you remove the summer bedding. When those summer boxes start looking past the point of no return, yank them out and plunk in your hyacinth bulbs.

I opt for the blue/purple because they tend to pop up right in time for Purim and I decorate my house in purple and gold for our Purim celebrations! Why Hyacinth? Cheap, cheerful, difficult to kill, lasts a long time and don’t grow very tall so they don’t block light in my window boxes. Need I say more to convince you? I also stick daffodil bulbs into the pots in the garden because daffoldils are just so cheerful to show in Spring.

Plant your veggie seeds in March indoors. Jack and I painted starter pots for the seeds [fun craft afternoon] then planted the seeds and watched them sprout indoors until late April when they were large enough to withstand the outdoor elements.
Over this summer we’ve grown peas, runner beans, peppers and tomatoes–all from seed. Our crops aren’t huge, but gosh are they sweet! Jack absolutely loves showing people what he’s grown, it’s great for little ones and pretty easy to do.

Fruit trees bring lots of joy for minimal effort. We bought three basic fruit trees from our local DIY. I have them in containers on our deck and every year they amaze me with gorgeous, fragrant blossoms in Spring and a decent quantity of fruit in summer. We have a cherry, peach and pear tree in our garden. I also bought a blueberry bush that’s generating lots of berries! Not quite enough to bake with, but magical for our young son to check on progress [and sneak tastings]on a regular basis.

Be careful with colour. For me, there’s not enough space in my garden to accomodate lots of different colour. One year I went for multi-colour, and it just didn’t work.

Now I stick to one pallette, but I change it annually. This year my garden is purple. Here’s a hanging basket in view supporting Jack’s birthday party bunting!



  1. Jaydee says:

    Wow, your post makes mine look felebe. More power to you!

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