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Savvy Ideas For Small Garden Spaces

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With summer in full swing there’s plenty of opportunity to make the most of alfresco living. And for those with an outside space there’s scope for green-fingered fun. As experts in small space living, Futon Company is always interested in maximising the space available and constantly seeks out tips and ideas in this area. When we came across This Morning’s new gardening gurus, brothers David and Harry Rich in a recent edition of Metro newspaper we were keen to learn more about their tips for making the most of an urban garden.

Here are some of our favourites:
Q: I don’t know where to begin with outdoor plants. Do I need to plant bulbs? Are herbs a good place to start?
A: Not necessarily. Start with a colour scheme or a theme you like and then pick a few plants that match that. Don’t go crazy and buy a load of mismatched plants, start with three or four. You can always start with pots rather than beds. They’re more manageable and you can have them on a balcony. It’s less daunting than starting with a bed, where you might get weeds popping up and could be discouraged from continuing. Herbs are great. They’re generally quite easy – you can have them in a pot and they’re fairly hardy. We have rosemary at home, which has grown into a shrub and provides a bit of interest as well as being handy for cooking

Q: What’s the best way to maximise space on a balcony if I want plants there?
A: Vertical gardening is the way to go. Maximise wall space by using felt pockets and make a green wall. They will require more watering but you can set up a hose, connect it to a tap and leave it on for 10 minutes. If you’re on the top floor of a high building you will need to pick hardier plants such as a creeping dogwood or hart’s tongue fern, things that are native to Britain rather than exotic

Q: Any suggestions for storage in a small urban garden?
A: In our garden at the Chelsea Flower Show we had a short wall that had a fold-out table and pull-out seats. It was a small garden but we had a table and chairs that doubled as storage. You can buy box seats with removable tops

Q: I want to grow veg in my urban garden. Where should I begin?
A: Pots make it more manageable. For good yield, make sure they’re in a sunny but sheltered spot. Starting small with pots will stop you getting overwhelmed or you can find a sink in a tip and use that – you don’t have to use a pre-made veg bed

Q: For those of us who just want stuff that smells amazing, what are the top ‘smellers’?
A: Catmint has a dusty blue flower and an interesting smell. Roses are a classic – there’s something so elegant about a white rose. Jasmine and lavender are easy because they like poor soil. You can leave them in a pot and they don’t really mind drying up

Q: For the less green-fingered among us, which plants are the least killable?
A: Lavender is pretty sturdy. Aquilegia is great – it will self-seed and has clover-like leaves with a range of different coloured flower heads. And cow parsley is native and quite hardy

Check out Futon Company garden goodies for urban spaces…

Oak Gaijin Chair

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Outdoor Roly Poly

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Linda Table

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