Small Space Quick Design - A Minature Container Garden | Green Patches - Mediterranean Gardening

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Small Space Quick Design - A Minature Container Garden

small internal yard
A Small Internal Yard
The above plan is how I would like to see my yard in a few months time.  You may be look at some elements in the plan think, the scale is wrong, the door is way too big.  No, no mistake, the yard is small.  It only measures 3 meters by 1.8 meters or 10 feet by 6 feet.  The space is challenging, and so far I have only placed containers randomly wherever I could find space.  The time has come to try my hand at a little design.

I'll start with a small description of the current situation, and then I will move on with all the changes that I would like to make. The white square that is drawn against the left wall is a shaft which we cannot close off.  Basically is houses most of the pipe works for the apartments, and it needs to stay there.  That makes the space a bit awkward.

The doorway does not go all the way to the floor due to a supporting beam that runs underneath it, so the only way to enter the yard is by jumping over a small ledge. This is quite an inconvenience, however it gives me the opportunity to introduce something that I love, decking.  By installing decking halfway up the ledge, it makes crossing in and out more comfortable and divides the space in two, walking space and garden space.  The rest of the flooring is tile and can remain as is.

My current garden space is full at the moment and I don't have room to add anymore plants.  That has to change.  I have to admit that the space is too small and if I want to enjoy it, I have to make room for myself.  I intend to move some of the hardy plants upstairs on our roof, as I expand to make a roof garden.  I will only keep a few ornamental plants in one corner, my passion flower against the wall, and a succulent shelf that I have installed on top of the shaft.

Once I have cleared some space, the first item on the list is seating.  I would like to create a space where I can sit in a quiet corner, have coffee in the morning surrounded by plants.  A great way to start the day! I am thinking a small table, around 30 to 45 centimeters in diameter, just big enough to fit a matching chair.

In the corner, my feature piece, a nice stone jar also black.  I would like to keep things clean due to the limited space, so a jar will provide interest, and at the same time will not overpower the space.  I could plant something lush that can hang down and contrast with some color.

What plants can I can put in the jar? I can see something shocking pink in there, red would also make a great statement.  I saw a wonderful Russelia Equisetiformis (Firecracker) plant this week, with bright red flowers and wiry stems, if kept in check it would look great in the jar.

Russelia Equisetiformis
Russelia Equisetiformis

For the wall opposite the passion flower I would like to install a herb garden.  A vertical planter, ideally made of wood, that can hold a wide variety of plants.  I was originally thinking about a homemade pallet, but I was a bit worried about the wood treatment that could get into the plants.  It would be safer to look for one at the store. The wall gets about four hours of direct sunlight each day and lots of bright light, which should be enough for my herbs.

Here are some items which I think would fit perfectly in the above set up.  

The table below from Furniture Designhouse  is only 20 inches (50 cm) in diameter just enough to fit one person.  It does not come with a matching chair, however, it's foldable.  Since the space is so small, a foldable table is great, because it can be put away when doing some gardening, and then  put up when it is time to relax. Now to find a foldable chair to match.

The jar below from Amadeo Design is made of stone resin, which makes it ideal for outside and is light enough to carry around.  At 40 inches (1 meter) high it is big enough to fill the corner. I can just see that Russelia.

Roman Oil Jar, 27 by 27 by 40-Inch

This vertical planter by Gronomics is great because it is quite compact, and comes with its own irrigation system, just plugin in a hose and you can forget about the plants.  It is also made out of unfinished cedar wood which is safe.   At 32 inches (80 cm) wide, it fits nicely on the wall right next to the Roman Oil Jar.

Vertical Garden Planter, 32-Inch by 45-Inch by 9-Inch

So there it is, my minature garden.  By keeping things simple, and not being afraid to consider big items for a small space I think I can manage to turn my yard from a cluttered space into a lovely container garden.


  1. You have a wonderful that uses the space very wisely. I once lived in a townhouse with a very small backyard. I had a veggie garden and a perennial garden with a shed and a patio. I think your garden will be perfect!

    1. Hi Sage Butterfly,

      thank you for the lovely comment!

  2. It certainly pays to actually sit down and make plans. Drawing your plans must really help sort out things clearly. I love the sound of what's to come.

    The decking will be a great addition, and the seating area is a must. I have a courtyard garden with a table and chairs where I can sit out, have a cuppa, and be surrounded by lots of fantastic plants. I love it, and you will too!

    The Russelia will look fabulous in a tall black jar, and will attract birds and butterflies. We grow a lot of Russelia here as a fill-in plant, and it does look great. It will need a little trim back when the blooming cycle finishes, but that doesn't last long at all.

    The vertical garden is a brilliant addition too. That's one way of solving the space issue and still grow a lot of herbs. The succulents will add lots of interest to the space as well. I can't wait to see how things turn out.

    1. Hi Bernie,

      thank you, I may not be able to get the exact items but that's the idea. I can't wait too :)

  3. I really like your plan! I especially think the decking will add a lot in comfort and beauty. Some of the most wonderful gardens I have seen have been small, intimate spaces. And you will have a roof garden, too! That sounds fabulous. Happy gardening!

    1. Hi Deb,
      Thank you. I love the warmth of decking although it might be a problem cleaning underneath ! Roof garden is still in its infancy but we'll get there.