City dwellers, be inspired by these green-fingered design ideas, perfect for apartments or small urban spaces
Whether you have a roof terrace, a tiny balcony or just a window cill, the latest urban gardening trends mean it’s easier than ever for horticultural enthusiasts living in cities to get their green groove on. The news is you’re not alone. With a 220% increase in saved searches of ‘city gardens’ on Pinterest in the past six months, it’s clear, urban dwellers love to grow things.
Plants are still a key design trend, plus they also help to clean the air and study after study shows that biophilia – the idea that human wellbeing requires a deep-rooted connection with nature – is a legit thing. In fact, biophilic design is proven to boost productivity and encourage creativity.
One quick, easy and inexpensive way to bring the outdoors inside or to bring a balcony to life with greenery is with large potted plants.
Freddie Blackett is founder of Patch, a kind of Deliveroo-for-plants service which helps you identify the best plants for your space, indoors or outside, and delivers them to you.
If you only have indoors to work with, Freddie recommends opting for air-purifiers such as Aloe Vera, which produces oxygen at night and is said to improve sleep quality, and Golden Pothos which can remove common household pollutants formaldehyde and benzene from the air.
This year’s Chelsea Flower Show gave the world some seriously innovative urban garden design ideas. One of the most popular was the plant shelves in The Lemon Tree Trust Garden (below), by debut designer Tom Massey.
To create this industrial look use large, washed-out tomato tins, plant them up and place them on shelves made of reclaimed wood, such as scaffolding boards. Or you can achieve a clean, modern look indoors by using a shelving unit (below) filled with low maintenance succulents.
Living walls (below) or ‘vertical gardening’ is a huge trend that shows no sign of waning. Plants these days can be hung off grids, walls and ceilings.
One of the most popular DIY systems is the Woolly Pocket (woollypocket.co.uk), a pouch that attaches to walls. Alternatively there are 500 types of Tillandsia (or air plants) which get their nutrients through their leaves and can attach to rocks, trees and walls.
A ‘garden on a ladder’ is another great space-saving idea. Look for antique wooden ladders online or from salvage yards to prop against a wall, or The Aldsworth Pot Ladder (below), which is crafted in spruce, has three shelves to display pots full of herbs or homegrown blooms.
If you have the indoor space and want to make a dramatic statement, an indoor olive tree – or a faux one, such as the example below – can really help you get back to nature.
Every tiny patch of planting in our homes not only looks great but can also benefit wellbeing, as caring for plants is an investment which can make you feel anchored to where you live.
If that’s left you feeling inspired but in need of some help to get started, Petersham Nurseries in Covent Garden is running a series of horticulture workshops which will have you green-fingered in no time. To book visit the Urban School of Garden Inspiration.