Small Spaces

Utilise your space and get creative with explorer plants that love to climb and crawl. There is still plenty of gardening to be done in compact gardens, on the patio, and all around your balcony. Don’t let space restrictions limit your green fingers this new year.

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Best trellis trailers 

Creepers and climbers will go to town on any wall, pillar, or arch where trellis support is possible. Consider these indigenous showstoppers that are low maintenance and naturally adapted to our climate.  

  1. Pink trumpet vine (Podranea ricasoliana) in full sun. They boast an abundance of fragrant lilac-pink flowers. 
  2. Flame creeper (Combretum microphyllum) in full sun. They are truly spectacular with flaming crimson flowers. 
  3. Cape honeysuckle (Tecomaria capensis) in full sun. They bare tubular blooms in red, orange, yellow, and salmon.

Top tip: Arches, beams and pillars are a climber’s dream. Secure some wire around these structures and let your explorer plants do the rest. This is gardening and living décor achieved with simplicity and style.

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Grow a gallery

If you’ve got a barren wall, decorate it with life! Get the look:

  1. Secure a few vertical growing containers against a wall.
  2. Upcycle some large frames with character and texture, secure them around the containers. 
  3. Half fill your pots with compost and potting soil from your nursery.
  4. While you’re there, grab these lovelies to grow in your gallery:

Shaded babes - fuchsias, wild iris, September bush, and impatiens. 

Sun lovers - black-eyed Susan, climbing snapdragons, verbena, and geraniums. 

Try this: Go for a sophisticated succulent look by pairing potted rock roses with elegant white frames. Scatter white pebbles around your succulents to really bring out their eyes.

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Hacks to upsize your small space 

  • Outdoor mirrors will help make your area appear larger.
  • Suspend your furniture to save floor space.
  • Extend your indoors to the patio with outdoor carpets and homey accessories. 
  • Paint outdoor fences a quarter way up with a dark colour to create an illusion of height.
  • Play with textures like pebbles and wood chips to create intrigue and depth. 
  • Use solar lighting to strategically highlight focal points in the space. 
  • Go for large tropical palms that will add height and fill up empty spaces in no time. 

Top tip: Ditch the lawn and go for gorgeous ornamental grasses to showcase walkways and cover barren areas. Try ophiopogon japonicus 'Kyoto', zoisia tenuifolia, and white carpet (Falkia repens).

 

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Jungle vibes await

Hanging baskets and containers are your best friends for patio gardening. Experiment with different hangers to compliment your décor and unique style of these jungle-inspired plants: 

Silver falls (Dichondra argentea), holly fern (Cyrtomium falcatum), and forest bell bush (Mackaya bella).

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Foldaway fun

You can even have your own little bar/drinks prep station that neatly folds away or acts as a nifty cocktail herb station.

Sun & semi-shade stunners - Spanish daisy (Erigeron karvinskianus) and bacopa (Sutera cordata).

Try this: Hang woven baskets from the hooks for additional storage space and décor charm.

Try this instant kids corner

Inflatable pools can be used as temporary sandpits or cool off zones that can easily be packed away after playtime. Add a couple of beach toys and an umbrella or throw in some bubble bath mix!

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January to-do list 

- Take care of your gifted Christmas poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) by homing them near a window with ample direct light. Water once the soil surface is dry to the touch. 

- Fill gaps in beds and borders with quick maturing annuals that will continue flowering into autumn. Plant cleomes, lobelias and sweet alyssum for cool colours and small cosmos, tiny zinnias, marigolds, portulacas, and celosia for warm shades.

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- Mulch bare soil to save water and discourage weed growth. Compost, bark chips or straw will help preserve moisture during heatwaves. 

- Use an acid mulch on camellias, azaleas, blue hydrangeas, and gardenias, which prefer soil with a low Ph.

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