Saturday, May 25

Spruce Up Your Garden this Black Friday: 4 Tips for Creating a Garden in Small Spaces

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Water the flower beds, trim the hedges, prune the plants, and start prepping the party menu, Garden Day 2022 took place on Sunday, 9 October, and garden lovers everywhere were celebrating up a storm. If you missed it, don’t fret, you still have the rest of October to celebrate this beautiful occasion and revel in your garden. October is the month for all South Africans to join in the celebrations and show off their gorgeous green spaces.

No matter the size or shape of your garden — whether you are surrounded by a humble windowsill of monstera deliciosa or a rambling tree-lined wilderness — everyone is invited to get involved.

water garden

To get started on creating your perfect garden haven, you’ll need the right gardening tools. But, finding the best prices on gardening essentials in South Africa can be tricky. Start the search on PriceCheck and find the gardening must-haves you need at the best prices.

What is Garden Day?

Now in its seventh year, Garden Day was created by a group of enthusiastic gardeners who wanted to encourage people across South Africa to connect by celebrating their green spaces — no matter how big or small — and embrace the endlessly therapeutic effects of these leafy respites. Green spaces give back to us mentally and physically, and in light of Mental Health Awareness month also being celebrated in October, there isn’t a better time to get planting. “Plants can elevate a person’s mood by decreasing cortisol levels, serving as a source of comfort, and increasing feelings of support,” says one of the movement’s founding gardeners Gundula Deutschlander of Babylonstoren.

gin garden

Plants offer their caretakers a sense of purpose. Watering them regularly and tending to their soil offers a similar sense of caregiving. Guarding your garden from pests and winterizing your roses can make you feel essential to their protection. “The research and literature states that by providing you with an added sense of meaning, plants can keep you from feeling listless, increase your energy levels, and boost your overall productivity,” Deutschlander explained.

Get celebration-ready

First things first. As the official symbol of Garden Day, wearing a flower crown is a must. Make your own and once your flower crown is good to go, pay tribute to your garden by hosting a Garden Day celebration with family and friends. A treasure hunt, relaxed braai, fancy tea party, swanky sundowners or lazy picnic… Whatever works for you.

Social butterflies can also join in on the fun online by showing off their flower crowns and sharing pictures and videos of their celebration on social media using #GardenDaySA.

Winter gardens

Even if you live in an urban space or have limited space to create a garden, you can still surround yourself with greenery. Here are a few tips for creating a garden in small spaces: 

Choose your plants wisely

Whether you’re searching for the best indoor plants or want plants for your outdoor garden, it’s best to do you research before plating. Some plants like the butterfly bush (gauras) or roses have beautiful flowering times but need high maintenance. Others involve using technical skills like espaliering of fruit trees, but it is so rewarding. There are plants that stay evergreen and grow slowly, like the popular spekboom or many kinds of aloes. Do some research and see what grows well in your area to make sure every plant that you choose has a functional role in your garden.

gin garden

Use pots

Pot plants make beautiful displays, and you can play with the collection of plants you use in them. Spruce up your indoor area with a few house plants in beautiful pots, or use them outside for a unique look. Pots can add height when placed inside flower beds.

Think out of the box

Vertical or hanging plants can be an interesting addition in small spaces. A wall garden is a great way to bring greenery into your home without taking up too much space.

vertical wall garden 

Invite nature in

Use your garden to create a haven for butterflies, birds, bees and other insects by using things like water. The sound of running water is so soothing and little creatures like frogs can help you control those mosquitoes and flies in the summer.

Tips for a rookie starting their own garden

  • Before getting started, think about how would you like to engage with your garden, and what is its purpose?
  • Take note of your specific environmental challenges to access the most practical ways to create your safe haven: Predominant wind direction, the difference between winter and summer sun, soil condition, access to water, marauding animals, nosey neighbours, etc.
  • Your soil is your foundation and so worth investing time and effort into. Show your garden love by keeping an earthworm farm or making your own compost, and your garden will respond in kindness. Mulch with any available material to help keep your soil as moisture retentive as possible, and also to help stabilise the soil’s temperature and to keep the micro-organisms in the soil active and alive.
  • Work towards a vision that makes your garden loveable and fun, it’s going to be a process, but that’s what’s so enjoyable.
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