Urban gardeners are usually well aware that space is their biggest challenge, but it is possible to introduce green and living design to a balcony, a roof space, or even to window ledges and walls. In fact, green walls have become very popular because they not only improve air quality and offer more natural surroundings than the typical brick face found in city and town centres, but they can help reduce the amount that you have to spend on heating during the winter. While space is potentially the biggest challenge, though, you shouldn’t overlook the potential problems with a lack of light, and questions of how best to deal with ventilation and drainage.
Light And Shade
Almost all forms of urban garden will pose some lighting challenges. Roof gardens can offer a large expanse of space, but the height of the location means that there is likely to be very little in the way of shade, meaning that sunscald can become a major problem. Take into account the light levels that your planting area will face throughout the year, and not just the problems that are present when you are planning and planting.
For urban gardens on rooves and balconies, there is the major problem of having no earth to dig into. Rather than trying to dump tonnes of soil on the roof of your property, the best approach is to use planters. You can erect semi-permanent planters, or use pots that can be moved around according to the weather, or shifted when you want to change the layout and design of your garden.
Drainage And Ventilation
Using planters means that you may struggle with natural drainage, and this is a consideration when designing, building, or buying planters. Hanging baskets should be hung low enough that you can water them, and you should avoid placing them above plants that require minimal water that might be in other planters. For balconies and indoor planting, you should also consider ventilation – many plants require fresh air, and you should try to find a way to provide free flowing, fresh air to your plants.
Even after taking these factors into account, however, space is likely to be your biggest challenge. Even a balcony can quickly become filled with planters, so ensure that you know the likely spread of any plants that you buy and nurture. While you can keep them cropped down, in most cases, the constant cutting and pruning of some genus of plants can lead to permanent and irreparable damage. It is better to choose plants that will remain relatively small where possible.
Green Walls And Green Rooves
Vertical gardening is a viable alternative to balcony gardening, and a great solution for those that do not have any outdoor space. Small yards can benefit by choosing plants that grow vertically, but even an external wall can be turned into a living wall, through the use of hydroponics style growing medium, and a good selection of suitable plant types.
Garden Club London specialises in urban gardening solutions. Enjoy green and natural planting in any space, whether you have a small yard, a roof garden, or you want to introduce a vertical green wall to your property.