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Correct plants vital for smaller spaces


Readers won’t be surprised that, during the last few years, gardens have been reduced in size.

The increase of apartment and villa living has spurred a trend towards smaller gardens; choosing the correct plants for such smaller spaces is vital in achieving a successful outcome.  

Selection and placement also affect the amount of maintenance required as the garden grows.

Which plants would you like to grow when space is at a premium?

Do you want them for shade, for fruit, for fragrance, for foliage, or even to attract birds into the garden?

Always check the ultimate size of a plant that you are considering.

When planting, avoid hot or windy days. Fussy plants should go in during autumn and winter, although you can plant almost any time during the year providing there is sufficient moisture.

Plants to be avoided in small spaces are eucalypts and jacarandas.

If you need fence screening, use lilypillies or Magnolia Teddy Bears. 

Citrus, olives and bay trees are ideal for pots for patios where privacy is needed. Apartment dwellers should recognise that the higher the balcony, the more difficult it is to achieve something spectacular as low growing plants are the answer.

Plants survive better if mulched – this helps retain moisture and controls weeds. 

Organic mulches can help improve soil structure, drainage and water holding capacity. 

Mushroom compost releases nutrients into the soil and promotes earthworm activity.

This week

  • Annuals planted for Christmas colour will respond to forking over surrounding soil, lifting gently to aerate the ground, then water with a foliant fertiliser such as Flourish.
  • Living Christmas tree will be available soon, but keep in mind that their time inside is limited and remember to have a saucer under the tree as it will require water.
  • Prune back climbers that have finished flowering and fertilise to encourage new growth.

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