Urban Garden Ideas For City Living.

The countryside isn’t for everyone. Here at The Old House in the Shires, we love the wide open spaces and the weird and wonderful smells that waft from the nearby fields. Of course, if you are a big city type, you may prefer the hustle and bustle of people and the constant buzz of the hub. Both have their pros and cons and it’s down to personal choice which lifestyle you pick. One thing that you may miss or envy is a garden or having your own outside space. There aren’t many better ways to relax or brighten up space than with plants.

Here are four urban gardening tips:
Aim High
Do you live in an apartment complex? If the answer is yes, you can look up to the skies for inspiration. Usually, this is one of the only spaces in the city that isn’t overcrowded and overpopulated with people and stuff. As a result, it makes it a perfect place to start building an urban garden of your dreams. All you have to do is buy plant pots and hanging baskets and place them vertically. Some people even are lucky enough to have a roof garden to start a flower/vegetable patch. I personally love seeing a sedum roof as it’s a great way to add pollinator plants for bees and other insects.
Use Left Overs
Lofts and garages are generally full of stuff that no one wants. After all, there is nowhere else to put it and it is often out of sight and out of mind. However, don’t remove any of the clutter until you are sure it has zero gardening value. For example, a wooden pallet can become a perfect place to grow herbs or succulents.  Making a pallet garden is easy and it makes a fun project with children. Or, fill a disused wine box with vegetation. Don’t worry about soil because hydroponics  will add nutrients. Remember that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Personally, I love to see vintage chimney pots or old tin baths filled with plants and used like plant pots.

Tin bath full of flowers
An old tin bath filled with tulips.

Go Zen
When you see a Zen garden, you may feel they are small and insignificant and seem pointless. However, it’s because they are tiny and hassle-free that they are perfect for a city house or flat. Typically, Zen gardens don’t involve any greenery but use sand, grain and stones instead. From an interior design standpoint, it’s a fantastic way to add contrast to the living space. Plus, it does what it says on the tin and relieves stress by bringing a sense of calm. A true Zen garden means whatever the viewer wishes it to mean so it can work in tiny spaces as long as there is a place to view it from.

I love these ceiling planters!

Bring it inside
Gardens don’t have to stay outside. In fact, the ones in the city are often inside because there isn’t enough room. With that in mind, don’t be afraid to get creative and use the interior to add life and vibrancy. For example, walls and ceilings are excellent places for plants as you can use custom made holders. Or, there are ceiling planters that hang from up high. Probably the best tip is to use herbs in the kitchen as aromatic plants are not only useful but luscious and have a great smell.
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Urban garden ideas for city living. Oldhouseintheshires. #gardening

One Messy Mama


  • When I lived in a apartment building I use to grow my herbs in pots :0 I was even able to grow a small watermelon :). If you love and take care of them they can grow anywhere….:)

    • Wow that’s amazing! I have always had flowers in pots on balconies or window sills when I was a student. I just couldn’t help myself! I love pretty flowers. ☺️

      • heheh I know about the watermelon….love gardening and since back then I wasnt able to I thought to myself why not plant into pots and see what happens. 🙂 flowers just makes something so plain look so beautiful…:)

  • I tell my colleague in Los Angeles that one of the best ideas for gardening in the city is to relocate. He is not amused.

  • This is perfect – we have a trough with Rosemary and Mint in, I plan to plant basil closer to summer. Plus, houseplants are very trendy at the moment if you can get one into your home!

    • That’s true! I love herbs as they smell so fresh don’t they?

  • The ideas sound fantastic. Unfortunately I don’t have a very green thumb but I think I could try growing herbs – coriander and mint shouldn’t be too difficult. I’ve been meaning to try this for ages.

  • I adore greenery inside and out, if I am not surrounded by it I feel suffocated. My dad who was a firefighter always worked part time as a Gardner also and it is my mums passion to garden so even now they have the most magical garden. I have always loved nature. I love that you are helping people see that you can crate gardens even in tiny spaces and inner city. Thank you for sharing this post with #mg

  • I would go completely mad in London without my garden. It’s not “countryside big” but it is reasonable for a city garden and it brings my husband and I so much enjoyment. Both our respective sets of parents love gardening so we have both been brought up in a gardening environment and whilst we are not as knowlegeable we get by. We do have a lot of pots too and my husband’s annual pride and joy is doing these and planting 100s of tulips in our box garden at the front of the house which always draws lots of admiring comments. I love your idea of using an old bath or chimney pots – will have to keep my eyes peeled – am still looking for an etagere for my patio after seeing yours last year. Can’t wait to see how your garden flourishes over the coming months. #mg

    • Thanks Jo. Look for old chimney pots at vintage fairs. Or old, metal buckets can look lovely. Xx

  • Some amazing suggestions. I love the ceiling platers. I have high ceilings and it is a great idea to add some colour. #globalblogging

    • Yes, I may have to get some of those. X

    • Haha! I just love to see flowers in any container!

  • I live in a 2 story town home. The only outdoor spaces are two balconies and I feel fortunate to have them. Vertical growing is definitely the way to go in that setting. I find you can grow more than you think in such a small space!

    • Absolutely! That sounds like a great idea,

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