No space? No problem!
Make gardening work in small quarters with these five tips.
1. Chef’s delight: Window boxes of herbs
Spruce up a boring windowsill and invite fresh aromas in by planting easy-to-care-for culinary herbs. “Window boxes can make an otherwise boring exterior wall come alive — literally,” James says. “They create a garden that can be viewed from inside and outside your loft or apartment.” James endorses using heavy-duty mounting hardware, and swears by the hayrack model, which is made of metal and lined with coir — an all-natural and sustainable lining material made from
coconut fiber and used for hanging baskets and window boxes.
2. Hang flowers high
Save your precious patio square footage by taking your garden arrangements up high with hanging flower baskets. Although there are lots of different styles and materials available, James remains partial to metal wire baskets lined with coir. “Given that baskets are typically above eye level, it’s best to use plants that trail over the edges of the baskets such as petunias, lantana and creeping Jenny,” James suggests. “If you prefer to try a hanging basket of edibles, consider oregano, thyme, cherry tomatoes or strawberries.”
3. Plant up, not out
For a sleek, contemporary look, those short on space are turning to vertical, or wall-mounted, planters — an arrangement that is perhaps more artistic than practical. “Ideally, vertical or wall-mounted planters will have a reservoir at their base to collect water so you don’t stain the walls or floor below when you water them,” James warns. “My favorite plants for a vertical arrangement are succulents.”
4. Follow the thriller, filler, spiller method
A tried-and-true method for small-space success is to make sure container arrangements employ a thriller, a filler and a spiller. “The thriller is typically a strong, upright-growing plant placed in the center or toward the back. The filler is smaller, and it’s important that it is shorter and wider than it is tall. And the spiller is anything that will trail over the edges of the container,” James says. While almost any combination works in a sunny spot, James’ go-to combination for shade is an autumn fern as the thriller, black mondo grass as the filler and a creeping Jenny spiller.
5. Embrace black thumb-proof succulents
When you absolutely have no outdoor space, bring the outdoors in with low maintenance houseplants. For those with the dreaded black thumb, James recommends succulents, including cacti. “While they require a fair amount of light, they practically thrive on neglect — they need zero fertilizer and very little water,” James promises. “For a more tropical look, you can’t go wrong with the ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia). It’s incredibly easy to grow, and its waxy leaves are gorgeous,” James says.
Mark your calendars. Spring has sprung and local festivals and events feature gardening glory this season.
Tulsa Garden Center’s Springfest
April 7-8 | 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
Tulsa Garden Center
Plants, gardening equipment, outdoor art and more will be for sale, but educational opportunities with experts and a Kidzone featuring a worm display and birdhouse contest bring extra fun.
Master Gardener Spring Plant Sale
April 13 | 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
Central park hall at Expo Square
Natives, herbs, vegetables, grasses and flowering bedding plants are for sale.
Jenks Herb and Plant Festival
April 15 | 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Jenks’ Main Street
The Jenks Garden Club’s annual celebration, where shoppers can find a variety of plants, garden supplies and home goods from local vendors.
28th annual Sand Springs Herbal Affair and Festival
April 22 | 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Downtown Sand Springs
Buy herbs, perennials, native and heirloom plants, herbal products, gardening supplies, décor and more.