(Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden)
Not all of us are lucky enough to garden year round. Likewise, some of us may either lack suitable garden space or are simply unable to find a nice secluded area to relax. If any (or all) of these sound like you, then here’s good news. It’s possible to have a beautiful, functional garden space year round – yes, your own personal gardening hub.
So first thing’s first – where to start. Determine your exact needs and consider your available space. For example, perhaps the garden hub retreat you’re dreaming of includes something private but useful throughout the year. You’ll want to include a variety of plants, especially those offering a vertical element. Growing small shrubs and trees in containers can help create more privacy in lieu of fencing.
Edibles, like herbs and vegetables, will allow you to enjoy the “fruits of your labor,” speaking of which, maintenance is another aspect to consider. How much time do you have to care for your
small backyard garden? And, of course, in order to keep it productive year round, you’ll need to plan for seasonal interest. Choose plants not only for their usefulness but those that work well in your climate, space and types that offer something every season – spring, summer, fall and winter.
By definition, a “hub” is the center of something, so think about what you want the center of your garden hub retreat to be. In keeping with our previous example, a year-round gardening hub, you may want this space to center around a greenhouse. Oh, but wait, my gardening space is too limited. Not a problem.
There are many greenhouse options that can fit your requirements. A lean-to greenhouse, for instance, attaches to an existing building or your home, and your small personal garden can be designed around it. Additionally, you could opt for a mini-greenhouse or construct a small one depending on your budget. A greenhouse allows you to continue growing edibles and other plants regardless of the season. The only major requirement is sunlight, so the location of your small gardening space should be kept in mind.
Using containers can further alleviate issues with space, and as an added bonus, can be moved to the greenhouse to overwinter tender plants. If you’ll be using your personal gardening hub for reading or relaxing too, don’t forget to add a bench or other seating – perhaps even a small table to hold drinks. Make your little space a quiet tropical oasis or cottage-like setting. Throw in a small water feature, like a fountain, and chimes to echo their soothing sounds. Want to hang out in your garden after dark? Subtle lighting can add additional ambiance.
There’s really no right or wrong when creating your own personal gardening hub. It’s for you! As long as you cover the basics – choosing suitable plants, taking light and soil conditions into account, etc., there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a small garden space regardless of where you live.