Garden Designs and Ideas – from bachelor pads to garden kitchens
Even if you only have a patio, a terrace or a balcony, you can create a garden in the centre of the city. Not only a garden, but an outdoor room in which you can sit, relax and entertain. Your very own Eden.
If your outdoor area is north facing and gets no sunlight, it is more difficult, but you can still turn it into a green area by growing shade-loving plants. Most of these are moist condition plants so the planting can be combined with creating a water feature. Plant a variety of ferns to give a variety of leaf types and different heights and shapes. The giant holly fern grows to a height of 4 feet, the ostrich feather fern grows to three feet, other British ferns such as the maidenhair and the marginatum group have heights between 18 inches and two feet.They need a slightly acidic soil, so plant them in compost designed for growing rhododendrons or azaleas.
If, however, your terrace garden is flooded with sunlight, you can have not only a garden but a productive garden.
Cherry tomatoes, aubergines and peppers both sweet and hot, are all decorative plants that will grow happily in containers. Oriental salad leaves, rocket and baby spinach grow in boxes, beans and peas will cover a trellis with their roots in growbags. Pots of marigolds will bloom throughout the summer and attract bees to help with pollination. Bushes of rosemary and sweet bay and small pots of parsley, coriander and thyme can be massed together in a corner. You could fill a whole salad bowl from your own garden. You can grow an olive tree out of doors in a small southern garden, but move it indoors for the winter, and don’t expect to get any olives from it!
Your kitchen garden can become your garden kitchen. The outdoor kitchen in the American style, where even the kitchen sink has moved out, hasn’t really caught on in Britain, but cooking and eating outside certainly have, even on a cool evening, with outdoor heaters, gas barbecues and gel fired firebowls. If you have planted some honeysuckle and evening jasmine, both of which will cover a wall and scent the evening air, you have the perfect romantic setting.