Like so many people who have tilted over into the second half of life, I have downsized. Now, rather than having a house with real dirt on all sides, I find myself in a condo in Southern California, where the weather is great, but garden space not so much. What I have to work with is a small paved entry patio and a 12×11 atrium, also paved, but with a sliver of a raised bed on one side (see the “before” pic). When I moved in several months ago, I had an unexpected brain freeze about the best way to create the sense of a “real garden” with so much hard surface. I knew it was going to call for mostly containers.
Where could I turn for help? Silly question. I’ve been editing garden books for ages – written by people I consider my garden gurus, like Kerry Ann Mendez, Sue Goetz, and Kate Copsey, who have so much to offer for the small-space gardener. The answers were all there in the full-color pages of their books. So, with that professional design and plant selection wisdom at my fingertips, how’s it going now that spring is here?
I haven’t taken off at a sprint yet, but that’s about to happen. Here’s what the atrium looks like today. I’m about to go out to do some serious nursery damage: containers, annuals, maybe some ornamental grasses…and definitely veggies and herbs. I’m also looking at different water-saving irrigation systems. It’s California, it’s dry, we hoard our limited water.
I’ll check back in with updates, but now…where’s my list?
Here’s a few inspiration shots, below.
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