While living in the city comes with amazing perks, like excellent transport options and a buzzing atmosphere, the chances of having a garden in such an urban environment are pretty slim. High-rise flats won’t have much freely-available open space, if any, while gardens in a houseshare are considered communal areas that you might not be able to take control over. But there are a range of health benefits associated with a good bit of greenery and, specifically, gardening.
Whether by lowering blood pressure, burning calories, relieving stress, or boosting happiness, getting a bit of dirt under your fingernails really can do wonders for your health. And this luxury isn’t just reserved for people with a physical garden. City-dwellers can easily get in on the action by surrounding themselves with pretty plants and get the same amazing benefits.
Become a sucker for succulents
Succulents — like cacti, aloe, or jade plants — are thicky, fleshy plants that hold water. They’re generally drought-resistant and hardy, requiring little maintenance. This makes them perfect for budding gardeners with little to no experience. Succulents are also easy to contain, and can be planted in small pots without any concern that they will outgrow their containers and take over your windowsill. This makes them perfect if you’ve only got a small amount of space to work with.
For a real spa-like experience, plant some small succulents into white pots, and dot them around the room to add some serenity and zen to your bathroom. However, if you are going to do this, we recommend picking succulents that prefer humid conditions, such as aloe.
Save money by growing herbs
If you’re really pressed for space, it could be worth using the areas you do have to your advantage. Planting and growing herbs gives you greenery you can actively use, as well as providing your home with some pretty greenery. Grow what you enjoy eating, if only to encourage you to actually look after it correctly. So if you enjoy basil in your pasta, think about growing a pot of basil. Or, if you want to stretch your green fingers a little further, grow an entire salad bowl in your kitchen, complete with lettuce, rocket, and tomatoes.
To successfully grow a small herb garden, all you really need is a sunny windowsill that gets around 6 hours of sunlight every day. Alternatively, you can invest in a small LED grow light if your home is not adequately lit. Some of the easiest herbs to start with are perennials, which simply means they’re long-lasting. These include rosemary, oregano, thyme, chives, and mint, which are all excellent herbs to keep in your kitchen to spruce up any dish.
Get creative with hanging pots
Vertical gardens have really come into fashion, and offer an excellent option for those living in small flats. They’re also easy to put together, while offering a bright showpiece in any room. Choose a fern, the classic indoor plant, for an evergreen splash of colour that’s straightforward to maintain, or add accent shades to your room with Mexican daisies, which are relatively simple to look after.
If you’re looking to experiment with hanging pots, we suggest only filling it up with compost to about 2 inches space from the top. This prevents the water, and any loose soil, from rolling out of the pot. However, when it comes to watering your plants, move the baskets outside to allow any excess water to drip out, before moving them back indoors.