Ideas for an Urban Garden

Hello people!

Welcome to my blog, today I have a new project to show you all.

A couple of friends asked me for some garden design advice, as they share a terrace with their floor-neighbors, they wanted to make it “greener” and yet, enjoyable for everybody, without leaving behind their personal touch and style.

One of the many, many “pros” of plants, is that they can be used to achieve (almost) any decoration goals, like making a place feel cozy and fresh at the same time.
In this project, plants will be used to gently “divide” the terrace. As I said before, this is a shared terrace and the idea is to use resistant and drought tolerant plants, with soft shapes so that the terrace still looks open and fresh, while creating a “private” space for my clients.


The Project

 

The apartment is on the first floor with full sun exposure. It is a big area that my friends and their neighbors use a lot when the weather is nice, so there is space to create something new, without interfering with others peoples ideas.

My friends’ living room faces the terrace with a big window, sometimes used to access the terrace. They manage to enjoy the views from the window, wether is summer or winter so I wanted to help them have a greener space during the year.

 

Plant Selection


Acer palmatum f. ‘Atropurpureum’: deciduous small tree (its leaves fall in winter), slow growing, it has dark red and bright foliage in autumn, it is very resistant to cold and can also be placed in a full sun area (depending on the zone you’re living, this terrace is in Northern Italy), protected from strong drafts. It needs moist but well-drained soil to grow perfectly.

Left: Acer palmatum ‘Shigitatsu Sawa’. Right: Acer palmatum ‘Atropurpureum’


Pinus mugo
: it is an evergreen (its leaves don’t fall down in winter) dwarf conifer. Slow-growing, it likes well-drained soil. It also grows well in a sheltered full sun with exposure and likes any type of soil. The needles turn yellow in winter.


Rudbeckia fulgida
: it’s a rhizomatous perennial with “hairy” leaves and branching stems, they carry flowers with deep-brown centers and bright yellow florets in mid to late summer and early autumn. It is deciduous which means the aerial part will dry completely, and grow again in spring. It loves full sun exposure in a sheltered area, it grows well in any type of soil. It can grow 1 m tall.


Salvia x sylvestris ‘Tänzerin’
: it’s a bushy perennial with lance-shaped leaves and, dense racemes of small violet flowers in early summer. They grow well in full sun exposure and like moist but well-drained soil.


Sesleria autumnalis
: it’s a perennial grass that grows up to 60cm tall, linear leaves, with a narrow, silvery-white panicle to 10cm in length in late summer. It grows well in full sun or part shade and it likes moist but well-drained soil.

 

As I said, this terrace gets a lot of sunlight during the day, so they needed plants that thrive in the sun but also that look great in winter time.

The mix of colors will be perfect for summer, the heights will help them get a bit more privacy and in winter they will still have nice shapes that can be combined with fall/winter bulbs or other annual plants.

Annual plants:

  • Bulbs: crocus, spider lilies, irises, etc.
  • Hellebores
  • Cyclamen

Other details to make your terrace a perfect place:

  • Getting an exteriors carpet: will help the area look brighter and more organized.
  • Candle holders in different shapes and heights will make the eye focus on different points and have a warm sensation during the nights.
  • Containers are very important too, they will define the “style” of the terrace. For example, clay containers have a vintage and “used” style (which I love); Tall plastic containers in black or white, define a more elegant terrace, and so on, and again, select different heights, even if the plants have different dimensions, playing with containers will set the difference.
  • Lights are sometimes better than candles so you can use your Christmas lights to decorate the walls, rails or even the floor, just play with it and you’ll find the perfect spot for them.

Hope you like this project and if you have any ideas for your own garden. If you’re looking for someone to help you, let me know, I will be happy to help!

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