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A Little Spot Of Green

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Whether you reside in an inner-city terrace, an apartment, or simply have a backyard with a much smaller footprint, your outdoor landscaping should not be neglected. Here, Bethany Hayes discusses how low-maintenance options such as vertical climbers, succulents and other houseplants can bring some much-needed greenery to some of the smallest and most unexpected places.

With an extensive range of living options, the humble garden can lend itself to compact inner-city terraces and apartments, adapting to new, and often smaller forms. If your outdoor landscaping situation is currently lacking, there are a number of low-maintenance ways to bring the green back for good.

GO VERTICAL
Good news – all gardens and outdoor areas have some element of vertical space which can be utilised. Whether that’s merely a wall, fence or trellis, naturally climbing or sprawling plants are an excellent way to add some extra green without having to add extra space. Wisteria, grapevine or star jasmine are some of the most diverse and versatile climbing additions that can be trained to grow upwards, and often thrive thanks to a shaded wall-base and sun reaching the leaves.Climbing plants can also be an excellent way to dress up an archway at the front of your home. The wisteria, known for its fragrant and brightly coloured blooms, has a vigorous twisted climbing ability that offers beautiful foliage in autumn. 

Wisterias are easy to grow and can climb up a house wall or any sturdy structure provided there is enough cable support. If you’re looking for something lighter that can be grown through a trusty piece of trellis or on a balcony ledge, the saucer-shaped morning glory is an ideal decorating vine and flower that thrives in Australia’s subtropical climate.

BEAUTY IN EVERY CORNER
If your outdoor space is a shared one, quite limited, or you prefer to spend your time indoors, consider the humble houseplant and a range of succulents to brighten up your home. With good quality potting mix, alongside regular watering, indoor plants such as the pothos, dracaena and peace lily are excellent indoor plants that require little attention. Combined with some natural sunlight or a plain, white wall, indoor plants can transform a room into a sanctuary of relaxation, brimming with clean air and lush plants.

Hanging baskets are also an excellent way to increase the amount of greenery to any indoor space or a small-scale outdoor area. Dangling from your interior or exterior walls, fence posts or porch, hanging baskets consume minimal space, but add plenty of beauty for homeowner to admire. Devil’s ivy is a popular choice as it purifies the air and removes indoor pollutants, while its touch-trailing leaves will grow almost anywhere. Picture an elegant white hanging basket, troughs or even a mosaic vase with cuttings – the opportunities are endless. Succulents are the most commonly known low-maintenance option for busy homeowners. Whether placed in the middle of an outdoor table, across window-sills or in the corner of a room, succulents can not only help to purify the air, but add an extra splash of green (or even purple as they grow pigment) to your home. For those looking to spice up their front façade or entryway, having large potted plants in either side of the front door can be prime place to get some greenery in. Blooming hydrangeas can make an impressive impact upon entering the house.

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ALL IN A REFLECTION
The old magician’s trick of using mirrors is also a very clever way for you to create the illusion of extra space within your garden. Full length mounted mirrors can create the appearance of a natural looking portal or doorway within your garden, while smaller, interestingly shaped mirrors can be used to reflect plants and flowers, creating interesting lighting effects.

Even if you only have minimal greenery or just a few pots plants, using mirrors will not only give the illusion of a fuller garden, but can also brighten up any shaded corners of your outdoor landscape, adding reflective light, balance or be placed on a low level to showcase your more beautiful flowers.For what you might be lacking in space you can certainly make up for in colour. The eye is naturally drawn to vibrant shades, so consider incorporating red gerberas, sunflowers, or pansies into your landscaping.

If you prefer a more neutral colour scheme, choosing white plants can be an effective way to make your garden glow during the twilight hours. Synthetic turf can also be laid in small patio spaces to add that extra bit of green.

CHOOSE QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
If you only have a balcony or small patio space to work with, having a small corner of pot plants to sit in the sunlight can be an excellent choice. Working with minimal space can be made easier by choosing unique storage options; planting in small ceramic containers, leaving herbs to grow on a sunny kitchen window, or even potting an ivy plant in an unused teapot. Despite limited space, plants can be maintained and thrive both in and out of the home, provided you are using a good quality potting mix and giving your plants the right amount of love through sunlight and water.

With an abundance of options to maximise small garden spaces, there’s nothing to keep you from getting your green on!

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