Getting your Garden Space Ready 2024 Urban & City Styling Garden Ideas
2023 was a wonderful year for all things gardening related in the UK. The current boom we are seeing for people making the most of their outside spaces shows no signs of stopping for 2024 either. In fact, it looks set to continue to thrive, grow and flower into something even more creative that the vast majority of us can enjoy. There are some clear cultural aspects pointing to how the current gardening boom was encouraged to take root in this country. With the psychological impact of a global pandemic, and so much time spent indoors still very fresh in all our memories, it seems inevitable that there would be a trend for pursuits in the open air. However, it seems like the rapid rise of urban gardening across our cities is also accounting for a large share of this new activity.
Small Garden Design Goes Big for 2024
The Royal Horticultural Society has even recognised this to such an extent that they are hosting a brand new RHS Urban Show in 2024 that’s dedicated entirely to small city & urban garden design. Set in the indoor industrial location of an old Manchester train depot, it promises to perfectly illustrate how gardening is evolving for a younger demographic that may not have acres of verdant land to tend to.
'In recent years there's been a real gardening boom and we believe more young people living in cities are now growing plants…if you have plants, you are a gardener.'
Great Design is King
East London Parasol Company understands how important great design is. If you are able to successfully influence, inform or change how the space you live in works for you, then a positive impact on your life should always follow. That’s why we are excited to be a part of your gardening journey for 2024 with some of our own initial city garden styling ideas.
Small garden space design often means making decisions on form and function in a much keener way than with larger gardens. Understanding this and working within the boundaries you have is essential. However, every so often, a trend comes along that allows you to combine both form and function in one design element. For 2024, we think edimentals are the perfect opportunity to do exactly this.
Image credit - J.Parker's
An edimental plant is both ornamental and edible, and it can keep you interested and involved in your garden all year round. They represent a fairly low maintenance way of making small spaces sing with a practical and tasty purpose. With some great container growing options for these, you could be enjoying the fruits of your labour through currants, gooseberries and other small colourful shrubs. Herbs such as sage, rosemary and thyme will always be welcome for the journey from the garden to kitchen too. And if you want some slightly more dramatic set dressing, then artichokes and perennial leeks will always add some impressive and eye-catching height.
Image credit: www.gardenista.com
Hurray for Hardscaping
One of the first choices to make with any urban & city garden design is deciding how important a lawn is to what you are trying to achieve. Many small spaces don’t really support the idea of maintaining grass throughout the year. It can often prohibit you from enjoying parts of your outdoor space when the weather is allowed to run riot in the darker and wetter months.
Hardscaping is a much more suitable way to connect the design of an urban home to the garden space. Using a mix of hardwearing and multi textured materials, designed in clean lines with an asymmetric layout, you can really push the boundaries of modernist aesthetics for a small garden. A beautiful harmony can be created through simple and effective architecture enjoying a conversation with nature in selected plants, raised beds or vertical garden aspects. Lean in to this contrast and allow your hardscaping to invite the best of both of these worlds into the room outside your home.
Image credit: houzz - Karen Rogers at KR Garden Design
No Soil Solutions
The best urban garden design ideas must remain versatile to accommodate the variety of environments that you can find them in. While it’s true that some of these spaces may still be on the traditional outdoor ground level, there are always terraces, balconies and rooftop spaces to consider too. That’s why relying on an abundance of soil isn’t always the right way to approach your perfect plant planning.
We’ve always been admirers of some creative container work for this reason. Alongside traditional larger pots and the more modern takes of ladder gardens and raised beds, we’re now starting to see some really imaginative solutions with tins, galvanised tubs and even repurposed kitchen sinks as focal points for limited urban outdoor spaces. If it can accommodate the plants you want to keep and it fits the aesthetic and energy of your space then why not be brave and give it a try.
Image credit: Shelterness.com
For the ultimate in low maintenance there are always some fantastic options that remove the need for soil altogether. Orchids will happily grow on moss or stones and can make a beautiful way of filling tall glass containers for some serious attention grabbing. Similarly, Air Plants (Tillandsias) will find a suitable home on literally any surface with their nutrients and water taken from the air like magic. This can make decorating your space a blank canvas for you to experiment with and keep redrafting on until you are completely happy with your creation. The wonderful white and yellow blooms of Paperwhite daffodils growing on pebbles is definitely one of our top tips for 2024 and a firm East London Parasol Company favourite!
Image credit: foliagefriend.com
The Best Plants Come from Happy Planning.
Take your time and focus on what you want to see and feel in your personal small garden sanctuary for 2024. Feel free to take inspiration and risk in equal measure to create your very own remarkable outdoor urban space.