Ideas + Inspiration

4 Fresh Inspirations for the Urban Garden

An urban garden is not your grandma’s garden. In fact, it is not your typical garden at all.

Urban gardens aren’t deterred by a lack of space; they take advantage of apartment balconies, patios and rooftops to create a personal jungle of potted plants, flowers and trees and the key to creating a great one are to think outside the box.

Without the traditional aspects of a garden—such as space or ground to plant in, a creative solution for creating a garden in unlikely places is by using planters and flower boxes. We’ve found four stunning urban gardens that use flower pots and planters in unique ways to maximize space and allow for a green garden in a concrete space.

Add Plant Life in Layers

modern lush patio with lounge chairs and a side table.
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Balconies are often small, narrow spaces. However, the restricted floor plan of this Washington D.C. balcony did not deter AE Designs from creating a personal, secret urban garden. From the balcony ledge to the floor to even the awkward nooks and corners, every level and surface is used in a different way to create a lush garden feel.

For extra small floor plans like this condo balcony, use any and all extra space to place flower pots and planters of varying sizes to maximize the limited area. In addition to arranging the plants on the ground, flowerpots placed on a ledge or elevated space like a shelf adds depth and mass to the balcony garden. We also love the depth created by the bold mix of colors among the plants.

Stick to Simple, Bold Plants

modern midtown balcony with sectionals and plants.
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Apartment balcony gardens take on many different shapes and sizes, and this serene Miami space designed by The Habitat Collective showcases how cool a minimalist garden can be. Rather than adding as many plants as possible, just a few different sized, green leafy plants are arranged in a balanced layout to keep the space feeling larger than it is. By sticking to plants that are the same color, and using round planters that match the color scheme of the space, this small urban garden feels like a modern tropical oasis.

Go Big In A Small Space

modern backyard patio with plants and furniture.
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Living in a concrete jungle doesn’t mean you have to give up your dreams of a relaxing outdoor space. For this rooftop oasis, Chicago Roof Deck transformed the space above a garage into what resembles a private backyard. Lined along the outside walls of the space are trees and bushes planted in tall, neutral-colored planters. This rooftop garden played a vital role in keeping the space cool and shaded as well as personal and private.

When adding larger plants such as trees or bushes to a rooftop garden, the key thing to consider is the planter. The planter needs to be deep enough for the plant’s roots to spread, as well as made from a sturdy material such as ceramic or stone to support the weight of the plant.

Build a Border of Blooms

modern garden patio.
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Flower boxes are not just for windows, and this stunning rooftop garden designed by Perennial Gardens proves just that. Arranged all around this rooftop living space are colorful flowers planted in long, rectangular flower boxes. The shape of the boxes makes them the perfect solution for adding flowers and plants in narrow, awkward spaces as well as mimicking the look of flowers planted in the ground. In this urban garden, the flower boxes are behind the sofa. They would also be perfect in a narrow side yard, balcony, or porch.

City living does not mean you have to sacrifice the garden of your dreams. All it takes is a little creativity and some planters to create an urban garden that doubles as a personal sanctuary.


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Team Y

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