If you have not visited Ford Park recently it is worth visiting to see the Demonstration Backyard. This is a small area to the right as you enter the Victorian Kitchen garden. Its purpose is to show just what you can achieve in a small garden or backyard.
If you have room a small garden shed is invaluable for storage as well as being able to grow plants up the side of it. Lots of different types of containers have been utilised not only for flowers but for vegetables, fruit, herbs & salads.
I would never have dreamed of planting vegetables in the 3 tier planters traditionally used for bedding plants but as you can see from the photo there are potatoes growing in the bottom tier. Above that are carrots and above that Nasturtiums, these have spicy-sweet flowers & leaves that can both be eaten. You can use the leaves and flowers in salads and the flowers looks so pretty as an edible decoration.
There are more potatoes growing in the green garden sacks and other containers that can be bought quite cheaply at your local garden centre or in the gardening section of supermarkets or DIY stores. Or use any fairly deep container you may have handy.
In the wooden planter there are the companion plants of Kale & Peas. Companion planting is a method used for different plants that may complement each other by either improving the plants growth or using the various plants defences to draw pests away from the main plant.
You can find out more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Companion_plantingList of useful companion plants here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_companion_plants
Strawberries are very easy to grow in planters, these look so delicious. What could be better than eating your very own home grown strawberries with a dollop of cream or ice-cream sat in the sunshine?
Blueberries are also one of the “easy-to-grow “plants and they make good plants for containers so you can get a reasonable crop whatever the size of your garden. A single blueberry plant is fine and will produce fruit, but if you can plant two different varieties of blueberries to ensure cross-pollination. The benefits of having 2 plants will hopefully give a bigger yield and the fruits are bigger.
Of course you can use some of these ideas even if you have a large garden, often large gardens are planted with trees, shrubs and flowers leaving little room for anything else. But with these space saving and inventive ideas you could try growing vegetables or herbs or salads or fruits. There is nothing that gives more satisfaction than just popping into the garden rather than the supermarket to pick your own freshly grown produce.
A small table and chairs add the finishes touches, and how fantastic to be able sit and enjoy lunch or afternoon tea in this smallest of spaces and watch your garden grow.