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Filling In the Blanks:  Ideas for Sowing a Pocket Garden

It could be an alcove built into the side of the house or naturally formed
between two boulders at the back of the lot. It could be a hole in an
old crumbling wall, a hollowed-out tree trunk, the narrow alley behind a row house,
or an old bathtub. Anywhere there is room, you can plant a pocket
garden. It can be an illustrious accent or a hidden secret, six feet
wide or tucked into a spare six inches.

Pocket gardens fill the void in landscape design and are excellent green escapes for urban dwellers. Yet they aren’t always as easy as throwing some seeds in a bag
and carrying them in your pocket. There are some important tips for
homeowners – or even renters – who want to fill in the blanks that poke
out of their home or landscape.

Relax your eyes and
see the in-between of things. It’s often easy to overlook the little
nooks and crannies that we often think of as blemishes rather than garden opportunities.
All of the above-mentioned places are valid themselves, but every house
will be different and that is where the fun truly begins.

Follow the sunlight from
day to day in the spots chosen for a pocket garden. Note where, when,
and how often the sun shines on the pocket. Pocket gardens often get
little to no sunlight. What limited sunlight the area receives
certainly narrows down plant choices but also forces some
outside-the-box thinking and creative gardening.

Sow the new pocket with fertilizer, soil, and the new plants. Because pocket gardens can be very small, focus on small plants at the nursery. Succulents are very common because they need very little light and water. They also work well in small rock gardens, which require little maintenance and can create a little place for relaxation and reminiscence.

Snake plants, cast iron plants, and peace lilies are great low-light plants to consider. For smaller pockets that get a bit of sun, try some fragrant herbs.

Also, think in terms of a creative project for kids. Even one square foot is big enough for a pocket garden. Give the kids their own little plot and let these future landscape designers get started.

The
ideas are virtually endless. As the plan picks up steam, ideas tend to
fly out of the mind. A little research and observation of the proposed
plot is all it takes for these little landscapes to take off themselves.

Need
help from a professional landscaper? Let CalFinder direct you to
contractors who suit your needs. Recently certified landscaping
contractors include Absolutely Outdoors in Houston, Taylor Made Construction in Northern California, and Lescano Landscaping & Masonry in Long Island. Contact CalFinder to get no-charge estimates from these pros or from another contractor based in your area!

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