Pocket Garden Construction Guide
One of the many wonders of gardening is being free to experiment with plants (landscape) as well as hardscapes that allow us the creativity to combine plants with other features that work with nature to support plant life as well as wildlife including pollinators, beneficial insects to the tiniest of soil microbes. We will be looking at yet another garden type or method that is functional and of great value. Pocket Gardening.
What is Pocketing Gardening
A pocket garden is utilizing a small area or a miniature spot that is viewed as a location that is not utilized and otherwise remains bare. These bare miniature spaces provide the opportunity to introduce living plants by adding beautification along with making that space functional. Miniature spaces may include a hallow stump, bare spots, containers, straw bales, hanging baskets, the edges of patios, between pavers, and a large stone in which holes can be dug to install plants.
These gardens can feature none flowering to flowering plants or edible plants that attract wildlife as well as beneficial insects and pollinators which contribute to the health of not only our environment but our ecosystem as a whole.
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How To Construct A Pocket Garden
This question can be answered in so many ways since you are working with the size of the space along with the shape of the area that’s available, but a good place to start is with plants that are low maintenance which are plants that are slow growers and requires little watering. Another way to look at this is to avoid plants that grow aggressively and also grow large at maturity. A great place to install a pocket garden is at the center of a circular driveway. Small flowering plants can be installed in this area which can add beautiful colors at the main entrance or the front of the home
What about a narrow path between the driveway and the wall of the home, this area can feature plants that grow slender and tall, containers with plants can be placed on either side of the front door entrance or containers can be placed at the sides of the home.
Window boxes can be used as well, they don’t take up much space and these boxes are great to install herbs or flowering plants, hanging baskets can work as well, this type of gardening method I call gardening above the ground where baskets are used to occupy empty spaces, hanging basket designs can include flowering plants or installing herbs such as rosemary, garlic, onions, mint, etc…
Some places these baskets can be installed are posts, railings, or the side of your garden shed, the use of grow bags can also assist with growing the plants you desire. A Succulents garden can be installed or planted on the shed’s roof. Succulents can also be planted in gravel spots.
Consider cutting out an area in your lawn and then installing cobra edging to discourage grass from growing back in this area followed by the installation of a flower garden using native plants, this design is not only beautiful but will provide a habitat for beneficial insects as well as pollinators. Your lawn may have a spot where water collects and drains slowly, why not transform that part of your lawn into a pocket rain garden by removing the grass and adding moisture-loving native plants for example swamp milkweed, monkey flowers, bee balm, lily of the valley, marsh marigold, rose mallow, sweet woodruff, etc…
Climbing vegetables such as tomatoes, pole beans, and peas can be trained to grow upward on vertical surfaces, with the use of a trellis or planting near a pool or chain-linked fence.
Maintaining your Pocket Garden
Although pocket gardens are considered low-maintenance care should still be taken to ensure that your plants are growing healthy at all times, because these gardens are planted in small spaces or containers they can dry out much faster. Check the soil every other day, especially during dry hot weather, and water as needed. For succulents wait until the soil is almost completely dry before water application.
For vegetables and herbs, the soil should be somewhat moist before adding more water, the soil of flowering or ornamental plants should allow to dry out a bit before giving them a drink of water however the soils of drought-tolerant plants such as ZZ plants or cacti should be allowed to completely dry out before giving them a drink. Use small amounts of water-soluble fertilizers for plants that are grown in containers and granular fertilizers for plants that are grown from the ground. The ideal fertilizer is organic.
Some examples of Slow Growing Ornamental Plants
Some examples of slow-growing ornamental plants include the jade plant, ZZ plant, aloe vera, money tree, photos, cactus, snake plant, etc…
Slowing Growing Vegetables
Some examples of slow-growing vegetables include, onions, brussel sprouts, asparagus, celery, hot peppers, sweet peppers, parsnips, winter squash, pumpkins, melons, etc…
Slow Growing Herbs
Some examples of slow-growing herbs include rosemary, mint, sage, chives, thyme, oregano, garlic, dill seeds, etc…
The Benefits of a Pocket Garden
- Pocket gardens are manageable requiring less work
- Less water usage, watering is kept at a minimal
- Garden insect pests are fewer
- Encourage the presence of beneficial insects including pollinators and wildlife
- Can brighten up an area with beautiful flower pop
- Can be used to provide food ( and an edible garden)
- Can be a portable garden
- Fertilize less
- Because these gardens are small you spend less of your hard-earned dollar which is saving.
- Weeding is kept at a minimal
- A pocket garden can be installed on a balcony, porch, or patio with the use of containers
- A pocket garden is ideal for persons who don’t have the time or the energy to look after a medium to large garden size
The final word on how to construct a pocket garden
Pocket gardens have been around for some time and have proven that even with the smallest of spaces you can include plants and other features to create a beautiful design where wildlife and beneficial insects are welcome. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the desired space you can still work with what you have, there is no limit to how creative you can be it’s all a matter of thinking outside of the box and allowing your creative juices to flow. Whether your goal is to construct a mini flower garden and edible garden or growing succulents and different species of garden plants pocket gardens are here to serve you as you connect with nature because no matter where you live or the amount of space that’s available you can have a garden. Pocket gardens, gardening in small spaces.
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.