Sage Outdoor Designs » landscape design

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Gardening in the nooks and crannies

I don’t know how many of you know this, but I am an urban dweller….. I live in a condo.

But, gasp, how can a landscape designer live in a condo? What about your garden? To that, I say I am a firm believer in small space gardening. If you have any outdoor space at all, you can be creative with it.

So here are a few ideas for gardening in a spot that you never thought a garden could go. The top photo, care of pinterest (but uncredited on there, sorry) is a great way to use a sunny but narrow spot. This clever gardener used metal gutters (yup, like the ones on the edge of your roof) to find room for an awesome little veggie garden. I love this idea since gutters are prefabricated, hence less expensive, clean looking, made to last, and very narrow. What a great way to make a vertical garden without shelling out quite so much cash! Just don’t forget to punch drainage holes!

This next one is another take on the vertical garden. These are planting tubes. You can get them locally through Vertical Garden Solutions, along with a lot of other fun vertical garden supplies. The tubes are made of felt and are stuffed with potting soil. You cut tiny slits in the felt and place your seedlings. As they grow in, they’ll hide the felt and you have a column of succulents, or strawberries, or whatever else you can think of.

As an urban gardener, I’ll admit I tend to stick to succulents and edibles. The edibles because I can’t imagine not having access to fresh herbs (anyone want my recipe for perfect salmon on the grill with fresh herbs?), and the succulents because they are the key for the busy gardener. They take so little effort, tolerate being mostly ignored, and can look wonderfully “designer”.

© Kate Wiseman 2012. In San Diego? Want your own waterwise landscape design? I’d love to help! Please visit for more info.

Sage Outdoor Designs is a San Diego landscape design firm. Kate
Wiseman, the Principal, has been a San Diego landscape designer
for the past ten years. Find out more at