Iam excited to have a new garden. Given that it’s a tenth the size of my last garden it’s going to present me with a few tidy challenges! I’m going to have to be a lot pickier about what I plant. And it’s been many years since I faced the other limitations of urban gardening. More shade, for example, tricky soil and more places where rain doesn’t reach.
In search of small garden inspiration I visited Copper Crest Village in Tauranga and came away fully reassured that cutting down on space in no way takes away any of the enjoyment to be had from gardening. Gardening in less space means you have to focus on the kinds of plants you love the most. You have to really think about your plant choices, which not only engages you in fascinating botanical research but also with people.
Meeting the gardeners at Copper Crest also reminded me just how much plants enrich our lives - in so many different ways. I was impressed with the variety these plant lovers packed into their compact spaces, and I was reminded that plants will, if you help them, grow well in less than ideal circumstances.
Container gardening is a fine example of plants growing in an ‘unnatural’ place. Of course, it helps that these days we have a vast choice of plants that were especially bred to thrive in a pot or hanging basket. We look at some of the best on page 22.
Most of all in my downsizing I’ve been missing my trees. Then while visiting a special gardening friend in Katikati my eyes fell on a beautiful miniature beech, old and gnarly just like the one I used to love looking at through the kitchen window, but only a hundredth the height. Suddenly I see bonsai in new light!
Happy summer gardening