How to garden anywhere
On a driveway, atop a doghouse, up a wall — here's how to garden in small and unusual spaces
Landscape architect Jeni Webber replaced this Palo Alto home's solid driveway with two strips of concrete, leaving space for a tiny garden in the middle.
However, the right plants can turn an eyesore into a treasured extension of your garden.
A vertical garden tower will give you plenty of space for edibles, and takes up very little room.
For this project, landscape designer Lauren Schneider mixed California natives that thrive in hot, dry conditions with plants that evolved in similar climates.
You can make one using a ready-made redwood window box from the nursery.
Tillandsias, also known as air plants, are native to tropical parts of the Americas, where they live without soil on trees and rocks.
A copper tray catches drips from terra-cotta pots with soft earth-tone glazes.
Copper tray: 14 inches square; $26 from Smith & Hawken (800/981-9888). Terra-cotta pots: $16 - $50 from Bluestone Main (707/765-2024).
Colonnade apple trees grow upright and extremely narrow.
This little patch of soil has been planted with tomatoes, basil, chives, and cucumbers.
The project is easy to complete: Simply remove the seat, find a pot that fits, and paint the frame a bright, fun color.
Dwarf purple and sweet basils grow in the top pot (about 16 inches wide) with thyme filling in around the edges. To keep potted herbs healthy fertilize and water them regularly.
Growing these vining edibles on an arbor instead of along the ground saves a lot of space.
See how the melons grow next.
You'll need a low, wide pot, potting soil, 3 small, slow-growing plants, sand, and a few small beachy items (like driftwood).
The bench is really a metal-framed daybed.
To get an underwater feel, he stacked lava rocks and planted succulents that mimic marine plants and creatures.
Plants are included. $25; floragrubbgardens.com
The umbrella rises from a sleeve centered in a flowerpot that's filled with three layers of material: a bottom layer of lava rock to hold the sleeve in place, a center layer of concrete for extra rigidity, and a top layer of planting mix. When there's no need for shade, just lift out the umbrella -- the plants should mask the sleeve.
To hold the rootballs in place, Chapman (lilabdesign.com) stapled weed-cloth pockets behind each shutter.
He liked having a fresh herb supply on hand so much he asked the company for permission to take over an unused parking lot to install a full-fledged garden.
Everything is in old bourbon barrels.