Jill O’Hara sent in these images of her creative use of what seems like a really small garden site. Here’s what she had to say:
I’ve been enjoying the pictures of small-space gardens; however, I haven’t seen any quite as small as mine. I used to live on a half-acre property in Victoria, British Columbia, but am now in a condo in nearby Brentwood Bay, with a very small balcony. I chose my condo in large part because of the well-treed aspect both up close and in the distance. After two years of trial and error while I learned to accept the limitations of my space, I have settled on what works best for me: a Japanese-inspired garden of primarily dwarf and miniature conifers, with a few pots kept for seasonal and scented flowers such as Iris pallida ‘Aureo variegata’ (Zones 4–9), which I call the grape bubblegum iris; Casablanca lilies (Lilium ‘Casablanca’ , Zones 4–9); heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens, Zones 10–11 or as an annual); and Dianthus ‘Rainbow Loveliness’ (Zones 3–8). Instead of my former waterfall down a natural rock outcropping, I have a small lotus fountain, which provides movement and gentle sound. Hummingbirds, sparrows, and finches all use it for a drink and a bath, which pleases me immensely. My new garden is, as the saying goes, “small but perfectly formed.”
The balcony garden in May, with the sun streaming over a Buddha surrounded by lush plantings.
View of part of the balcony at the end of March, with potted white tulips complementing the emerging variegated foliage of Iris pallida ‘Aureo variegata’.
The fountain provides soothing sounds of water for human visitors, and a drink or a bath for visiting birds.
A key part to any great garden: somewhere to sit and enjoy it all! The blooming purple heliotrope ensures that any time spent on this comfortable chair will be wonderfully fragrant.
A scene on the balcony in May.
Iris pallida ‘Aureo variegata’ not only has beautiful foliage, but its purple flowers smell wonderfully of grapes.
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