By Anna Kocharian and Elly Leavitt

Published on June 23, 2018

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Photography by Henrik Palmberg for Ikea

 

Living in a city definitely has its perks, but one undeniable downside is that most dreams of becoming a gardener end up wholeheartedly squashed. When you’re restricted to a windowsill, balcony, or even communal roof, there’s not much freedom to get experimental with grand plans of creating a cucumber-squash hybrid… right?


Actually, wrong (well, with the space aspect anyway; no comment on the plot to develop a frankensteinian vegetable). There may not be a ton of grassy area at your disposal, but these urban gardens prove that a green thumb doesn’t require a move to the suburbs. From green-lined balconies to smart planters, here are all the small space gardening ideas we’ll be stealing.

 
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Photography by Mikey Neff

According to Jake Hawvermale, who designed this edible garden in Brooklyn, setting up a foolproof watering system is the key to making your urban jungle thrive. “The city gets very hot during the summer months, and you can’t always rely on rain like people in the country do,” he explains. “You need to come up with a plan to provide your plants with ample amounts of water daily.”  

 

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Happy Friday from me and my little #fireescapegarden!! 🌿🌼 I cannot tell y’all how much seeing this little space improves my mood and the overall feel of our home! We’ve moved around so much the past 3 years that we’ve basically become experts at quickly making each space our own. It’s made us feel much less homesick to bring along things that feel like home and to create a space each time that’s uniquely US. Give me an inch of space and I will go to work making it everything that it can be!! These are experiences I wouldn’t trade for the world, and I have loved each home we have built even more than the last. This little New York home is cozy, happy, and bright no matter how small! I even have a space for my #TIU workouts. 😄💪🏻 Hope you all have the best weekend at home or out and about! 💕😘

A post shared by Ellen Parker TIU (@ellenpark.tiu) on

In some cities, even a balcony is a pipe dream. This cute little fire escape garden is proof that you don’t need a formal outdoor space to plant your greens—you just can’t have a fear of heights. Mix it up by having both potted plants on the floor and boxes hanging from the rails, then add some string lighting for ambience.

 
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Photography by Henrik Palmberg for Ikea

 

When you can’t built out, build up. Think vertically and make the most of even one empty wall by using a metal grid to hold all your gardening tools and lighter plants. Thin but tall shelves are perfect for displaying potted plants without taking up a ton of space. Just check out this handy Ikea guide for all the inspo you need to recreate this gorgeous, green-filled space.

 
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Photography by WILLIAMS SONOMA

Forget massive outdoor spaces; all you need is an empty wall for this no-fuss garden. Using ladder plant beds frees up precious floor space and keeps your greenery contained but on display.

 
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Photography by SAM BLAKE WEDDINGS

This Parisian rooftop is perfect for summer night get-togethers. Line your balcony edges with plants and flowers to provide the perfect complement to a city backdrop.

Who says urban gardens have to be outside? For those of us who don’t have the luxury of a balcony or patio, hanging plants or showcasing them on shelves is an easy way to incorporate a natural element. Just make sure you have plenty of natural light to sustain your indoor garden.  

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Photography by IKEA

Set up a compact gardening stand by purchasing some inexpensive shelving in which to display your tools and potted plants.

 
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Photography by NICOLE FRANZEN FOR GARDENISTA

Lining the edges of your balcony with greens provides maximum access to the space available while also holding on to that cozy feel. 

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Photography by Ngoc Ninh Ngo for Vogue Living

This dreamy West Village backyard comes fully equipped with planter boxes filled with vibrant blooms, warming up the exposed brick exterior of the space. 

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Courtesy of Sotheby's

Exposed bricks walls, climbing ivy, and a bi-level terrace calls for the ultimate urban jungle escape.

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Photography by Thomas Lingner/Beacon Hill

 

There is something so effortlessly chic and natural about exposed brick paired with overgrown greens within an urban setting. Coupled with a winding stairway, this spot truly has it right.

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Photography by Tiffany Grant- Riley

 

Utilize a double-sided folding ladder for housing potted plants in the urban garden. Surround the structure with additional planters for good measure.  

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Photography by DESIRETOINSPIRE.NET

Consider this the urban version of a secret garden. Surrounded by overflowing greens and a gridded steel gate, this is one spot we’d love to spend a summer weekend in.

Have you mastered the noble task that is urban gardening? Show us: Instagram your garden and tag @dominomag with our #SOdomino hashtag. We want to see how things are growing where you are.

This story was originally published on May 10, 2017. It has been updated with new information.

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