6 Trends & Tips for Small Spaces | City Gardening

6 Trends & Tips for Small Spaces | City Gardening

It’s well known that flowers make people happy, but maintaining them isn’t always so easy. Learning how to have a green thumb can be a challenge, especially in small spaces like NYC where natural light isn’t always accessible — blocked by all those tall buildings. It’s not easy, but wait a minute, actually YES it can be … with a little help from our doosts (friends) & experts!!

At the Chelsea Garden Center in Brooklyn, Ellese Launer from Rock. Paper. Glam. and I were invited for a special Wave petunia potting party, where we got some great trends and tips for gardening in small spaces from expert Kelly Edwards of Design on a Dime and Claire Watson. Check out all they had to share about gardening ♥

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Ellese Launer and Gina Doost with Kelly Edwards

TIP: Swap the typical bouquet of flowers for fresh potted ones instead — they will last longer and during the Spring season and practically take care of themselves. Do water them as needed! 

In my pot I used white and blue Wave petunias as well as purple and green sweet potato vines — how cool is that?!

TIP: Wave petunias are very easy to manage — during the Spring you can get away without watering them on a daily basis. During the Summer, watering them with a pint of water a day is required. 

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Claire Watson and Gina Doost


  1. When container gardening, I like to pick my planter before anything else. I love something bright or bold that adds a pop of color (P.O.C.) to an outdoor space. It’s also fun to play with texture! Select your container like you would your pillows, throws and curtains. You will be living with it for a while, and it’s a fun reflection of your style. Bonus tip: Make sure your container has a drainage hole in the bottom, so the plants don’t get waterlogged.
  1. To begin planting, fill with a good quality potting mix up to about one inch from the top of the container. I handle it like making pastry. Lift and aerate through your fingers breaking up any lumpy bits. To make a large container (14 inches or more) more lightweight and to use less potting mix, take up a few inches of space in the bottom by throwing in a couple of small empty plastic water bottles or recycle some non-biodegradable Styrofoam packing.  You can also add an inch of pebbles in the bottom to improve drainage, but it’s not essential.
  1. Now the fun part… Designing with plants!  Pick your favorite shade of Wave petunias and either complement or contrast with an additional P.O.C. and a couple of textural items. It’s fun to add a height element too.  I like to stick to the “Rule of Threes,” which means I use either three different colors of the same plant or three different plants in the same color shades.
  1. No need to break up the roots on those small plants going in the combo. They will grow just fine with regular water (and plant food if you remember!).
  1. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged – stick your finger in two inches and see if its dry beneath the surface. Plants absorb water through their roots, so water as close to the soil as you can.
  1. Finally, no chip manicures are a MUST for any gardener – novice or expert. I know from personal experience!

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What are some of your favorite gardening tips, trends, or tricks?

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