common for homes to have only a small, paved yard
for a garden, especially in cities. Likewise, those who live in apartments may have only a balcony or similar. However, there are a number of steps you can take to make a small yard or balcony attractive for bees and pollinators.
If you are looking for ideas, my response to the query below may help you.
I have just moved into a terrace house with a walled concrete yard out the back. No soil, and no plans currently to alter that.
I get reasonable sunshine in most of the yard, but the fencing creates shade around the perimeters. I have little space and need to add a garden shed for storage. I’m guessing I'll be limited to planters.
Would appreciate your advice if you have any. I'm wanting to make plans but a little stuck for ideas.
In a fully paved or concreted yard or on a balcony, it will be necessary to make use of containers, which can include:
If watering the containers could present a problem, look out for flowering plants that will tolerate dry conditions. To bring the bees into your garden, you could try these in your containers:
If you have nooks and crannies in a wall around your yard, you could experiment with rockery plants that will grow happily in such locations.
If you have a wall or similar support structure such as a garden shed in a back yard, it may be feasible to grow climbing plants. Grow them in planters positioned directly against trellis mounted to the wall.
Remember to consider general maintenance. Climbers may need to withstand pruning or repotting from time to time to allow work to be undertaken, unless you don't mind replacing plants.
Your could consider:
With careful planning, you may even be able to erect a decorative arch in the yard, against which flowering climbers can be grown, but this will depend on how the space is used.
For a balcony, it may be more appropriate to add upright supports to containers, such as obelisks for climbing plants in pots. These plants are great in an obelisk or upright support and bees love them:
Hanging baskets and window boxes are obvious candidates for trailing plants and cascading plants, but there are other options.
For instance, you could experiment with raised pots on legs - these can add additional interest to a small yard because of the opportunity to add height.
Trailing/cascading plants for bees could include the following:
You can maximise space by making use of plants that have a more upright growing habit with many flowers up the stems, rather than bushy, sprawling specimens with a single flowerhead on each stem.
Here are a few examples, but remember to check the required growing conditions and care:
Some small, older properties have a yard with a small stone storage building in place.
On the other hand if you have
a shed in your yard or need to build one, try to site it in the area least valuable for
plants, such as a very shady corner, so that key planting space is not wasted.
If the height of the shed means the structure has sunlight, you could investigate options for a green roof planted with herbs or flowering succulents, wild flowers or clover. Hanging baskets and carefully positioned containers might also be attached to a shed.
A sunny side of the shed could have a climbing plant in a container. If you will periodically need to weatherproof the shed (if it’s made of wood) be sure to choose a plant that will tolerate a good pruning to allow you to undertake the work periodically.
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