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Backyard-Free Gardens: How to Grow Without Space

small space garden
You don't need a ton of space to garden. Just a patio or windowsill and a bit of sunlight. Oscar Wong/Getty Images

Gardening just may be one of the most relaxing hobbies you’ll find, with all that fresh air, communing with nature, and the thrill of seeing something you planted actually turn into a flower (or into your dinner). But if you’ve been holding back because you don’t have a yard, then you’re missing out – and without reason, since there are plenty of easy ways to get the joy of gardening without much (or even any) backyard space to show for it.

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Container gardening
Container gardening is the most obvious way to plant when you don't have a ton of space. Andy Andrews/Getty Images

Whether you’re working with a small patio, a balcony, or even just a fire escape, if you can fit a container, you can have a garden. Bigger pots give you space to grow several different herbs or flowers, or you can stack a few different sizes of pots or cans for more variety in your plantings. Even a small pot with a brightly colored mum or bushy green fern can give your entryway a pop of color.

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hanging gardens
When you're super short on floor space, hang your plants from the ceiling or even the walls. Mitch Diamond/Getty Images

If you’re really short on space, think height instead: plant climbing vines on a fence, consider ivy on posts over your doorway, or install a grapevine trellis to accent the side of your home. Plenty of plants are happy to grow up instead of out, so you can have some greenery without a traditional garden.

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window box
If you want to add a splash of color out front but you don't have a yard, a window box will do the trick. Mitch Diamond/Getty Images

Have an apartment or townhouse? Then consider outdoor window boxes that you access from inside. These require no ground space at all but give you plenty of options to plant trailing greens, bright blooms, or even fresh herbs within reach – plus they give your home some added curb appeal at the same time.

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herbs in window
You can grow fresh herbs all year long right in your windowsill. YinYang/Getty Images

You can always grow small plants inside, whether you choose simple pots or a more advanced hydroponic kitchen garden kit. Growing herbs is a relatively fuss-free way to add some green to the inside of your home (plus they make your home-cooked meals that much more delicious). African violets, orchids, and small, leafy plants will also work on windowsills or side tables.

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wall-mounted garden
Utilize the space you do have, like a backyard wall or fence, as gardening space. atta0107/Shutterstock

There’s probably still one room where you haven’t thought of putting some plants: Your bathroom. Even if yours doesn’t get much light, a wall-mounted garden stocked with plants that do well in shady, moist environments can thrive. You can also put a wall mounted garden on the outside of your house to give your porch a more natural, earthy feel.

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