With an ongoing trend towards downscaling, many people are finding themselves without much of a garden, if at all. There are however a few clever ways to scale down your garden and bring nature back into your home.

Bonsai Trees

Bonsai is an agent Japanese artform of growing small trees in shallow containers and cultivating them to look like the real full-size tree. Bonsai trees can be purchased online or from most reputable nurseries.

If you are an avid gardener, why not try growing your own. You can either purchase a pre-bonsai from the nursery, buy a bonsai starter kit or get a tree from nature. If you do chose the latter option, just ensure you have the necessary permission to do so.

Placing your tree in a prominent position and making it a feature in you garden or home is sure way of starting an interesting conversation.

If you don’t have a garden and the idea of a bonsai is too overwhelming, then consider getting some indoor plants. There are a vast variety to choose from, such as the lush and leafy Delicious Monster, to various cacti and even flowering plants such as orchids and African Violets. Air plants are a great addition to any bathroom and are interesting to look at too.

Water Features

Closing your eyes and hearing the soothing trickle of running water will instantly transport you to a peaceful countryside oasis.

Water features have formed an integral part of garden design for hundreds of years. They were used not only as a means of supplying water from nearby sources to town residents, but also as a display of wealth and man’s power over nature. The spectacular water gardens at the Villa D’Este are a perfect example of this.

The advent of pump technology has made it possible for water to be recirculated, making modern looking water features a lovely addition to any residential garden. Indoor fountains are also rising in popularity with an attractive range of wall and tabletop water features readily available.

Hydroponics

Hydroponics is a gardening method where plants are grown without soil by circulating nutrient rich water around the roots to provide them with the food they require.

As more and more people turn towards healthier eating habits the popularity of hydroponics continues to rise. There are many DIY kits out there, and for the innovative among you, you can even build your very own system. Most exciting of all is the development of some clever and attractive indoor hydroponic systems that now make it possible for anyone to grow their own herbs and vegetables, regardless of how little space they have.

Vertical Gardens

If you don’t have a lot of horizontal space, then why not go up? Vertical gardening is another trend rising in popularity as living spaces get smaller and people become more aware of the need for greenery in urban environments. A perfect example of this is the Musèe du Quai Branly in Paris which is adorned with over 15 000 plants of 200 different species.

DIY kits are readily available at garden outlets or online and often include a nifty self-watering system. Alternatively you could build your own unique garden using a variety of upcycled materials such as wooden frames, tin cans or even gutter pipes.

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