Picture frame plants and a muffin tin hack: 5 DIY gardening hacks for small spaces.

Thanks to our brand partner, Canna

Bridgerton season three is on its way, and I couldn't be more excited for those luscious, fertile, decadent… gardens.

Sure, yes, everything else that goes down is fun too. 

But seriously, let’s talk about those gardens.

The grounds in Bridgerton are a true testament to the grandeur of the Regency era. From meticulously manicured hedges that form intricate mazes to colourful flower beds bursting with vibrant blooms, all that greenery is enough to make any gardener giddy.

Unfortunately, most of us don't have a casual 100 acres to live out our garden fantasies, but small gardens can be incredibly satisfying too. After all, it's not the size that matters, it's how you maximise it. 

Whether you're dealing with a cramped apartment or a petite patio, the gardeners of social media have us covered with imaginative DIY gardening hacks to transform even the tiniest nooks into lush green sanctuaries.

1. Hydroponic growing

Imagine a garden without soil – that's hydroponic gardening. It sounds sci-fi, but the technique has actually been around since the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. This low-mess (no mud) setup can be as simple as a row of containers on a wall, DIYed out of pipes, or a futuristic vertical tower. You just need to have good lighting.


GardenTok loves a hydroponic system, which isn't surprising because the flavour, colour, and quantity of produce are generally much better than conventional gardening. 

If you're serious about hydroponic gardening, try the Canna range. These easy-to-use products put you in complete control of the supply of nutrients to your plants. There's no guesswork (or muddy mess) like there is with regular soil, so your plants are getting exactly what they need. This means there's less waste and a lower chance of pests or disease. Plus, you can grow most plants year-round, which means more mid-winter coriander for your tacos and more homemade basil pesto.

Best for: You can grow almost anything hydroponically, but leafy greens like lettuce will thrive, as will herbs such as basil and mint, and compact fruiting plants like cherry tomatoes.


Pro Tip: Invest in a pH and EC metre to regularly check water quality.

2. Vertical gardening

The name gives it away. Vertical gardens go up rather than along the ground, making the most of limited space and will brighten up a boring old wall. My favourite look is lush greenery climbing up trellises Bridgerton style. But you can also have plants hanging from pockets on walls or thriving in stacked planters.

Combine this with another hack: Hydroponic setups are ideal for vertical gardening as the lack of soil means pots are lighter and therefore safer to stack, fix to the wall, or layer on your balcony railing.


Best for: Vining plants like beans, peas, and cucumbers, as well as compact herbs and succulents.

Pro Tip: Seedlings are light, but grown-up plants get heavy. Plan ahead so your beloved plants don't come crashing to the ground and break your heart… or your wall. Use sturdy, weather-resistant materials and factor in the weight of fully grown and watered plants.

3. Tiered gardening

Even if you have a bit of space, it can often be difficult to use if it's sloped or if you have kids or pets who are going to trample all over your precious plants. Tiered gardening is a great solution involving building step-like structures to create different levels of satisfyingly flat plant beds. Most people use rocks or bricks to create permanent retaining walls, but people are using everything from shelves to repurposed wooden crates. You can also use this method to create deeper plant beds without having to dig a massive hole in your lawn.

Best for: Pretty much any smallish plant will thrive in a tiered structure as they ensure excellent drainage, but it's a particularly beautiful way to lay out a herb garden.


4. Inter-planting

If you fancy yourself a bit of a Lady Danbury, then you'll love inter-planting. Inter-planting involves strategically match-making different species and planting them next to each other. The point of pairing them up is to help each plant grow better by naturally deterring pests and improving pollination.

According to the internet, a good match actually includes three plants. So maybe it's more like Sister Wives than Bridgerton? Anyway, there's the main crop, a flower, and a herb. The flowers and herb can act as repellents to bugs and pests, or attract bees for pollination.

Video: @momjeansandgardenthings


Best for: The list is so long. Start by picking your favourite veg and research companion plant combos. If you need some inspiration, start with tomatoes, basil and marigolds.

5. Picture frame plants

If you're craft-inclined, you could try to repurpose an old picture frame to create living succulent art on your wall.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

Video: @tastyhome


Best for: Succulents and Mosses.

It looks cool, but also slightly precarious? I have visions of mud and moss crashing to the ground. Personally, I'd opt for a futuristic hydroponic tower instead. Nothing is more beautiful than home-grown herbs on tap in the midst of a cost of living crisis.

Whether you're gardening to save money, get off the grid, or just to have more beautiful things in your life, don't let the size of your space hold you back. 

Shop the Canna range to give your plants all the nutrients they need to thrive.

Feature Image: @regenerativefarmers/@genevavanderzeil/@plantswithkrystal

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