Solutions for TownGardens

Lack of Light, Soil and Water|The Garden FloorOne factor unites all town gardens: they are surrounded by buildings on at least two sides and by walls on the remainder. Therefore, they are gardens with special problems, but also, because of the microclimates produced by enclosing structures, with interesting possibilities.
As introvert spaces tend to be too static, it is important for the imagination to used: an adventurous hand can create a unique courtyard.
Poverty of light is often a cause of disappointments, because plants are drawn upward in an attempt to reach the sun. Rather than trying to grow old favourites, which are more suitable for an open, country position, it is better to make the most of choosing the correct plant in the first place.A lot of plants revel in the absence of direct sunlight or even in the shade, particularly those with large foliage.Philidelphus coronarius Aureusand Weigela Looymansii Aurea burn badly in the sunlight but will look fresh until the end of summer when facing the North.
High walls can be painted white as they reflect light onto the plants, helping with their growth. But white is not always the best colour to use, since it defines too exactly the size and proportion of the space it encloses.
A solution to reduce the lack of light is to haveraised beds on different levels: they can create a sculptural form and give character to the given space.
A progression from 1ft to 1.6 ft to 2 ft would be sufficient, even a small elevation can make a difference to the plant growth.It also allows new topsoil and compostwithout having to remove an equivalent amount of material from the site, a major consideration where access is difficult.Poverty of soil is an endemic problem in town gardens. The only answer is complete replacement or thorough enrichment, best undertaken at the outset followed by a yearly mulch to maintain fertility.Surrounding walls and buildings tend to deflect and soak up rainbefore it reaches the ground.Large trees soak up a lot of the rain water and their leaves throw the water clear of the planting areas onto paving.
Modern automatic systems, which can be set to come on at night when water is absorbed most effectively, may help.
The Garden Floor