4 small space gardening tips from HGTV Canada star Carson Arthur

Feb 6 2018, 12:11 am

When you’re living in a condo, it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to interior design – especially when you’re working with limited space.

The truth is, you can easily transform any space, no matter the size. But don’t take our word for it.

We spoke with HGTV Canada’s Home to Win outdoor lifestyle expert and international landscape designer Carson Arthur, presented by Lee Valley, to find out the simple steps you can take to add some lushness to your small space before he returns to Calgary on March 1 for the Calgary Home + Garden Show at the BMO Centre & Corral at Stampede Park.

1. Do you have any personal experience in living in a condo?

Currently, I have a 730 square foot condo that I share with my partner. It is an exercise in good storage solutions, purging regularly, and making smart decisions about how much I really need when it comes to clothes, books, and shoes.

2. What would you recommend for anyone living in a small space who wishes to bring a sense of the outdoors indoors?

In any small space, condo owners should look to the walls as opportunities for plants and natural elements. Not traditionally considered living space, the walls are the perfect spot for hanging plants and vertical gardens.

#colourexplosion. My bulbs are in overdrive.

A post shared by Carson Arthur (@carsonarthur123) on

3. How would you advise someone who wants to decorate a small balcony?

Every pot that I put on my balcony has wheels underneath it. The ability to move plants out of the way when you are entertaining is the key to making the most of a small outdoor space. I am also a fan of adding lightweight soil substitutions into my potting mix. Consider using packing noodles in your soil. You fill your pots with less soil and make them lighter, allowing you to move them more easily around your space.

4. Is this approach different for townhomes that usually have more space?

This theory of lightweight and portable planters work for town-homes as much as for condo balconies. At the end of the day, having plants outdoors is such a popular hobby… almost as popular as hosting guests outside. Flexibility and functionality should always be first and foremost when planning any small outdoor space.

If you want to hear more from Carson you can check out the Calgary Home + Garden Show, taking place from March 1 to 4 at the BMO Centre & Corral at Stampede Park. At the show, Carson will be sharing examples of the five biggest mistakes homeowners make when renovating their outdoor spaces, and how you can fix mistakes to add value to your home. 

Additionally, the outdoor lifestyle expert will be giving his insight on the best areas where you can invest your money in your outdoor space (for the highest return). Simply visit the Home + Garden Stage on Friday, March 2 or Saturday, March 3 at 5 pm, and again Sunday, March 4 at 11 am to hear wise words from Carson. 

Carson is just one of many HGTV Canada stars speaking at the event where you’ll find more than 650 exhibitors. Visit the Calgary Home + Garden Show website to see the full lineup.

Calgary Home + Garden Show 2018

When: March 1 to 4

  • Thursday, March 1: Noon to 9 pm
  • Friday, March 2: Noon to 9 pm
  • Saturday, March 3: 10 am to 9 pm
  • Sunday, March 4: 10 am to 6 pm

Where: BMO Centre & Corral, Stampede Park – 20 Roundup Way South West
Price: $13 adults, $10 seniors – Tickets available via Calgary Home + Garden Show, save $3 when you purchase online

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