8 Small and Unexpected Garden Oases Hidden in the Middle of Cities

By Kate Reggev
These urban refuges effectively use greenery, water features, and delicate lighting in every inch of their modest spaces to create lush escapes that provide a breath of fresh air in the city.

Peace, quiet, and privacy can be hard to find amid the hustle and bustle of metropolitan areas, but there's no challenge that good design can't tackle. Whether it's by employing a simple flower box on a balcony, noise-muffling wooden baffles, foliage-lined pergolas, or leafy green trees, it's possible to create a moment of silence in some of the largest cities in the world. Check out some of our favorite urban havens that can be found in backyards, courtyards, rooftops, and beyond.

1) East Village Garden Rooftop by Pulltab

In New York City's East Village, a rooftop garden—complete with wisteria and succulents—provides both privacy and views of the city. Wood paving, benches, and an overhead brise-soleil keep the space feeling earthy rather than urban.

In New York City's East Village, a rooftop garden—complete with wisteria and succulents—provides both privacy and views of the city. Wood paving, benches, and an overhead brise-soleil keep the space feeling earthy rather than urban.

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In a city with constant traffic and little green space, architects Simone Carneiro and Alexandre Skaff renovated a cramped apartment with a small terrace. Plants, vines, and pergolas now form a barrier against the city’s notorious noise and pollution.

In a city with constant traffic and little green space, architects Simone Carneiro and Alexandre Skaff renovated a cramped apartment with a small terrace. Plants, vines, and pergolas now form a barrier against the city’s notorious noise and pollution.

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Eligo Regina Hammock
Eligo Regina Hammock
The Regina Hammock is woven with knotted rope and wood sticks to assure better comfort. This Hammock has its specific tool to fix it. It contains: two hooks, two chain rings and two ropes.
Sophie Conran Greenhouse & Indoor Watering Can
Sophie Conran Greenhouse & Indoor Watering Can
In need of a new watering can? If you want something functional yet beautiful, your best bet is the Sophie Conran Greenhouse and Indoor Watering Can. The creamy buttermilk color perfectly blends in with anyone’s garden or patio; in fact, it’s a stylish standout all on its own.
Rifle Paper Co. × Hedley & Bennett Herb Garden Slim Notebook
Rifle Paper Co. × Hedley & Bennett Herb Garden Slim Notebook
Featuring vibrant illustrated botanicals, the Herb Gardenslim notebook fits perfectly into the front pocket of ourHedley & Bennett aprons. Take it with you on trips tothe farmer’s market or jot down recipes you want to try. Photo courtesy of Rifle Paper Co....
In Saigon, courtyard-facing balconies are common and allow residents to be simultaneously outside while still being in the privacy of their own home. Here, flowers on the railing and a large tree in the courtyard below bring life to a narrow space.

In Saigon, courtyard-facing balconies are common and allow residents to be simultaneously outside while still being in the privacy of their own home. Here, flowers on the railing and a large tree in the courtyard below bring life to a narrow space.

In Tel Aviv, a small pool and garden were carved out of the backyard of this renovated townhouse. White walls reflect the powerful sun rays while trees and greenery provide shade.

In Tel Aviv, a small pool and garden were carved out of the backyard of this renovated townhouse. White walls reflect the powerful sun rays while trees and greenery provide shade.