Whether you are an experienced gardener who has acres of plants or a complete novice with only a few cacti in your apartment, you have surely felt that caring for plants is exceptionally gratifying – especially when the blossoms turn into mesmerizingly beautiful flowers.
However, if you do not live in the suburbs and therefore do not have a spacious backyard, it does not mean you should give up your dream of having a stunning garden. Hence, this short guide will help you create a perfect urban garden that will amaze even the greenest of the green thumbs out there.
Just think about it. It’s no coincidence that the most beautiful place in the universe was a garden – the Garden of Eden! The fact of the matter is that gardening is an incredibly enjoyable activity, both for your body and your soul. So, no need to feel insecure about planting plenty of seeds of love in your apartment. They will surely grow if you just put in the time and effort to create the perfect little urban jungle, right there where you live.
Estimate how much space you have at your disposal
Obviously, plants have to have enough space, air, and light to grow properly. Again, this does not necessarily mean that you have to have a backyard to even think about planting something you could call a garden. This is the perfect opportunity to engage your nifty sense of interior planning, rearrange your living space, and beautify it with plants. Get rid of old furniture and stuff that you no longer use and make way for a much healthier, prettier, and greener surrounding.
If you have a balcony, a rooftop, or a spacious sill in your apartment, you are already off to a good start. But why stop there? Put pots on the back of the toilet, or plant small flowers and place them in your kitchen, next to your bedside, the corners of the room… Pinterest is brimful of lovely ideas about how you can embellish your plain old room and transform it with the help of tastefully selected flower plants.
If you feel that the space you have at your disposal in your apartment is not enough for your gardening ambitions, then talk to your neighbors to see if they are ok with you moving some of your plants into the hallway. If you do not get approval for this, perhaps you can be in charge of the green plot in front of your building. The municipal authorities usually welcome these innovative and budget-friendly initiatives – in the end, nobody in the right mind will object when you explain what you have in mind.
Naturally, the free space you have will determine the number and type of plants you will use to create the perfect urban garden.
Consider the sunshine
As you may know, some plants cannot survive without plenty of sunshine. This is an important consideration that will potentially limit which plants you will be able to take care of and tell you which of the plants you will position closer to the light source. During your preparations, try to draw a detailed plan of your apartment. You may want to consult an experienced gardener, perhaps in the local flower shop or city garden. The last thing you want is to give way to your ambition and consequently watch the plants struggle to stay vibrant.
However, if you are adamant about creating a garden that needs a lot of sunlight, there are ways you can achieve this without actually relying on natural light. Introducing – hydroponic gardens! These gardens are structured in multiple levels resembling a small building. Small, household hydroponic gardens generate light with electricity, and they usually come with all the necessary equipment – light bulbs, pots, seeds, etc.
Talk to your local gardening expert
Although you might think that you are well prepared in terms of knowledge about plants, it is always useful to double-check the information. The information about plants you find on the Internet may be insufficient, or worse, down-right inaccurate. A lot is at stake here – after all, plants are living beings just as you and I.
So swallow your pride and head to the nearest flower shop or botanical garden. If you are new to gardening, you will be surprised how much plant-lovers like to share their knowledge and help each other. Since you are probably not the first person who is interested in creating an urban garden in their home or the vicinity of their building, you may want to get in touch with people who are already experienced in this regard. As you will see, any help or advice that comes your way will be golden.
Herbalize your life
The piece of advice that we have for you is to start small. Herbs are known for being ‘grateful’ plants, which means that they easily survive and thrive Since they do not require too much care and gardening expertise, herbs are a gateway plant to other, more demanding varieties of plants.
The very fact that you do not have to meticulously worry about the amount of water, quality of soil, weather conditions in which these plants grow means that you will soon enough feel the urge to challenge yourself with more sensitive plants. So, take some basil and mint, grab a pot, and plant your first mini urban garden!
Enjoy the process
The secret to creating a perfect urban garden is not to buy the best seeds and equipment that money can buy. Just like human beings, plants thrive best when they are loved and taken care of. Basically, creating your own garden is an exercise in patience, love, and commitment. As gardeners say – love your plants, and they will love you back!
Jessica Lock is an interior designer and an external consultant for Heart Moving, NYC. She always incorporates a lot of greenery into her home designs because she believes that a house is not a home without plants. On her days off, she enjoys hiking in the woods and collecting plants for her herbarium, but her greatest passion is taking care of her little indoor garden.