“Gardening” can be a misleading word. For a start, it implies that it’s something that has to be done in a garden, which is a bit off-putting to the millions of us who live in apartments, city housing or suburban terraces.
And secondly, it triggers negative feelings in many people who see it as a boring, pointless and expensive pastime that’s for other people. We’re here to put a few of those beliefs to bed, by showing you how gardening can help transform where you live, and how you think.
What is urban gardening?
It would be too simple to describe urban gardening as growing things in a city home. There are plenty of homes in cities with gardens, and quite a few rural and suburban homes that don’t. It’s more a state of mind – a way of making a space work for you.
It’s often about using things that you have lying around to transform a space into something green. And it doesn’t even have to be outdoors. Urban gardening can happen on window ledges, porches and hallways – anywhere with natural light. The main thing is that you’re growing things away from the traditional garden setting.
Learning how to grow
One thing that can nip a life of gardening in the bud is having a bad experience at the start. Growing things isn’t difficult (nature has been doing it for millions of years), but making them grow how, when and where you want takes practice.
It’s discouraging to watch your shoots wither away after a few weeks, but learning to manage your expectations while you pick up techniques really helps. Planting more than you need helps, too!
One of the beauties of growing plants is how quickly you learn from experience. We’ve teamed up with urban gardening guru Alfie Nickerson to get people gardening, and you can follow his thoughts and the videos he makes with us for the Timberland Collective for inspiration.