20 Best Urban Gardens Stories of 2015
December 22, 2015 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
Have we told you lately that we love you? Well we do. And here’s what you loved in 2015.
Your favorite stories of the year included plants growing up walls and on countertops. You loved hydroponic and aquaponic gardens and, as always, beautiful spaces–on rooftops and underground, from large-scale industrial urban farms to tiny guerrilla gardens. You were fueled by bike-powered coffee shops, crazy for shoes that planted seeds, and roving mobile gardens continued to move you.
Drum roll for your 20 very favorite 2015 Urban Gardens blog posts:
One of my favorite French designers, Frédéric Malphettes, reaches new heights with Anno, his latest vertical garden trellis structure, a welcome addition to his family of modular vertical garden designs. Learn how the playful Anno can climb great heights in your home, here.
Brown thumbs beware, you may be in for an identity crisis. Growing indoor gardens has never been easier. With the advancements in the technology and design for hydroponic and aquaponic gardening systems, we can take our pick of edible plant growing apparatuses. Still think you will kill anything and everything you try to grow? Well that may be true, but these five systems for tabletop edible gardens are going to give you a run for your money. Check them out here.
The urban greenhouse-less are not doomed to a life of seasonal CSAs (although they are a good thing) or wilted produce from the mega grocery store down the road (a bad thing.)Innovations of the gardening kind are popping up for the city set who want to grow their own food in the smallest of spaces. One of the new kids on the block is Edn, a plug ‘n play vertical garden system. Learn about these tiers of garden joy here.
You can picture it right? Starting your day by collecting a bounty of fresh eggs, herbs and other edibles, popping over to check on your buzzing bee hive, and then heading out to enjoy your day in the city with the unmistakable glow of a gardener. But then, you try to picture actually making a garden bed. You start looking at housing for urban chickens and bee hives, and after an entire weekend on Pinterest, your dream of being a prolific urban gardener is dampened by discouragement.
With that in mind, it’s time to give a huge round of applause to the AKER project. Here’s why.
Vanessa Harden channels her inner James Bond for the collection of covert gardening devices she’s designed for her subversive guerrilla gardening exploits. Together with like-minded cohorts, she secretly plants flowers, shrubs, and vegetables in her neighborhood’s neglected spaces. Check out her project The Subversive Gardener and more, here.
Imagine gardening in high heels. Sexy and dangerous, totally impractical, right?
While at the Brooklyn Museum’s exhibition, Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe, I spotted among the studded and bejeweled platforms, stilettos, wedges–and creations that could only be described as works of art–a shoe whose high heel plants seeds. Yes, an haute-couture gardening shoe. Take a peek here.
Step aside Starbucks. There’s a new caffeinated kid on the block and she’s on a roll. With 50 cafés sold to 12 countries in nine months, the world’s smallest but fastest growing coffee chain is coming to a corner, or a curb, near you. Wheelys are CO2 neutral full service bike-powered coffee shops. Check out caffeine’s rising star here.
When summer returns so does plenty of barbecuing and cocktail sipping out in the back yard. Or, if you’re very lucky, you have a rooftop garden to lounge on. We’ve rounded up some of our most lust-worthy rooftop garden posts to make you swoon. Grab your envy and check them out here.
What claims to be the world’s largest indoor vertical farm will soon begin production in Newark, New Jersey. Once it is fully operating, the 69,000-square-foot AeroFarms headquarters is slated produce up to 2 million pounds of vegetables and herbs a year. That’s only the beginning! There are farms cropping up in bank vaults, abandoned Sony factories and more. Explore the future of urban agriculture here.
While not exactly nomadic, urban dwellers are known to be constantly on the go. It’s no surprise then that many urban gardens are designed to follow suit. With the roots to grow and the wings to fly, mobile gardens are on the move too. Here are ten of our favorite mobile garden projects we hope will move you. See what grows on the go here.
Check out some design-centric LED-powered vegetable garden systems I saw at LOFT, the future-oriented exhibition space at Ambiente in Frankfurt. I was there with BlogTourAmbiente, and I loved seeing how their collection of indoor plant lights have blossomed. Check out these cool indoor kitchen gardens.
When the homeowners added solar panels to the roof of their spectacular Ray Kappe–designed house in Los Angeles’s Rustic Canyon, they wanted to screen the panels something that celebrated their passion for airplants without sacrificing their views. See how they hid the view of the solar panels.
15. Connecting the Pots: Self-Watering Modular and Magnetic “Connect a Pot” Planters
For those of us who have downsized to smaller digs where space is at a premium, there’s a new self-watering modular pot system for growing plants, herbs and flowers indoors in compact areas. See how to connect the pots.
16. Going Whole Log at Ambiente 2015 in Frankfurt
Distilling down the top trends and themes from an international design fair the size of 60 football fields (that’s 1300 tennis courts) is not a simple endeavor. In Frankfurt I weeded through the massive designfest otherwise known as Ambiente where there were several recurring themes. Let’s start with logs.
17. Crazy in Love With These Valentine Gift Ideas
Are you a romantic? Even though Valentine’s Day about two months away, here are some Valentine gifts that celebrate the marriage of hearts and gardens. Fall in love here.
18. Smart Home of the Future With On-site Food Production
Engineering and environmental science students were asked the question “what does ‘smart’ mean now to innovative ideas for the house of the future. See what they answered.
19. How to Create a Beautiful Garden (Even If You Don’t Have Time to Care For It)
The true gardener has the time, patience and knowledge to care for a garden on a long-term basis and the tidy gardener is one who likes the idea of a garden, but doesn’t have the time to care for it. See which type are gardener you are here.
20. In Harmony With Nature: Francis Benincà’s Environmental Sculptures
You might say that French sculptor Francis Benincà was ahead of the curve. As a teenager Benincà worked alongside his father building sculptural “bubble houses” which strongly influenced his designs. See the environmental sculptures Benincà creates today.
Thank you for being part of our awesome community this year! We’ve learned, we’ve been inspired, and we’ve laughed. We hope you did to.