Best of 2013: Urban Gardens Top 10 Favorite Posts

December 29, 2013 by


Urban Gardens readers and followers have spoken.  In 2013, vertical gardens continued to reign in popularity, as did outdoor and indoor edible gardens, some of which were climbing the walls.

You loved concrete as much as I did, and the cooler the better! Nesting at home and puttering in your small space gardens remained favorite pastimes, but as adventurous design enthusiasts, you also loved traveling virtually to some of the world’s most interesting destinations to savor the goods, food, cultural experiences, and incredible outdoor spaces.

Here’s the final countdown of the Urban Gardens top 10 posts of 2013:

10. From Spain, a Vertical Succulent Garden with Integrated Outdoor Shower


Well known for Phytokinetic, the über cool green roof system he designed for city buses, Spanish landscape designer and friend Marc Grañèn also creates beautiful and functional botanical works of art. Read about how the now completed living wall and shower, designed for a client’s seaside residence on the Costa Brava northeast of Barcelona, was an exercise in trial and error that ultimately culminated in success here.


9. 8 Trend-Setting European Urban Garden Designers and Horticulturalists

Richard Reynolds, Guerrilla Gardener

Urban Gardens sponsor, Elspeth Briscoe, founder of MyGardenSchool (formerly with eBay & Skype), shares her thoughts with us on the top leading lights in European urban garden design. Read about some some remarkable European talents that are driving many of the world’s urban gardening trends here.


8. Cool Indoor-Outdoor Modular Cylinder Planters

Decor Fiori Cylinders. Indoor Outdoor Cylinder Planters

As soon as I saw the Décor Fiori Cylinders, it was instant love. What do I love? These lightweight cylinders are fabulous for small spaces and are really versatile. Take a look at the many amazing ways they can be used here.


7. Small Footprint, Big Yield: Create an Easy Micro Organic Urban Garden Today!

Plant 55 Plants in a small space with The Urban Garden by Bill Arquitt

One of our earliest posts from 2009, this one continues to be one of our most popular even though the product no longer exists. There are two things urban gardeners are short on: space and time. The Urban Garden, brainchild of Bill Arquitt, resolves both of these issues. Here’s how.


6. 10 Cool DIY Home and Garden Projects You Can Make With a 3D Printer

3D print designers at XYZ Workshop make micro-planter chess set

These days, 3D printing is all the rage. Check out my exploration of technically advanced but simple to produce home and garden products regular folks were designing and printing–with 3D printers here.


5. An Urban Farmer in Your Kitchen

Goodbye green grocer, hello apartment farmer. Hyundai is getting got the urban agriculture act: Nano Garden, by Hyundai Engineering & Construction and Gromo, is a hydroponic vegetable garden for the urban apartment kitchen. Read about all the Nano can do here.


4. Five Easy Steps for Creating an Indoor/Outdoor Vertical Garden or Green Wall


In even the smallest spaces, you can plant up instead of out with modular pocket planters like those from Woolly Pockets. Learn how to design your own green living wall virtually anywhere indoors or out here.


3. Four Indoor Shade Plants for Sun-Deprived Apartments

Colorful Croton. Photo: Dr. Dan’s Landscaping.
Colorful Croton. Photo: Dr. Dan’s Landscaping.

If you are in search of potted plants to spruce up your sun-deprived apartment, here are four great options.


2. How to Build Indoor Hydroponic Gardens Using IKEA Storage Boxes


ELIOOO is not a product, it’s architect and designer Antonio Scarponi’s cleverly conceived and designed instruction manual that teaches any urban gardener how to build, operate, and maintain a choice of six variously sized and configured indoor hydroponic farms–from a small windowsill herb planter to a large mobile vertical garden. Learn what you need and how to do it here.


1. 12 Urban Style Indoor-Outdoor Concrete Pieces

cement coffee tables

Concrete is the modern urban gardener’s muse. The material looks great raw, enriched with color, standing alone or in combination with other materials. Concrete furniture and accessories bring an urban sensibility to any indoor or outdoor room.  Indoor-outdoor concrete design options are endless. See some of my concrete furniture and accessories here.


  1. Liz Morten said:

    Hi Robin: I enjoyed your post, but am wildly trying to sort out where to put Gromo. I have a tiny exterior greenhouse that I refuse to heat these days, and seems to do so much more. Glad to find you.

    — December 30, 2013 @ 20:20

  2. Robin Horton said:

    Glad you stopped by and enjoyed the post Liz! Love to see what you are growing in that little greenhouse.

    — December 30, 2013 @ 20:26

  3. James Paulson said:

    Love building your own hydroponic garden! Very neat idea!

    — January 3, 2014 @ 12:11

  4. San Diego Home Designer said:

    Everything is just beautiful. Every style has its uniqueness but I loved the 10 Cool DIY Home and Garden Projects You Can Make With a 3D Printer, it’s cool and cute. Can you please advise me what kind of plants can grow easily with this type of garden?

    — January 23, 2014 @ 22:21

  5. Robin Plaskoff Horton said:

    For easy and resilient growing, I always choose succulents. They have such an immense variety and need little water. Google them to see how pretty and interesting they are. The only thing they aren’t good at is very cold temperatures. Cactus are also easy and hard to kill!

    I’m so glad you liked the post. Thanks for reading!

    — January 27, 2014 @ 12:29

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