By: Nicholas Walker
Apartment living does not mean that you have to give up gardening; it just means that you have to be more creative with space and more thoughtful of what you choose to grow. The same goes for pint size apartment dwellers; tending to a garden is a great way for kids to learn about the earth and gain pride in themselves as they work hard to take care of something. Growing a mini garden sized just right for an apartment is easy and here are some ideas for a miniature plot:
1. First of all it is important to evaluate the amount of space there is available. If there is no balcony or any outside area connected to the apartment then step inside, it is amazing where a garden can grow; kitchen window sills, bathroom shelves, tabletops, sunny corners where plants can thrive. Once the decision about where to grow the garden has been made then what to grow comes next and the choices are many.
2. Making a miniature garden that kids can tend can is as simple as purchasing a few small pots of indoor plants and flowers and clustering them together in one area, African violets, cyclamen, hibiscus and orchids are great choices and have color and yummy aromas which kids love. Choose a container and fill it with succulents, add pebbles and rocks for a southwestern feel that will definitely bring some sunshine into a winter home. Avoid prickly cacti or little hands could get hurt when looking after their garden, stick to aloe plants and smooth leafed desert cacti; the great news about succulents is that they are hardy, low maintenance and look interesting, a triple whammy of miniature cool.
3. Growing a garden from a seed is always a winner; it opens up a wonderful opportunity to teach kids all about where food comes from and the importance of looking after our planet. As the plants grow, so will the joy that kids get from tending to their indoor plot. It is a relatively inexpensive way to start a garden but it is more time consuming and seeds need a lot of care in the beginning to survive.
4. An indoor herb garden is a great idea as well and all you need is a window ledge and some light and you are in the miniature gardening business, which means big fun for kids. Herbs are fast growing and hardy, they smell yummy and taste delicious too so they are a wonderful introduction to sustainable gardening for kids; eating what you grow has always been very cool. Some good herbs to grow are mint, rosemary, basil, cilantro, thyme, lemongrass and oregano.
5. Tabletop gardening is a great use of small space, all that is needed is a pot, soil and sunlight and you are good to grow. Growing a mini tropical garden is as easy as picking a coconut, plant some miniature bamboo, miniature palm trees and aromatic orchids to make a tropical jungle garden fit for an apartment.
Apartment gardening for kids is fun, affordable and environmentally conscious, three good reasons to get growing.
Nicholas Walker is one of the world’s most accomplished garden designer- builders. Nicholas is a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers and the Garden Writer’s Association of America. His partnership in Jardin, of kathy ireland Worldwide (kiWW), has established him as one of America’s most celebrated and innovative leaders, in the design community. He speaks on sustainability, the environment and a healthy, greener lifestyle.
His stunning works of art have been featured in magazines, such as the historic Elizabeth Taylor gardens’ inArchitectural Digest, Metropolitan Home, Sunset Magazine, Garden Design, Forbes and LA Times Magazine. He is also a contributor, to Good Housekeeping Do it Yourself, Woman, Furniturefind.com and kathyireland.com.
Oprah, HGTV | Forbes Magazine | Architectural Digest- The Private World of Elizabeth Taylor | Casual Living | Gardens of Inspiration | Sustanable Living Council Dwell on Design | Craftsman Radio | Bella Petite Magazine