How to garden when you have no garden

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I have friends who live in apartments and wonder how they can garden when they have no garden.  There are many wonderful solutions to this dilemma.

If you have a balcony, of course you have at least one source of open space.  It is amazing what can be created on a balcony.  When I first started working as a landscape architect, my boss Ray Hansen cleverly designed and built an amazing zen garden outside our 4' x 10' office space that was a delight to view.  I have a friend who has a rose garden on her balcony.  I have designed many "small garden spaces" that bring clients much joy.

Of course for those who don't have balconies, you can look to your interior spaces.  Never before has there been such a wide variety of plants available for interior plantscaping.  No matter what your light conditions, you can sustain plants in your home.  I have one corner that is very dark and though I have to replace the plant every 2-3 years, while it is there and I nurture it, it looks great and brings me pleasure every time I see it.

If interior plants aren't your thing, more and more cities, arboretum and public gardens are in need of volunteers that will help out.  When city officials in San Jose, Calif., cut back on tending the Municipal Rose Garden because of budget troubles, area residents watched as the flowers struggled and the weeds flourished.    Local rose enthusiasts saved the garden with volunteers.  This story is being repeated in cities across the United States. This solution is a win-win for everyone.  Volunteers get face time with real plants and companionship with other volunteers and the city has a garden they can be proud of.

A fourth way that you can garden is to get a plot in a community garden.  These gardens throughout urban areas are a haven for the garden deprived.   Many of them grow vegetables and some plots are amazingly artistically arranged.

When I lived in a condo many years ago, I added a small gardening service to my business just so I could work with plants and keep myself involved with the earth.  It was incredibly rewarding and I am grateful to the people that entrusted me with their gardens.

Working in a garden is a therapeutic experience, one that everyone can do. Whether you live on acres or just have a 2 square feet of space, it is important that you spend time communing with nature each day.


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