An Apartment Approach to Urban Naturalization

The age old thought of "Everyone can do their part!" can sometimes seem like a battle cry, but when it comes to urban naturalization, it can sometimes leave those of us stuck living in apartments scratching our heads. We don't have space for gardens. Depending on the apartment, it might even lack a porch or a window that receives light. My current bedroom faces North, and due to the trees planted around and being on the first floor, we get next to no light in the room (much to the disdain of the cat). But with a little bit of effort and some creative thinking, anyone with a living space can grow some greenery.

One thing that apartment gardens require is a little creative thinking. A list I found on listoic offers everything from using rubbermaid containers as planters to using egg plants for starters. Not only does this list show the creative side of apartment gardening, but it uses items that you probably have around the house, like egg shells and egg cartons. It's both economical and natural. Other ideas for apartments without porches include boxes being mounted on walls near windows that get sun, putting small pots in windows with ledges, and planting drought resistant plants. Drought resistant plants are plants that can stand a lot of sun without much water. Oregon live has a great article about it, though it tends to focus on plants in the ground. One really great plant for apartments without a porch or without much space is aloe vera. Not only does it not require much love or water, but it's also something that can be used- aloe vera is great for heat burns, like those from ovens, stove tops, and the sun.

On the topic of useful plants, we have edible plants. Like the picture above shows, it doesn't take much space to grow some plants that you can eat. The box above is fairly easy to build, since it's just boards put together- it doesn't even require nails or screws, meaning that the box sizes can be adjusted according to need. Personally, I have an herb garden on the porch of our apartment. I was lucky to get all the starters from my mother (who has a vast herb garden), but it's still up to me to actually take care of the plants. There really isn't anything like ripping a few leaves of basil off a plant to toss into my poor-college-kid pasta-out-of-a-box. As an added bonus, the mixture of rosemary, thyme, sage, and other herbs makes the porch smell amazing.

Don't know where to start? There's an article for that! While my porch just has a small herb garden, a couple potted flours, and some cat grass, I know it's only going to grow. The tall beams on the porch give well to climbing plants, like roses or beans. One day, our porch will be a mini garden in the middle of sidewalks and office buildings. While this idea could be spoken about for hours on end, the best research is google images- it's how I got the idea for a box of herbs on the porch. Happy hunting!