What Is An Urban Garden: Learn About Urban Garden Design

Urban Garden Design Near Buildings
(Image credit: Grand Warszawski)

It’s the age-old cry of the city dweller: “I’d love to grow my own food, but I don’t have the space!” While gardening in the city may not be as easy as stepping outside into a fertile backyard, it’s far from impossible and in some ways even preferable! Keep reading to learn more about creating an urban garden.

What is an Urban Garden?

What is an urban garden? At its heart, it’s a garden that has to conform to a small or specific space. Beyond that, it can take all kinds of forms, depending upon what your site calls for. If you have a rooftop, a patio, or a small patch of ground, you could install a raised bed. As it’s all above ground, even a slab of concrete is a perfect spot. If you have access to a front porch or any kind of overhang, all kinds of things can be planted in hanging baskets. Flowers are popular, of course, but salad greens, tomatoes, and strawberries can also thrive in baskets. If you have any south-facing windows, window boxes are a great option for creating a green extension of your apartment that doesn’t take up any of your living space.

Urban Garden Ideas

The most common urban garden design centers around containers. Available in all shapes and sizes and completely mobile, containers are the definition of versatility. Any outdoor space you may have, like a rooftop or balcony, can be covered with containers. Since they’re moveable, you can switch them out with the seasons, starting warm weather seedlings inside and replacing cool weather crops when summer arrives, taking full advantage of your prized outdoor space. If you truly have no outdoor access, line your windows, particularly the south-facing ones, with containers. Just make sure to place saucers underneath to catch the draining water. Even indoor plants need drainage. If none of your windows receive full sun, plants in containers can be grown virtually anywhere in your apartment under grow lights. Just make sure they get good air circulation to prevent disease. If you really want a patch of land of your own, look around to see if your city has a community garden. It’ll greatly expand your growing space and get you in contact with fellow gardeners who are sure to have their own urban garden ideas to share.

Liz Baessler
Senior Editor

The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.