Sometimes it might seem like gardening is all about rural and suburban gardens. Big, sprawling lawns and endless flowerbeds flanked by woodland and meadows as far as the eye can see. But if we limit our idea of gardens and gardening to those spaces, we are not paying enough attention to both the insistence of nature to grow wherever it can, and the ingenuity of humans, seeing opportunity where at first glance there seems to be none.
The word ‘city’ conjures up images of hustle and bustle, roads and pavements, skyscrapers and concrete. When you first come to a city, it’s all grey buildings and yellow taxis, red buses and blue exhaust fumes, with zero space for the color green. And on the surface of it all, you’d be correct. No place for plants in this metropolis. Or is there?
Once you take the time to look closer, you’ll see that people have made space for nature in all kinds of unexpected corners: A tiny pot with a geranium, a planter on a balcony for some garden herbs – even the grayest of cities can ‘t deter the human need for nature, and nature’s desire to sprout, grow and bloom.
Currently 63% of the US population lives in cities, a number that is only expected to rise. But that doesn’t mean that all of these people want to live the stereotype city-lifestyle. Many of them want to be surrounded by green, to be closer to nature, maybe even grow their own food. Enter: urban gardening.
Urban gardening can be as small as one person putting a few plants on their balcony, or as big and organized as whole kitchen gardens on rooftops and in abandoned lots. And in the last few years even city authorities themselves have started to become interested in urban gardening, with the High Line, a 1.45-mile-long elevated linear park created on a former New York Central Railroad in Manhattan, as the perfect example.
How to go green in the city
So now that you know you can turn your grey space into a green haven, where should you begin? It’s clear that things like lawns and big trees are out. Urban gardening is very much about individual plants being grown in pots, planters and other containers, placed in lost corners, on doorsteps and in windowsills. Hey, where did we hear about those things before? Ah yes, FLOWER BULBS. With their minimal maintenance and incredibly high success rate they are the perfect plants for a first-time urban gardener.
Ready to get planting? Here is what you need.
All plants need three things: light, soil and water. The last two are easy to come by, but the biggest issue with urban gardening is often light. Big buildings throw big shade, so you want to find a spot that has as much light as possible, or go for bulbs that do well with less light. Whatever container you decide to use, make sure it drains well, since bulbs will rot if their roots are too wet for too long. When it comes to soil it is best to opt for potting soil, as that also helps with drainage of excess water.
So, you found a good spot, and your well-draining containers are filled with potting soil. Now on to the bulbs themselves. Of course, you’re free to experiment with any and all bulb varieties that strike your fancy, but we’ve found that the following bulbs do particularly well in spaces with more shade:
- For the start of the season you cannot go wrong with crocuses, like lovely lilac Crocus Pickwick.
- Another bulb that has no problem surviving in the concrete jungle is little dwarf iris Reticulata, with its exotic-looking flower and delightful fragrance.
- You know that it’s ‘Spring in the City’ when your daffodils start blooming. Mini daffodil Hawera does very well with a bit less light, still lifting your heart with its yellow beauty.
- Romantic anemone Blanda Mix livens up any urban balcony or downtown windowsill with a carpet of color.
Plant the bulbs in fall, water well and simply leave them to their winter-sleep, and come spring you’ll be watching your own little corner of nature come to life!
As you can tell from our name, DutchGrown is all about growing, wherever and whenever nature allows. Our top-quality bulbs mean that even in the unlikeliest of spaces you’ll get beautiful, lush flowers that will last and last. On our user-friendly website you’ll find a wide range of options for your pots & planters. Order today, plant in the fall, and enjoy your urban garden all season long!