Urban Gardening: Transforming Our Cities from Grey To Green While we have little or no control over the concretization of these large buildings over the lands, we can, however, contribute in a significant way to making the areas greener just by adopting some simple practices

By Vinayak Garg

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If we ask you to imagine a rural field, you would most probably think of a lush green area covered with crops or trees or probably even add some birds hovering in the sky or enjoying the fruits from the farms. But when we ask you to do the same for an urban area, this picture on the contrary would change into a cemented one. Tall buildings and concrete roads would cover up most of your line of sight. See this transition from rural to urban? While we have little or no control over the concretization of these large buildings over the lands, we can, however, contribute in a significant way to making the areas greener just by adopting some simple practices.

Urban gardening, as the name suggests, is the practice of growing plants, fruits, or vegetables in an urban setting. You may have already seen some of it as the lush green rooftop gardens or colorful hanging baskets from the balconies of people around you. It is one form of traditional cultivation but only in an urban environment and comparatively on a smaller scale. People use all sorts of containers such as baskets, plastic bottles, earthen pots, or plastic pots to grow their plants.

Why engage in urban gardening?

In their own ways, urban gardens have been contributing to making areas more aesthetically pleasing and charming. Creeper and crawler plants have often found their way home into interior designs and continue to add the flavor of their beauty in fences and sheds. You've already got an idea by now, right? Urban gardening is a great way to engage with nature- You can set up your own gardens in your balconies, or you can also use your terraces to turn them into green, eco-friendly areas, by putting a lot of plants there.

What is in it for you?

Urban gardens can amply award you with their outputs. The first is the aesthetic value they add to your life. Did you know that simply being around your plants too can have a lot of positive effects on your body? Gardening is a great way by which you can decrease your anxiety, stress, depression, or even lift your mood instantly. Then, the output from these earth-friendly gardens is also a great source of nutrients for you. With natural inputs and some of your time and efforts, you can grow your own vegetables and fruits at your place. The organic produces are chemical-free and the process too is nature friendly.

Why not set up your own herb garden?

People today are becoming more and more health-conscious than ever before. This pandemic has taught the world the importance of immunity and the adoption of healthier eating habits and routines. In urban areas, modern amenities and technological supports have found their way into our daily lives, and so our connection with the green world has weakened a bit. To keep our bodies fit from within, herbs are often found to be magical. A lot of herbs are easy to grow and require less maintenance. Basil, coriander, spearmint, curry leaves, etc. are some of the herbs you can easily go for. You would not just get fresh supplies of your herbs but also satiate yourself with the fruits of your labor. And once you grow them enough, you might even make them a part of your healthy routine. That is a win-win!

Design your spaces with urban gardens!

We know that gardening is a science. You have tools, techniques, methodologies, that guide you into obtaining your desired outputs. But did you know gardening is also an art? All forms of art are based on the interpretations and tastes of the artists. Gardening too isn't out of this scope. Gardeners can use their imagination to shape their plants in their own creative ways. They can use different kinds of plants to decorate their gardens, add colorful textures with different types of plants, and also decide on their location to give the perfect touch to their urban gardens. If space is no limitation, you can turn these gardens into recreational areas where you can invite your friends for their favorite tea.

Green is associated with rejuvenation and freshness. It is nature's color that symbolizes growth and harmony. As more and more cities get adorned with urban gardening, we graciously move from grey to green. It allows you to even socially interact within your community and contribute to society's emotional and social wellbeing.

So, what are you waiting for? Turn your spaces green today!

Vinayak Garg

Founder of LazyGardener

Vinayak Garg is the Founder of LazyGardener, a venture aimed at providing innovative and easy gardening solutions to urban gardeners.

Vinayak was among the 12 fellows chosen under the Gurukul program (2008), run by H.H. Dalai Lama’s foundation. He spent two months in the monastery of H.H. Dalai Lama, and it marked the start of his journey into mindfulness, meditation and exploring spirituality.

Vinayak is a 2014 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program in Delhi. ZestMD won the Challenge Cup (Health, India), organized by 1776 (a startup accelerator based in Washington DC, US). Vinayak was awarded the Young Visionary Award 2012 under Indiafrica, an initiative of Govt. of India.

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