My Urban Garden Deco Guide


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Alternative Websites

Urban Gardens

Founded by Robin Plaskoff Horton, Urban Gardens is a blog focused on Urban Garden Style, Design, and Nature. See the latest design ideas, products, and trends; get to know interesting people involved with the urban gardening movement, and travel to and discover gardens and green spaces all over the world with Robin.

Urban Organic Gardener

Urban Organic Gardener provides practical tips and guides for people who want to learn to grow their own food without toxic pesticides, even with limited space. Learn what takes to get started, how to buy seeds, how to do apartment gardening, handle pests and diseases, and keep updated on the latest news and trends on urban gardening.

Urban Farming

Urban Farming aims to provide food for the people who need it most by promoting urban gardening on unused land and city spaces, raising awareness for health and wellness, and educating people on sustainable systems that can help communities in need. Find out more about urban gardens around the globe, watch videos and educate yourself on what you can do, and check out the store and find ways to support this movement.

Sustainable Gardening

Susan Harris’ Sustainable Gardening aims to teach people from all over sustainable and environmentally responsible ways of gardening. Learn from Susan and a host of other professionals about plants, tools, methods, and keep up with the latest news, academic findings, and guides.

You Grow Girl

Founded in February 2000 by Gayla Grail, You Grow Girl promotes a laid-back flavor of urban gardening with emphasis on environmentalism, style, affordability, and art, all with a dash of humor. Check out her extensive set of resources and guides if you’re just starting out; read the blog, get ideas, be inspired, learn recipes, see the books Gayla has written, and check out the store for apparel and accessories.

TIP: Got plans to redesign your garden or do some home improvement? If you live in the UK, Honest John can help you get started by helping you find the right builders and contractors with free tips, guides, and price comparisons.


Annual Tour Touts Perennial Tale of Urban Gardening

Chelsea Now’s Jane Argodale writes about how her day with the Chelsea Garden Garden Club went on their annual tree pit tour.

Da FUNction Event to Celebrate the Urban Gardening Movement with Local Residents

The HuffPo’s Kimberly Cooper writes about how renowned urban gardener Ron Finley’s brainchild is changing cultures, redesigning lives, and taking back local communities.

Urban Agriculture in Germany

Country Guide’s Scott Garvey asks: “Could Munich’s urban farm be a model for Canada, helping improve quality of life in our cities and narrow the urban-rural divide?”

The Urban Garden: Making Most of Small Spaces

The Wall Street Journal’s Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan talks to landscaper Brook Klausing on how you should go about with setting up an urban garden when you have limited space.

Chicago’s urban farming produces fresh veggies all year, 24/7

The Green Prophet’s Maurice Picow writes about how technology and urban farming movements are pushing markets forward and changing how urban populations access food.

5 Heroes of Urban Gardening, from Past to Present

Urban gardening – or more accurately, urban agriculture – has been enjoying renaissance these past few decades. Communities and small towns are beginning to reap the benefits, from increased food security, to improved mental and physical health, better financial opportunities, reduction of several kinds of pollution, societal cohesion, and even lower crime rates, just to name a few from the long list of good things that the seemingly simple act of planting and nurturing a garden in your home or within your community brings.

It makes far too much sense for it to be ignored as a straightforward solution to some of the most basic problems that large swathes of urban populations in even developed nations experience, that one has to wonder why this hasn’t been done at a larger scale sooner. Whatever the causes – lack of political will, entrenched big business interests, what have you – people need to know before they can be moved to action, and sometimes it takes a special few – or a desperate situation or two – to lead people to the light, so to speak.

Here are just some of the people who have made a significant impact on peoples’ lives by turning city-slicked thumbs into green ones.

Hazen S. Pingree

Born in 1840, Republican Hazen Stuart Pingree was a popular 4-term mayor of Detroit and the 24th Governor of Michigan. During the Panic of 1893 – a severe economic depression in the United States – he enacted a variety measures and programs intended to alleviate the economic suffering and plight of hard-hit citizens, such as expanding public welfare programs and his “potato patch plan”, which involved allowing people to plant gardens and grow food on empty lots and vacant city land, earning him the moniker Potato Patch Pingree. In more recent times, Pingree was ranked the fourth greatest mayor in all of American history by scholars in 1999.

Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson was the 28th president of the United States from 1913 to 1921, through the first World War – it was within this context that he enacted several measures to support the U.S. and its allies at home and in the war. One of those initiatives involved calling on American citizens to use any available open space and land to plant “Victory Gardens” for growing food, with the intent of feeding the United States and sending any surplus to its allies and other countries in need. By 1919, over 5 million gardens produced over 500 million pounds of produce; by the end of the war, total foodstuff production had exceeded $1.2 billion. Political motivations and legacy aside, Woodrow Wilson tapped into urban gardening and America reaped results.

Steve Glover

Steve Glover is the founder of the Severn Project, an urban farm on the outskirts of Bristol, in the United Kingdom. The farm is unique in that not only does it grow its produce without chemical-based pesticides or fertilizers, but they also give back plenty to the community, as is the main drive of the very nature of their social enterprise. The organization takes on people who would otherwise not have a shot at creating a meaningful life for themselves beyond being stigmatized by society, including those with criminal pasts and those from vulnerable groups, who they train and employ – and ultimately succeed in helping reform themselves. The larger the organization gets, the more people Project Severn helps, which include other urban farming projects who look to replicate the results and the success that they have achieved.

Michelle Obama

Lawyer, writer, and outgoing first lady of the United States Michelle Obama is one of modern urban gardening’s more prominent figures. In the past two terms of the 44th president, she has used her office as a platform for promoting a variety of healthful living initiatives aimed at addressing childhood obesity through the Let’s Move! campaign, which involves promoting physical activity, better nutrition, and access to healthful food for entire families.

While her predecessors supported the organic food movement by simply ordering their kitchens to purchase and use organic produce, Obama took it further by starting the White House Kitchen Garden, a 1,100 square-foot garden providing the White House with more than 55 varieties of vegetables and fruits, which are used in the meals served to the first family and White House guests. The first lady wanted to use the garden to educate children on healthy eating and the benefits of access to locally grown produce as a way of reducing the amount of unhealthful food in their diets, as well as promoting backyard and urban gardening as a way of improving overall community health (she subsequently chronicled her experiences with the White House Garden and her campaign to promote healthful eating in her 2012 book, “American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America”).

Ron Finley

Not only is South LA’s Ron Finley a popular fashion designer to celebrities and Hollywood stars, but he is also the founder of LA Green Grounds and is one of urban gardening’s most prominent and outspoken heroes, even defying city officials in his drive to change neighborhoods for the better, one person and one garden at a time.

Lamenting the lack of access to healthful and nutritious food in his neighborhood, he started a vegetable garden on a span of unused and untended city land – for which he was given a citation by authorities, which he successfully fought off, gained attention and support for, and now he is one of Los Angeles’ most respected community leaders and proponents of urban gardening, rallying volunteers and planting even more urban gardens and changing lives and entire communities.

His honest, straight-shooting TED talk got the attention of the world’s biggest names and brightest minds such as Google’s Sergey Brin, Actress Goldie Hawn, and Danish chef René Redzepi – just to name a few – landed him on a variety of talk shows with hosts such as Carson Daly and Russell Brand, and even brought him collaboration offers from companies such as Reebok and Disney. That Finley has gotten the world’s attention is unquestionable, and the positive effects that his efforts have had on Los Angeles are tangible and real.

We could write a lot more about the man and his work, but why don’t we let Ron speak for himself?

There we have it – five heroes of urban gardening from past to present. After all, what is a movement without the most driven of men and women to lead the charge?

References: Wikipedia,, The New York Times,, TED,

About the Author: Andre Salvatierra is a freelance writer who loves culture, technology, well-designed things, and great experiences. You can find him on Medium and Twitter.