Guest Picks: City Gardening With Children
Last year I became a city gardener in Boston. I honestly do not have a huge green thumb, but the idea of having an outdoor space all to myself right in the middle of the city seemed exciting, so I put my name in the lottery. Last May, I got my plot. My three main goals were to create something pretty that I could throw a dinner party in, to carve out a space for my two little boys to have fun with, and to grow something I could eat. I learned a lot in the first year about what works and does not work in city gardening. This is a list of things that worked, or would work, for anyone who is giving city gardening a go for the first time. — Stephanie from SabbeSpot
Salad and Herb Vertical Planter - GBP 9.95
City gardening plots are generally small, so the most you can make of vertical space (i.e. wooden fence posts that divide each plot), the better. These planters would be great.
Nairobi Oval Planter - $79.95
Unfortunately, people steal from city gardens. My philosophy is either bolt it down or make it impossible to move. These heavy concrete planters are gorgeous and extremely heavy.
Wood Country Cedar Wood Vegetable Raised Planter Box - $169.99
In my particular area, I have major problems with rabbits eating the veggies. Raised beds are a good solution for that. Now, birds and squirrels are a whole other problem.
L-Shaped Planter Boxes - $138.02
This type of raised bed is great because it gives design cues to the rest of the space. You can see a walkway forming in between the two shown in this photo.
Pavestone Pewter Concrete Step Stone - $0.98
I used these very inexpensive concrete pavers in my patio area. I'm attempting to grow moss in the spaces between them.
Cilindro Self-Watering Planter - $44.95
Sometimes it's not super easy to get to your city garden every day, or even every other day, because it's not in your backyard. This planter is self watering.
Balconera Self-Watering Planter - $41.95
Window boxes are also great for saving space if you can line them on a fence. This option is also self watering.
Terra-Cotta Clay Pot - $5.77
Another easy space-saving idea is to place a piece of rebar in the ground vertically and stack terra-cotta pots by sliding them on the pole through the hole in the bottom. This is how I grow herbs.
Gray Over-the-Door Shoe Bag - $22.95
I have seen tutorials where people use shoe organizers to grow herbs. This shoe holder would be great because it's a dark color, which would not showcase the dirt (you can tell my priorities here).
Tärnö Bistro Set - $49.99
I bought this super inexpensive bistro set from Ikea. It's great because all of the pieces fold flat, so I can lock it up next to the fence when I'm not there.
Antilop Highchair With Tray - $24.99
I also bought this very inexpensive high chair for my now 2 year old. It's plastic, and I left it out this winter under several feet of snow, and it did just fine.
Lifetime 2900 Polyethylene Almond Folding Table - $54.98
I like to throw dinner parties in the garden. I bought this folding table from Costco. Again, it's easy to chain up when not in use and does not get ruined by being left out in the elements.
Tärnö Folding Chair - $15
I also purchased six more of these Ikea chairs to complete the dining furniture. I use the small bistro table as a bar when I host dinner parties.
Burlap Tablecloth by Paula and Erika - $140
I found this tablecloth on Etsy and fell in love. It's burlap, which is super durable, and it makes my folding Costco table look like a million bucks.
Captain 4-Foot Storage Bench - $319.99
One thing that I really wish I had is a lockable storage bench. Something like this would be great for holding small tools or even dinner party dishes. I would stain or paint it.
The Savannah Wood Playhouse
I am extra frugal, so I found a playhouse on Craigslist for $50, but this one is about the same size and much cuter. The best part of adding the playhouse to the garden is that my 2 year old stays occupied, and I can actually get some work done.
Round Umbrella, PB Classic Stripe, Cherry Red - $129
There is no shade in my garden, and with two little ones with very fair skin, that can be a little challenging. I thought about building some sort of arbor, but the down side of that is that you can't always guarantee it is going to provide shade where you want it. Instead, I bought a cute patio umbrella. It's great because it does not take up any room when I don't need it, and it's easy to lock up.
Hampton Bay Universal Patio Umbrella Base, Intimate Brass - $19.98
I also bought this very inexpensive stand that has done a great job keeping the umbrella where I want it.
Antique White Classic Adirondack Chair - $99.99
This year, I think I would like to add a couple of lounge chairs for a more relaxed seating option. Adirondack chairs are a favorite of mine.