|PHOTOS COURTESY NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION
Here’s what Charlie Nardozzi, senior horticulturist at the National Gardening Association, has to say about gardening in urban environments. “Growing fresh vegetables and colourful flowers is on the rise as interest in gardening flourishes across the country.”
And thanks to containers, everyone can join the fun. You can grow in containers almost anywhere. Whole gardens can be created on rooftops, in alleyways, on decks and patios, or on windowsills.
“With little or no access to land, it is possible to grow a selection of favourite vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers,” Nardozzi adds. “Some gardeners even grow trees and shrubs successfully in pots. But you don’t have to nurture a forest on your balcony to be a gardener. You can grow a few containers of edibles and flowers indoors or outside that will delight and feed you and your family.”
And what a difference people can make when they see the value of connecting with nature
– children flourish, communities blossom, urban areas spring to life. “Gardening brings communities together, stimulates individual and neighborhood growth, and best of all puts food on the table and beauty in your life,” says NGA president Mike Metallo.
Container gardening has been on the rise for several years. The annual National Gardening Survey has monitored lawn and garden trends for almost 30 years. In 2007, it reported 21 million households in the U.S. gardened in containers and spent $928 million (US) on container gardening supplies and plants. Container gardening was most popular among older women (55+) in households making more than $75,000 a year.
The National Gardening Association (NGA), founded in 1973, is a national nonprofit leader in plant-based education.