Container Gardening Ideas: Parisian Pocket Gardens

Reader Contribution by Lauren Holt
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I have now moved to an apartment that has no outdoor growing space whatsoever. Since the majority of the plants in my tiny container herb garden died in the heat, that’s not really a huge problem. All I have left is the pot of Greek oregano and a rather abused basil plant, now situated on a spare chair by the new kitchen window. After a week they’re quite definitely growing towards the light, practically making a bid for the freedom of the outdoors. I find this simultaneously amusing and depressing, since there’s not much more I can do to help them out right now.

My basil and oregano (and a random surprise seedling) straining towards the window.

I’ve found myself wishing that I’d taken a little more advantage of the space I had in the old apartment. I really didn’t have time to create an elaborate gardening scheme this spring, and I already knew where we were going to move to, but still. I could have grown a huge number of herbs and vegetables on the space provided by the small back balcony and utterly unused front porch. It would have been useful practice for the long-term dream of sustainable homesteading that I’ve been nursing for a few months.

But despite the lack of growing space, I’m determined not to spend the winter and next spring bereft of greenery. With my new space in mind I’ve been keeping an eye out for small space and indoor planting ideas. Yesterday, while perusing Treehugger, I found an idea for pocket gardens, which struck me as a fun and a great way to add some greenery to public urban spaces. It’s a microgarden of herbs, vegetables and flowers in a pocket made from parts of a recycled tent and an empty milk carton, and it’s part of artist Paule Kingleur’s ‘Potogreen’ project in Paris. The finished micro-planters are hung on anti-parking barriers along the street to add some greenery to the concrete expanses of city. (Go check out that link for the artist’s site. There are some great photographs even if you can’t read French.)   

It’s not really something I can do right now (the idea of a living plant pocket, cool as it is, is a little bit terrifying for my rented walls and carpet), but it’s too interesting an idea to not share. In addition to the original anti-parking posts, this is something you could hang on fence posts, or chairs, or re-design slightly to hang it straight on a wall. You could even grow fresh herbs in the pockets of a coat or jacket (though honesty, I have no idea how long they’d survive). You can find instructions on creating your own plant pockets here on instructables, or buy them online from vendors like Woolly Pocket.  

Anyone know any other cool container planting ideas? Let me know if you have any tips for indoor gardening!

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