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Types of Urban Gardens

Urban gardens exist in many forms and for countless reasons. They range in size from small herb boxes on a kitchen window through to urban agriculture projects where crops are grown to provide food for any number of people. This section is a brief look at the different types of urban gardens in our cities today.

Roof Gardens

Urban roof gardens and specialists are becoming an increasing part of modern society. There are endless opportunities for individuals and businesses to create and maintain gardens on the roofs of our buildings. Large city office blocks often employ gardeners to manage their rooftop spaces, providing a space for workers to enjoy breaks and get away from the busy work environment underneath.

The most popular roof gardens in Britain at present are transforming dead roof spaces into terrace gardens and entertaining spaces for friends. The environmental and sustainability issues which are also being addressed through these gardens are amazing. The biomass created forms a layer of insulation for the house, helps to improve air quality and with the right management system can help to retain and utilise rainwater. As the world continues to deal with environment and sustainability uncertainty, initiatives like urban roof gardens will become increasingly popular.

Backyard Gardens

For those of us lucky enough to have a backyard you already understand the benefits to your lifestyle and health which come with it. Just spending time in your own urban oasis or vegetable patch is so refreshing, not to mention the social space for you and your friends to relax.

Backyard gardens come in all shapes and sizes and usually reflect some aspect of the person who maintains them. Some people prefer to use every last bit of space to grow fresh food and herbs for their family and neighbours, progressing through the seasons with different crops and favourites.

You don’t need an actual backyard to have your own backyard garden. Backyard gardens even include your basic pot culture on balconies. Everyone can be involved in urban greening and the ‘grow you own’ initiative with just a few small plant’s on your balcony or your window sills. All backyard gardens benefit the environment by maintaining urban biomass and providing better quality air for us all. So get involved and help to make a difference.

Guerrilla Gardens

Guerrilla gardening is the act of an individual or group, gardening on another person’s land without permission, be it a privately owned vacant lot or a baron traffic island. Guerrilla Gardens as they are known today began in New York in 1973, when the Green Guerrilla group transformed a derelict lot into an urban garden for people to enjoy. This first guerrilla garden is still maintained today.

In todays urban environment there are huge numbers of people without the space at home or access to an allotment to have a garden. Public spaces in large cities are often unsightly, yet filled with potential to brighten an area up or provide herbs for passers by to take home and use in their meals. This continual vision of cleaning up our cities through planting and greening the urban setting will ensure that “guerrilla gardeners” continue to carry out their vision for society.

Allotment Gardens

Allotment gardens are very popular in the UK today (for those of us lucky enough to be assigned one). They are large areas of public land given over to individuals or families to have access to an area in which to garden. People from all over the country grow fruit, vegetables and herbs on their “allotted” space and in many of them trading of produce and a real community feeling is established.

Community Gardens

Similar to allotments in that they are a large parcel of land used by the community to grow fruit and vegetables, however they are cultivated collectively rather than as individual parcels of land. To find a community garden near you go to www.farmgarden.org.uk