3 Ways To Get An Urban Garden – Without The Garden

Living in a city has tons of benefits: being able to walk to work, always having something different to do, a restaurant to try, a new museum exhibit.  Limited space and parking can definitely take its toll, but the upbeat energy and culture of city living tends to balance out the negatives.  Growing up in the suburbs, I spent weekends watching my dad mow the lawn and lay mulch while my mom meticulously arranged flowers and plants in the garden. Now in a home of my own in South Philadelphia, I consider myself lucky to have a small rear patio with a decent sized garden bed where I plant flowers and herbs.

Backyard Garden

If you live in the city and don’t have access to an outside space, or your outside space has no room for a traditional garden bed, don’t fret!  There are tons of ways to bring the outside in or to transform a concrete patio into an urban jungle.  While the options are endless, we’ve listed a few simple ideas to start with to get your home (and thumb!) a bit greener this Spring.



Succulents are wonderful little plants that anyone can take care of.  Why?  Because you don’t need to take care of them!  Succulents are notorious for requiring little to no upkeep and after a quick 10 minutes on google, it was easy to learn the basics to keep succulents flourishing.  Once you know the basics, it’s easy to incorporate succulents throughout your home and, with a variety of colors and sizes, the options are endless!  Keep it simple with terracotta pots, or get creative with unconventional containers and arrangements.

Window box

Window Box

Whether you live in a condo or a townhome, window boxes are great because they can accommodate almost any window.  If you have basic carpentry skills and the right tools, making your own window box is a wonderful DIY project.  We even found this handy link from Lowe’s with step by step instructions on how to create them from scratch.  Of course if DIY isn’t your thing, it’s easy to find a company that will create and install for one for you.  Install outside your kitchen window for a mini herb garden, or create a colorful arrangement for the front of your home.

Living Wall

Vertical Plant

A living wall, not to be mistaken with ivy walls, are vertical gardens.  They are often used in commercial and office spaces to bring an otherwise bland space to life (literally!).  But with the right setup, a living wall can easily be installed in your home or outside space.  There are several products and brands to get you started and they can range from the size of a small picture frame to an entire wall.  So, what product you purchase really depends on where you want to install it and what kind of plants you want to grow.  Below are a few products we found to get you started.  Depending on the size of the living wall, creating one for your home can range from easy to advanced, so make sure to do a bit of research first to see how large of a project you are able to take on.




We came across this article showing an incredible garden located in the Italian Market neighborhood of South Philadelphia.  We’ve seen this garden in person and it’s quite an impressive setup!  Just another example of how to incorporate nature in an urban setting.