2011 in Review: A Good Year for Gardening

Gardening stories that had us wanting to intensify our green thumb.

The urban homesteading movement gained serious speed this year, proving that you don’t need to move to the suburbs to enjoy the simple pleasures of growing your own vegetables, raising your own chickens, and starting your own bee colony. And despite some groups’ best efforts to kill the momentum, it doesn’t look like the trend is disappearing anytime soon.

One great offshoot of the urban homesteading movement is the spread of new, innovative ways to grow things indoors. Forget standard windowsill planters; this is the 21st century. Here, a sampling of Shelter’s favorite herb kits, terrariums, and other gravity-defying, thought-provoking indoor gardening objects from the past year.

It’s a very small world after all in these mini moss terrariums made from vintage glass and upcycled objects. Michelle Inciarrano and Katy Maslow specialize in miniaturizing scenes, and they take custom orders.

The Plantable concept table/planter from JAILmake reflects on “the distance we place between ourselves and the processes involved in making our food.”

These gravity-defying ceramic sky planters use Slo-flo irrigation technology to minimize water use.

It’s a greeting card! It’s a garden! The City Postcarden is both, with a little water and tending, of course.

The Eco Orb Terrarium kit from Tend Living lets you build your own miniature glass orb garden from a Tilliandis plant, reindeer moss, sand, and accents.

The Zozio from Pousse Créative might look like a “standard windowsill planter,” but it is so much more. This eco-friendly planter doubles as a bird feeder and is ideal for vertical gardens.

The Miroir en Herbe from h2O Architects blurs the boundaries between nature and culture.

Grow your own herbs from the comfort of your kitchen with a selection of indoor herb garden kits and accessories.

Wine bottles get a second life with these Growbottle Upcycled Hydrogardens from Potting Shed Creations, available in Oregano, Chives, Basil, Parsley, and Mint.

And finally, with the addition of Mike Lieberman’s 2012 series on Urban Gardening, expect good harvesting ahead and get your garden planned out now.

Jessica Marati

Jessica Marati currently resides in New York City and covers travel and sustainability for EcoSalon. Catch her weekly column, Behind the Label.