Gardening where the sidewalk ends

The Creativity of Urban Gardeners August 24, 2009

Filed under: Seattle — greenwalks @ 3:54 pm
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It never ceases to amaze me what lengths people will go to when they don’t have much space but still want to have something growing. I saw these urban plants while touring around Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square neighborhood with visiting relatives this summer.

At first I thought the ones on the ends were galvanized troughs, but on closer inspection they might just be Rubbermaid tubs full of evergreens, flax, and others that were not visible from street level.

Balcony garden in alley near Pioneer Square

I know English ivy is considered an evil scourge these days, but still, seeing an entire living wall of it on brick, with a colorul flower planter to jazz it up? Had to like it.

Living wall near Pioneer Square

What if there’s no space on the ground and no balcony? Hang ’em up!

Hanging planters near Pioneer Square

These plants have to be lovlingly tended to even stand up to, much less thrive in, the urban environment in which they live. Hooray for creative gardeners and people who make something nice for us all to look at out on the street.


13 Responses to “The Creativity of Urban Gardeners”

  1. Paula Says:

    Nice! Sometimes the restricted options/resources bring out the creativity! I love the baskets! They probably took daily watering this year. I think the greenery/flowers do really stand out in the city surrounded by buildings, sidewalks & roads. Thanks for sharing. Paula

  2. Grace Says:

    I love your post. The creativity of plant lovers is pretty amazing isn’t it? The ivy wall is fabulous. Ivy definitely has its place.

    I too keep seeing points of interest in my town. I think I’ll take my cue from you and start photographing them.

  3. Megan Says:

    You can’t keep a gardener down! It’s amazing how much ivy grows from such small patches of soil. I sort of wish the hanging basket enthusiasts would use more drought tolerant plants. I see the services around the city here that go around and water regularly and think, surely there’s something more self sufficient that could be planted in those.

  4. Catherine Says:

    I love the ivy wall too, against a brick wall it just so pretty. I also really like the hanging baskets too, it’s nice to see some color in parts of the city where there isn’t anywhere to grow things in the ground.

  5. Great post! I love walking around cities for this very reason! Am I the only one who looks at ivy walls like that and thinks SPIDERS!?

  6. Bonnie Story Says:

    There is a time and a place for ivy, and the urban jungle is it! Um, yes, do think spiders – and also *rats*, who really appreciate ivy walls. But I still think it’s awesome. Like you, I also feel so grateful to urban gardeners for presenting reminders of nature’s grandeur right there in the “canyons of steel”. The plastic tub idea is great – a total no-brainer actually. They are virtually indestructible and come in myriad colors and sizes. Got me thinkin’ now, thanks!

  7. Thanks you so much, I get to the city so seldom it is great to see what all the creative gardeners are up to! LOVE it, Kim

  8. banner6 Says:

    In a forest setting like ours (or in Forest Park, where crews are organized regularly to attack it) English ivy is a villian, but surrounded by concrete, where can it go? There may be alternative choices of plant material, but this stuff is definitely tough as nails. In the end, I think it passes the “right plant, right spot” test. I love it! And this from someone who does battle with English ivy on a regular basis.

  9. Cynthia Says:

    I love the last photo! The hanging baskets against the old brick building looks great together. There is just something about old buildings that I love so all these pics are great to me!

  10. Aerie-el Says:

    Gorgeous shots. The brick walls covered in ivy reminds me of home, back east…sigh.

  11. Racquel Says:

    Some great ways to have some greenery! 🙂

  12. I love that ivy wall, too, despite of its being a thug. An ivy wall looks cool when it is hot and warm when it is cold, and I always imagine a lot of small birds living inside it. My parents commented on the hanging baskets you have photographed while they were here, and wondered who does to watering. I still don’t know, but they really are a colourful addition to the city landscape.

  13. Wendy Says:

    This is really beautiful. Can you imagine what that blank brick wall would look like without the baskets?! Thanks for these inspirational photos!

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