Now that we seem to be coming out the other side of this year’s freezing winter and enjoying the first unbroken run of sunshine, thoughts naturally begin to turn to our outdoor spaces. In London and Brooklyn, the young and hip are getting started on their rooftop vegetable patches and urban gardens.
The trend for urban gardening, turning every spare piece of available space into a plot for growing vegetables or keeping chickens, is a relatively recent phenomenon; a response to tighter budgets at home and growing concerns about environmental sustainability.
Its slightly-less-than-legal wing is known as Guerrilla Gardening. Every summer, hordes of trowel-wielding hipsters steal out into the New York night to turn unoccupied or uninspiring spots into verdant, blooming vegetable patches, overflowing with carrots, tomatoes and potatoes. Perhaps with the odd strawberry bush for good measure.
This may just sound like a lot of hipsters having some harmless fun in the sun, but now some serious players are getting involved. In Sweden, an architectural practice called Plantagon is planning to take urban gardening to the next level with plans for a 12-storey greenhouse in the city of Linkoping.
The hope is that by 2013 (not so far away…) the greenhouse will make Linkoping completely self-sufficient and plans are already underway for helix-shaped terrace additions to office buildings in cities across the world. No more wandering off in search of a fresh lunch, just lean out of the window and pluck the fruit straight from the trees.
Beirut may have no guerrilla gardeners of its own, nor any giant greenhouses, but that’s probably because we’ve never needed them. In summer, every terrace is a riot of greens, blues, reds and oranges and every balcony has potted plants and window boxes jostling for space with lazy cats and lazier gardeners. It may still be early to think about outdoor furniture but nothing is nicer on an early spring evening than bringing the comforts of the indoors outside with you.
Relax in your Beirut urban garden with the range of Vanlian outdoor furniture. Take your morning coffee with the sun on your face and wake up with the newspaper in the Safari chair and side table combo.
Or spend the whole day in bed, catnapping in the open air with the incredible Savanah daybed.
Whatever you go with, don’t be stuck indoors this spring.