Are you familiar with city gardens?
They are everywhere. In big cities and small towns. In uber urban areas and restful rural places.
Here are five to look for, perhaps right in your neighborhood.
The Audacity Garden. This garden is all about taking big, bold risks. Maybe the risk is in trying to grow a tropical garden in the Midwest. Or planting a big meadow in the front lawn while all the neighbors mow with precision every other day. These gardens stand out. Passersby might exclaim out loud, “That took some guts to do! I can’t believe the gardener had the audacity to try that!”
The Capacity Garden. Every square inch is planted and over-planted in a capacity garden. The porch, if you can see it through the front garden plantings, is home to more containers of more plantings because there just simply isn’t room for more plants in the garden borders. It’s beyond its capacity. The gardener in a capacity garden may actually begin to plant just across the property lines in their neighbors’ spaces because their garden is full to the brim.
The Scarcity Garden. This garden is quite the opposite of the capacity garden. You will scarcely find a plant in such a garden. Some “gardens” are designed this way, but more often a scarcity garden happens because there is no gardener in residence. But rather than let the garden become a wild, HOA rule-breaking, nature preserve, the owner of the scarcity garden mows it to keep it in check. But to add a plant to such a garden? It would no longer be a scarcity garden if you did that!
The Tenacity Garden. This is a garden to admire because whoever is tending it is probably facing some great odds. But they keep at it, day by day, season by season, trying to make it work. Perhaps it is on a big slope? Or has poor soil? The gardeners in these city gardens are persistent, even insistent, that whatever they are trying in their gardens will work, given enough time and effort and money. These gardens can be quite beautiful, though are often labor-intensive because it takes a certain tenacity to keep them growing.
The Authenticity Garden. This is my favorite kind of garden. It shows the personality, the authentic nature of the gardener who tends it. There are no cookie-cutter designs and plants in this garden. It is a well-balanced, thoughtful, pleasant garden to be in. Like the other city gardens, you’ll remember it long after you’ve seen it, and you perhaps want to plant a garden just like it. But you can’t copy it exactly. You can only try to emulate it, and then it would be your very own Authenticity Garden.
Those are your city gardens. Audacity, capacity, scarcity, tenacity, and authenticity. Look for them wherever you live!