Updated: Nov 8, 2022
Doing our best to tread lightly sometimes just needs a bit of imagination. More and more people are planting vegetables and herbs amongst their traditional flower gardens, or dedicating areas of their gardens to growing food.
Spending time with nature increases well-being. According to Dr. Antonis Kousoulis of the Mental Health Foundation across England and Wales “Growing evidence suggests that being in nature has a very positive effect on our mental health, providing protective and restorative benefits. As contact with nature is so important for our well-being, we need to make it possible, when planning housing and public spaces, for everyone to spend time in a park, garden, lakeside, or other ‘green’ or ‘blue’ space.
“We need to get serious about cherishing the natural world and acknowledge that human thriving depends on it.”
It seems that the further away from nature we as a species are moving, the more the planet and humankind suffer. What better way to get back to nature than growing our own food? Even flat-dwellers can benefit from this kind of plant therapy, by planting in containers on the roof of the building, on balconies, or even on windowsills.
Some veggies and many herbs are happily growing in containers on the balcony or verandah. Fancy containers aren't necessary. A bit of imagination is all that is needed - how about an old boot, bucket, or laundry basket?
Growing in containers reduces weeding, and it's not so far down to bend! No backbreaking ground preparation or digging out rocks. Containers can be moved around, catering for individual growing conditions.
Where we are, containers can be helpful against critters such as tortoises, but they still need to be covered against baboons and porcupines. Our ideal veggie patch would be fully enclosed and electrified, with a 1m trench dug underneath the fence filled with rocks. There is nothing worse than a raid just as the veggies are ready for picking.