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The Joy of Home Gardens

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Shatadru Soomit Rohinee, student at Asian University for Women and intern at Institute of Wellbeing, Dhaka

When I was young, I had a calendar with a picture of a terrace garden. A smiling girl was sitting with a mug of coffee, surrounded by colorful flowers, fruit, and greenery. It was such a lovely picture that whenever I looked at it, I instantly felt good! I remember cutting out the picture and pasting it on the wall above my desk dreaming, one day I will have such a garden on my balcony.

I recently completed an internship with the Institute of Wellbeing Bangladesh (IWB). During my internship, I learned about the We Squared Club’s Urban Gardening campaign, an initiative of IWB. The campaign teaches you everything you need to know to start an urban garden, and shows you how urban gardens are the perfect solution to add a bit of nature to your life, even if you have limited space.

Creating an urban garden on your balcony, rooftop or window sill is possible. You do not need to have fancy containers or seedlings to make your own mini garden. First, locate a place on your balcony or rooftop that gets enough sunlight. Use old bottles, jars or baskets to hold the soil. Cabbage roots, ripe pumpkin seeds, cut up potato, onion, mint, or coriander stems can be planted into the soil to be grown into fresh veggies. Flowers like rose, orchid, and china rose can also be easily grown at home. Vegetables like lettuce, celery, basil, and carrot can grow even in water.

When you have the will and invest a little bit of time and effort into urban gardening, the outcome is absolutely worth it. Not only will you get to enjoy freshly grown veggies and fruits without any chemicals or pesticides, but also you have this beautiful piece of nature right at home. You also get to be in touch with soil, which can be really soothing and a good way to de-stress. Home gardens are also a great way for kids to learn how organic foods grow and get closer to nature. All those benefits to urban gardening and all you need are to start and put in a little effort!

Lack of space and knowledge used to keep me from creating a garden at home. But now that I know how to create an urban garden, I’m all set to turn that saved picture from that old calendar into reality.