Inspiring Precarious Gardens

Just look at this healthy mixed crop of herbs and vegetables! They look good, don’t they? Now look closer at the backdrop. I had a wonderful lunch at Youko’s 3rd floor Amsterdam apartment recently, this is one of her window boxes, planted with a huge variety of edibles and medicinals. I was so impressed by the selection she has managed to nurture up there and the plants that I was fortunate enough to taste, were first class.

Here’s her other window box. An equally fine assortment! Youko is currently growing courguettes, marjoram, spring onions, cabbage, nasturtiums, peas, a sugar plant, shiso, vervaine, and many more.

An interesting point we discussed, over the window boxes, was that many of her neighbours have followed suit and now tend edibles in similar locations.

Obviously not everything does well in this exposed situation, where drying winds are the main challenge. Youko and I seem to share the same philosophy that if a plant thrives it can stay, if it doesn’t it can be replaced next year. It’s not a bad way of thinking when gardening anywhere.

This morning Youko sent me the following photos of pavement gardens, planted and tended by a 5 year old. Now if that 5 year old can do it so can many more of us!

The day before visiting Youko, I’d posted about Elodie’s third floor balcony and other ways to garden in small spaces. I’d love to see more photos of your edibles growing in unexpected, mundane or precarious urban spaces. If you have any, please feel free to email them to me or to post them on the Urban Herbology Facebook group. Maybe they will inspire someone else to take up the rewarding and addictive habit of urban edible and medicinal gardening. My email address is


2 thoughts on “Inspiring Precarious Gardens

  1. Youko’s cooking skills are praised and famous amongst her friends! When will you write your “windowsill” cook book for us Youko?


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