Gardening in an Apartment Windowsill

Photo courtesy of Helen Kim

Without exaggeration, this is the most amazing garden I have ever seen. It’s easy if you’re the king of France to create the gardens of Versailles, but a much greater achievement to bring nature’s abundance to an apartment windowsill in Los Angeles. It’s the handiwork of a talented photographer named Helen Kim who, in this tiny space, grows cucumber, basil, lemon verbena, alfalfa sprouts, leeks, tarragon, beans, endive, dill, arugula, oregano, parsley, stevia, green onions, thyme, strawberries, mustard greens, lemon grass, and what Helen describes as “a curryish plant that is awfully nice for smelling but underwhelming for cooking.” Read an interview with Helen about this garden here.

Gardening is not about the quantity of space one controls or the weight of the food harvested. It’s about a love for beauty, an attention to detail and an appreciation of good food. Imagine if all our unused or neglected urban spaces were as beautiful and useful as Helen’s garden. We’d live in a world transformed, one windowsill at a time.

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  1. This is lovely. While it is great for summer, what plants might be suitable for a fall/ winter windowsill? (I live in NYC)

  2. This has proven to be a popular post—thanks Helen for sharing your garden!

    To everydayjay: Homegrown Evolution is going to ask Helen to do an interview and share her windowsill gardening skills. My observation is that she’s got a nice mix of plants – biodiversity is important even on a small scale. Good sun exposure is also a plus. Air circulation is also important—note that these plants are outside not inside.

    To Leah: an excellent question. During the winter you could, of course, just give things a rest and concentrate on other tasks like making beer. As a Mediterranean climate gardener this is a difficult question for me so I’m going to throw it out to our readers. What have you all grown inside during the winter?

  3. Very neat. I am impressed that much of this is coming from pots. That in itself is an achievement. Glad I have the space to work a decent garden, but if I was back in an apartment for some reason this is what I would be trying. Great post and look forward to the interview.

  4. Definitely worth updating this — it ranks very high on google for “apartment gardening” and there’s virtually no content here! Just cut and paste some material in, I’ve come across your site before and I know you’ve got excellent and relevant content.

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