The Sun is Out! Is Your Garden Ready?

Let’s Fix our Mental and Physical Health the Best Way Possible

Jordan Fraser


Photo by Ignacio Correia 🟢 on Unsplash

Although this is probably the most obvious statement at all time, I’d be remised if I didn’t scream from the rooftops that putting a garden together is one of the most exciting, engaging, and relaxing missions you’ll engage in all year; and if you’re living in the northern hemisphere, it’s now time to get started. We haven’t got a minute to waste!

We’re well into spring, and where I am in the world, the cold and overly wet weather is finally behind us and the sun has become far more reliable. The window is well and truly open, and it would be criminal to allow this chance to pass.

Gardening Has Never Been More Needed

We’ve all had a hell of a time these past couple years, and we could all use a boost to our mental health. Every generation seems more depressed than the last, coinciding with more of us living in more and more densely populated urban areas.

I live in Shanghai, the most densely populated city on earth. Unbelievably, there are a million more people living in this city than the entire continent I’m from (Australia). Living in an apartment with outdoor space is nearly impossible here, and even if you have a tiny backyard or balcony, in all likelihood it exists under a blanket of shade courtesy of the taller buildings that surround you.

Luckily for me, I just moved into my first ever Shanghai apartment that has a backyard. It’s so small I can get from one side to the other in two large steps, or a single bound, but it’s mine and I’ve never been so happy to see a patch of concrete in my life.

Unfortunately, it’s entirely overshadowed by surrounding buildings and therefore useless for summer plants. But while the yard is useless, using a ladder, it provides access to the roof above my bedroom, which is bathed in sun 8 hours everyday. It’s in this space that I’ve erected my big plastic raised beds.

Urban Gardening

Raised beds are a godsend for urban farmers, and while hulking plastic behemoths are far less ideal than wooden slats, they do the job well. I have them arranged in a half circle around the little spot I…