Gardening in hanging containers (St. Lucas Institute Ghent / Willem Van Cotthem)

The construction of an interim vegetable garden on a former playground, to be transformed into new workplaces by the St. Luke Architecture School of Science & Arts, offered a group of motivated bachelor students of the course Interior Architecture a chance to accept the “green challenge”. Armed with shovels and rakes, potting soil and seeds, garden guides, sketch paper and a laptop, a paved, polluted and overgrown piece of the city was transformed into an outdoor studio where sun and rain determine the daily rhytm of life .

Thus, future interior designers could study how gardening and ‘a garden as a workshop’ can be integrated into their profession.

How to garden successfully in your own house?

The designing of this experimental garden as a house of weed and food (* HOW, House of Weed) was the first step. Taking stock of a collective inventory of the stored resources, both materials and knowledge of the students, was the basis for detailed zoning and designing the garden. Separate teams studied spatial aspects such as the greenhouse, the terrace, the vertical garden, the hanging gardens, the concrete surface, the flower field and the zoo.

During the gardening activities and numerous confrontations with obstacles (soil too heavily roots and contaminated, weather too dry , too much shade, too little suspension points, not enough wood, radishes growing too slowly, escaping chickens, garden hoses too short, etc. ), the students developed an individual design-based research and a project-proposal, resulting from the HOW-experience.

Finally, the harvest will be shared: cooking together, eating together, partying together, … with students, neighbors, friends, helpers and members of the jury.

And with a wider audience through a weblog

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HANGING CONTAINERS

One can easily grow plants in hanging containers.  Photos taken by students “HOW-WORKSHOP”.

2011 - Hanging plastic bottles to be filled with potting soil (Photo St. Lucas Institute Ghent - Belgium)
2011 - Hanging plastic bottles for vertical gardening (Photo St. Lucas Institute Ghent - Belgium)
2011 - Hanging flower pots around a tree, with a numbered list of the vegetable species (Photo St. Lucas Institute Ghent - Belgium)
2011 - Background : Pots hanging around a tree. Foreground : car tire gardening. (Photo St. Lucas Institute Ghent - Belgium)
2011 - Foreground : Pots hanging around a tree. Background left : car tire gardening. Background right : bag gardening (Photo St. Lucas Institute Ghent - Belgium)
2011 - Almost everything can be used as hanging container for plant growth, flower pots of course, but even boots and sneakers (Photo St. Lucas Institute Ghent - Belgium)
2011 - Plastic bottles, flower pots, in fact all kinds of containers can serve (Photo St. Lucas Institute Ghent - Belgium)
2011 - Plastic bottles of which the top has been cut obliquely, filled with potting soil and strawberry seedlings (Photo St. Lucas Institute Ghent - Belgium)
2011 - Plastic bottles with strawberry seedlings hanging at a window (Photo St. Lucas Institute Ghent - Belgium)
2011 - View inside a plastic bottle with strawberry seedlings (Photo St. Lucas Institute Ghent - Belgium)
2011 - Hanging flower pots (Photo St. Lucas Institute Ghent - Belgium)
2011 - Hanging flower pots in a network of ropes hidden behind a cloth (Photo St. Lucas Institute Ghent - Belgium)
2011 - Hanging plastic shopping bags used as containers for plant growth (Photo St. Lucas Institute Ghent - Belgium)

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.