What is Permaculture? Exploring the Basics of Permaculture Gardening

Permaculture gardening is deeply rooted in the principles of sustainability and aims to harmonize the growth of plants with the local environment. In 1978, Australian ecologist David Holmgren and environmental psychology professor Bill Mollison coined “permaculture” from “permanent agriculture,” later expanding its meaning to include “permanent culture.” Permaculture gardening primarily emphasizes the gradual enhancement of soil quality with nutrients, aiming to continually revitalize the earth while nurturing plant health. Its core ethics include prioritizing care for the Earth, for people, and ensuring equitable sharing, returning any surplus.

Designer: Robert Hutchison Architecture and Javier Sanchez Arquitectos

What is the primary goal of Permaculture?

Permaculture advocates aligning with nature, emphasizing mindful actions to avoid widespread negative impacts. It stresses preserving and restoring natural systems and settlements, highlighting their irreplaceable value. The goal is to achieve objectives with minimal environmental disruption.

What is Permaculture farming?

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Permaculture farming means growing crops in a way that takes care of itself and the environment. It learns from nature and creates farming systems where different crops help each other grow. This way of farming is diverse, strong, and lasts a long time, just like nature does.

What are the benefits of creating a Permaculture Garden?

The benefits of creating a Permaculture Garden includes:

Protects Natural Resources

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We can optimize natural resources by harvesting wild medicinal plants, growing anti-pollutant plants for indoor air quality, and strategically planting trees for summer shade. It’s essential to minimize waste and promote material reuse.

Avoid Tilling the Soil

In permaculture, it’s preferred to avoid tilling vegetable garden soil. Instead, natural insect processes, aided by mulch, are encouraged, as tillers or cultivators can harm underground insect populations.

Promotes Biodiversity

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Unlike conventional agriculture, permaculture embraces nature, drawing inspiration from its diversity and working in harmony with it to derive benefits.

Connects Humans with Nature

Permaculture links humans with nature, fostering harmony by working in tandem with natural processes. This approach to gardening can deeply affect our spiritual well-being.

Low Maintenance

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Permaculture gardening offers low-maintenance benefits, making it ideal for those with limited time or less gardening experience.

Avoids Use of Pesticides

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Permaculture avoids all pesticides and insecticides, organic or not, to protect biodiversity, relying on natural self-regulation and abstaining from herbicides and chemical fertilizers. Gardeners may accept some crop loss to pests rather than resorting to chemicals.

Saves Space

Producing ample yields in a confined space reduces the need for more area, allowing for extra activities. An essential element of permaculture gardening is maximizing space efficiency. Permaculture gardens vary in size, but in limited spaces, employing strategies to uphold permaculture principles is key. For instance, consider cultivating plants vertically using trellises or similar structures.

Supports Local Wildlife

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Permaculture’s ethics and practices naturally draw wildlife to outdoor spaces. Follow permaculture guidelines to turn your backyard into a flourishing haven for birds, pollinating insects, and other creatures. Tips include avoiding pesticides, using vegetation to attract specific animals, hanging bird feeders, keeping dead logs and leaf litter, and planting trees and shrubs for wildlife shelter.

However, there are a few downsides to permaculture gardening. It can initially be more expensive to implement its practices. Although, the upfront costs are usually justified by long-term benefits. Some may find the initial workload overwhelming, despite its eventual rewards. Moreover, there may be concerns about potential odors from composting, managing a garden that utilizes all resources, and dealing with pests and bacteria without pesticides.

How to design a Permaculture Garden?

Use these tips to create your own Permaculture Garden:

Know your Surroundings

Get to know your environment by familiarizing yourself with the native flora, fauna, and predators in your area, while also noting the sunny and shady spots in your garden. Identify any unique features that could be advantageous for your permaculture garden.

Choose Your Plants Wisely

Select plants suited to your local conditions, researching which species thrive annually and perennially. Utilize companion planting to attract beneficial insects, deter pests, and enrich soil naturally. Opt for butterfly-attracting flowers, pest-repelling herbs for fruit trees, and nitrogen-fixing green manure crops to gradually enhance soil fertility. Opt for edible crops like fruits, veggies, herbs, seeds, and fruit trees, as they provide sustenance with minimal resource use.

Design the Garden

Once you’re familiar with your surroundings and the existing plant life, you can better design your garden. Consider light, water sources, and landscape when situating plants. Utilize plant stacking for efficient space use, with ground cover herbs, shrubs, and trees organized accordingly.

Create Garden Beds

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Build raised beds, ideal for permaculture gardening as they preserve soil nutrients without tilling, placed six to 12 inches above ground. Alternatively, use sheet mulching, and layering compostable materials over grass to build soil without disturbing tillage.

Plant the Permaculture Garden

Plant your permaculture garden, prioritizing taller plants to offer shade for sun-sensitive ones. Group together plants with similar water and sunlight requirements for optimal growth.

Add Mulch

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Use organic mulch on topsoil instead of chemical weed killers in line with permaculture principles. Apply it after planting to suppress weeds and retain soil moisture. Options include leaves, newspaper, straw, wood chips, shredded bark, and grass clippings.

Add Compost

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Add compost without disturbing the soil, favoring natural options over chemical fertilizers. Utilize materials like manure, kitchen scraps, earthworm castings, and worm tea to enrich the soil with organic matter and beneficial microbes.

Efficient Water Irrigation System

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Use a sustainable watering system, minimizing water consumption for optimal garden health. Choose a low-waste drip irrigation method to directly hydrate soil and collect rain runoff from roof gutters for recycling into your watering system.

What is the difference between Permaculture and Organic Farming?

Organic Farming

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Organic farming, initiated in the 1940s, is denoted by the term “organic,” indicating products grown or raised without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics, and growth regulators, spurred by J. I. Rodale.

Permaculture Farming

In the 1970s, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren introduced permaculture design, an agricultural system mirroring nature and addressing human needs like food, shelter, and energy consumption.

Here is how Permaculture differs from Organic Farming

• The primary difference between organic farming and permaculture is their approach to sustainable practices. Permaculture centers on preserving natural resources and conserving the planet, ensuring current needs are met without compromising those of future generations.
• Permaculture prioritizes energy conservation by locally growing and selling food, minimizing carbon footprints, while organic-labeled produce is often transported globally.
• In organic farming, the focus is on eliminating chemical residue from the food supply while protecting pollinators, while in permaculture, it’s environmental protection, ultimately benefiting humans.
• Permaculture farming promotes zero waste through recycling and reusable packaging, while organic food often uses disposable containers, contributing to landfill waste.
• Permaculture emphasizes integrated design, where each element serves multiple functions, contrasting with organic farming’s focus on a limited range of commodities. For example, chickens in permaculture not only provide eggs but also help control pests, fertilize the soil, and contribute to soil aeration.

In conclusion, permaculture yields numerous benefits: waste reduction, efficient resource utilization, and pollution prevention. It fosters ethical land management, enhancing both homeowners’ lives and ecosystems. Moreover, permaculture paves the way for sustainable systems that safeguard habitats for humans, animals, and plants, ensuring a healthy planet for the future.

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How To Design Your Backyard Garden From Scratch

Starting a garden can be a fun as well as a meditative experience where you care for, nurture, and enjoy watching your plants grow and produce fruits or vegetables. Since starting a garden from scratch can feel overwhelming, let’s simplify it into manageable steps to maximize your space and enjoyment. While gardening fundamentals vary based on location, season, microclimate, soil, and plant preferences, here are some general steps to begin your first garden from scratch.

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1. Consider Your Planting Options

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Before starting your journey of creating and nurturing your private garden, it’s important to understand whether you want a vegetable garden, a herb garden, or a flower garden. Whatever you decide, it’s good to grow vegetables your family enjoys, and for flowers, choose between annuals for long blooms or perennials for longevity. It’s always wise to start small and grow gradually until you feel comfortable.

2. Choose a Sunny Spot

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Observe sunlight patterns in your garden to determine plant needs for full sun, part shade, or full shade, and consult online resources for suitable species for your unique conditions. Most vegetables and flowering plants require 6-8 hours of full sun daily, so assess your yard’s sun exposure to identify suitable spots. Even if your yard is mostly shady, certain plants like impatiens and begonias can thrive. Select a flat area for your garden to avoid dealing with slopes, which can be more challenging and costly. Ensure convenient access to a water source for your garden’s requirements and consider the accessibility of your garden space for watering, harvesting, and tending to your plants.

3. Gardening Tools

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Essential gardening tools are important to ensure the successful cultivation of plants. Pruning scissors are important for maintaining plant health, enabling precise trimming and removing dead parts. For soil preparation and planting, a spade, trowel, and garden fork are essential, allowing for efficient digging and root clearance. Watering equipment includes a garden hose for larger areas and a watering can for delicate plants, ensuring optimal hydration without damaging young growth. Combatting weeds necessitates tools like a forked trowel and gardening knife, enabling efficient removal to maintain the vitality of the garden.

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Start by clearing the area of weeds and sod, which refers to a layer of grass and the soil beneath it that is held together by roots. For quick results, cut out the sod using a spade.

4. Test the Soil

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Consider a soil test for insights into your soil’s composition, including nutrient deficiencies and recommended remedies, or opt for DIY kits offering basic insights. Based on your soil test results, amend your soil by adding necessary nutrients or adjusting pH levels to create the optimal growing conditions for your plants. Add 2-3 inches of compost to new beds during preparation or apply it to existing beds, allowing earthworms to incorporate it over time, improving soil structure and nutrient availability for plants.

5. Prepare the Planting Bed

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Loosening the soil in new beds before planting aids root growth and nutrient absorption. Opt for manual digging, especially for smaller beds. Work the soil when moist but not overly wet or dry, about 6-8 inches deep, mixing in organic matter. Note that healthy soil contains numerous bacteria, fungi, and microbes, allowing plant roots to penetrate easily due to their suitable texture and structure, which is determined by the proportions of clay, sand, and silt in the soil.

Another way to garden is called no-till gardening. First, clear away any debris and grass. Then, spread a thick layer of compost over the area, at least four inches deep. If you’re dealing with tough weeds, you can try sheet mulching. This involves using cardboard to compost the weeds while keeping the soil intact. It’s also a good idea to keep your garden beds no wider than 4 feet so you can easily reach the center.

6. Choose Your Plants

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Opt for plants suited to your climate, soil, and sunlight conditions. You can also browse the internet for plant options. Here are a few beginner-friendly choices:

• Annuals: Marigolds, Petunias, Snapdragons, Impatiens, Zinnias, Geraniums
• Perennials: Black-eyed Susans, Daylilies, Hostas, 0Coneflowers (Echinacea), Sedum
• Vegetables: tomatoes, Peppers, Lettuce, Carrots, Cucumbers, Squash (zucchini, yellow squash)

7. Plant with Care

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Most seed packets and transplant containers come with basic planting instructions. Once you’ve done the groundwork, begin planting. For seeds, follow guidelines such as planting them three times as deep as their diameter or as specified. Be cautious with seeds needing light for germination, ensuring they’re not buried too deeply. Transplants are usually planted at the same depth as in the pot, with exceptions like tomatoes. Wait until the danger of frost has passed to heat-loving plants. Young plants may require protection or hardening off before being planted outdoors.

When planting seeds, sow them at the specified depth on the packet, firming the soil gently, and water when the soil surface dries out. Some plants prefer cooler temperatures and can be planted in autumn or late winter, while others thrive in warmth and should wait until after the risk of frost has passed. Mid-spring and mid-autumn are optimal for planting perennials. Annuals can be directly sown in the garden or started indoors a few weeks before the last frost date. Alternatively, purchase young plants for transplanting into prepared beds and ensure proper watering after planting.

8. Start Watering

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Water seedlings daily to prevent them from drying out, adjusting frequency as they grow. Newly transplanted seedlings need watering every other day until their roots are established. Afterward, water once a week, considering soil type, humidity, and weather conditions. Clay soil retains moisture longer than sandy soil. Test soil moisture by feeling 3-4 inches below the surface; if dry, water slowly and deeply. Water in the early morning to minimize evaporation.

9. Add Mulch

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Apply a couple of inches of mulch to the soil for moisture retention and weed suppression, choosing from materials like shredded bark, straw, or river rock. Organic mulches, such as bark or compost, enrich the soil as they break down. Avoid covering seeds you want to grow; opt for quickly decomposing mulches for vegetable gardens, and longer-lasting options like bark chips for perennials. Mulch acts as a protective cover, aiding in moisture retention, soil cooling, and weed suppression, while enhancing the garden bed’s appearance. As organic mulches decompose, they enrich soil fertility. Covering the soil with rocks and organic matter inhibits weed germination and maintains soil moisture and warmth while providing nourishment for beneficial soil organisms. Match the right mulch with each crop: wood chips for fruit trees and shrubs, and lighter options like straw or leaves for delicate vegetables.

10. Maintain the Garden

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Regular maintenance involves watering plants before they wilt, removing weeds before they seed, and clearing away dead or diseased vegetation. Support tall plants with trellises or stakes, and harvest vegetables promptly when ripe. Garden maintenance follows a seasonal rhythm; for instance, in spring, prevent weeds, while summer requires vigilant watering, and fall is meant for pruning and cleanup. Throughout the growing season, attend to your plants’ needs: remove yellow or deformed leaves, stake plants for support, and prune dense growth to improve sunlight and air circulation.

Happy Gardening!

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How To Make Compost At Home

Composting is an aerobic procedure that requires oxygen and transforms organic substances into a nutrient-rich soil enhancer or mulch via the process of natural decomposition. Microorganisms consume materials in the compost pile, utilizing carbon and nitrogen for growth, water for digestion, and oxygen for respiration, resulting in compost—a dark, crumbly material with an earthy smell. Composting is nature’s method of recycling naturally, helping in reducing waste, combating climate change, and enhancing the quality of the soil. The biggest advantage is that one can compost kitchen food scraps along with dry leaves and woody debris from your yard at home.

Designer: Otis Oat

What are the benefits of composting?

• Composting allows one to recycle food scrap and manage waste more sustainably.
• It helps in reducing the volume of materials that may get disposed of in landfills or trash incinerators, thereby reducing the emission of powerful greenhouse gases.

Designer: Homesteading Where You Are

• Composting requires minimal effort and is a cost-effective way to produce high-quality soil amendments while reducing the use of fertilizers and pesticides.
• Another advantage is that composting is that it creates nutrient-rich soil, prevents soil erosion, conserves water, and improves plant growth.

What are the different types of composting?

Composting can be broadly classified into backyard composting and vermicomposting.

Backyard Composting

Backyard composting includes carbon-rich materials or browns like dry leaves, twigs, plant stalks, nitrogen-rich materials, or greens like grass clippings and food scraps. Composting involves the presence of water and oxygen, where carbon-rich materials serve as food for microorganisms, and nitrogen-rich materials generate heat in the pile.

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• For backyard composting, the first step is to decide on a method for gathering and storing browns outdoors and collect fruit and vegetable scraps in a sealed container either on your kitchen counter, under your sink, or in your fridge or freezer.
• Identify an accessible, well-draining space in your yard for a compost pile, and select a bin type, that can be constructed from materials like wire, wood, cinder blocks, or enclosed options such as barrels and tumblers.
• Chop and break down the browns and greens into smaller pieces before adding them to the pile to expedite the decomposition process.
• Construct the compost pile with a four- to six-inch layer of substantial browns, like twigs and wood chips, to absorb excess liquids, elevate the pile, and facilitate air circulation at the base. Follow by layering greens and, add a bit of water to moisten the pile. Note that the browns should be at least three times the greens.
• As the compost pile decomposes, the center temperature initially rises. One can speed up decomposition and aerate by turning and mixing the pile with a garden fork. Monitor moisture, odor, and temperature, adjusting as needed. Adjust the compost by moistening and turning if it’s too dry, adding browns and turning if there’s an odor, mixing in greens, and turning if it’s not heating up.
• Once your compost pile stops heating up and shows no visible food scraps after mixing, let it cure for at least four weeks, relocating the oldest compost if desired. Note that after curing, the pile will be reduced to about one-third.
• Well-maintained compost is ready in three to five months, looking dark, loose, and crumbly with a soil-like smell. Screen or sift the finished compost to remove undecomposed materials, such as twigs or fruit pits, and add them back to the active or new pile if desired.
• Well-constructed and properly maintained compost piles, whether in bins or open, should not attract pests or rodents. If using a bin, reinforce it with a lid and potentially a floor, ensuring no holes or gaps larger than ¼ inch. Cover and bury food scraps in the pile, and avoid adding meat, dairy, or greasy foods.


Vermicomposting employs specific earthworm species to enhance the organic waste conversion process, utilizing microorganisms and earthworms in a mesophilic environment. Earthworms consume organic materials, producing granular excrement known as vermicompost, which, in simple terms, improves soil’s biological, chemical, and physical properties. The earthworm’s digestive tract secretions aid in breaking down soil and organic matter, enriching the castings with readily available nutrients for plants. Various organic residues, including straw, husk, leaves, stalks, and livestock or poultry wastes, can be transformed into vermicompost, with earthworms reducing waste volume by 40–60 percent.

Types of Compost Bins

Here is a curated assortment of innovative compost bins.

1. Handheld Composting Machine

Designer: Shihcheng Chen

The ReGreen is a compact handheld device simulates the look of a miniature waste-disposal machine and incorporates an aluminum grinder that efficiently crushes and pulverizes waste while promoting quick biodegradation. The device features a top opening for waste input, a rotating arm that facilitates gentle pulverization and its base allows water drainage for compost drying. After waste is processed, one can introduce enzymes to speed up composting and convert organic waste into nutrient-rich compost.

2. Plant Cultivator and Compost Bin

Designer: Robin Akira

Paradise is an automated plant cultivator and compost bin designed to decrease domestic waste via the use of integrated technology that notifies users about compost and plant care needs. Inspired by the pandemic-driven shift to home-centric living, designer Robin Akira created Paradise to integrate greenery into interior spaces while addressing the global rise in domestic waste with its composting features and odor-sealing lid.

3. Compost Bin cum Indoor Garden

Designer: Chaozhi Lin

In a changing world where sustainability is a personal commitment, KAGURA, a self-sustaining indoor gardening system created by Chaozhi Lin, facilitates composting and vegetable cultivation. Consisting of a food waste container, elevated light structure, and three soil pots, KAGURA transforms scraps into compost, nourishing plants with an attractive, compact light fixture. Designed to fit any kitchen or living space, this system caters to environmentally conscious individuals in urban settings, addressing the challenge of limited yard space and making sustainable living feasible for city homes.

4. Compost Sleek Bin

Designer: Alp Çakın

Homepost, an innovative composting station, addresses waste challenges in office environments by accelerating the composting process, containing odors, and providing additional storage space. Its efficient design allows for the transformation of diverse organic waste, including plastics, paper, nutshells, teabags, coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable scraps, and eggshells. The system’s environmentally friendly construction, made from sustainable green polyethylene, absorbs carbon dioxide during production. Featuring a rotating arm for easy transportation, Homepost’s modules nest efficiently for minimal space occupancy during transit.

5. Composting Machine

Designer: Jinhwi Bang

Reencle tackles the escalating food waste issue in the USA by efficiently breaking down household food-prep waste, bones, peels, leftovers, and expired products into compost within 24 hours. Roughly the size of a trash bin, Reencle features an automatic opening lid and a control panel, with microorganisms inside its chamber facilitating the composting process. The mechanical churning system reduces waste volume through vigorous mixing, and any emissions are filtered to release trace amounts of water vapor and clean air. This at-home solution transforms food waste into nutrient-rich compost for gardens or disposal, mitigating environmental harm caused by landfill decomposition.

6. Stainless Steel Compost Bin

Designer: Adrian Moro

Kamoro’s Compost Bin is crafted with a streamlined airflow design that both dries out waste and provides essential oxygen for microbial survival, ensuring the effortless cultivation of a healthy compost batch. Its double-walled construction consists of an outer stainless-steel container and an inner plastic bucket. The stainless-steel container incorporates a perforated base to establish an airflow pattern, and an activated carbon filter on top effectively filters outgoing air, reducing any odors generated during the organic breakdown process.

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Whimsical 3D-printed watering can creates an illusion of a spiral waterslide

Designed to make the watering can look a little less mundane, the Coil is a rather eye-catching little number that uses an optical illusion of sorts to create a product that’s fun and whimsical to the eye and touch. “Coil is a contemporary take on an age-old tool: the watering can,” say Robert Shudra and Markus Melcher, the designers at Plural. “While many people own watering cans – and several elegant designs exist – the structure remains unimaginative, generally consisting of a container, open at the top with a spout and handle.”

Designer: Plural Creative

The Coil’s engaging design features a single-piece body where the spout wraps itself dramatically into a cylinder, before branching out to become a handle. Fill the water into the empty vessel and its coiled body fills up with water too, which empties out of the spout when you tip the can over.

The only way to realize this product is through resin 3D printing. The 3D-printed product has a wonderful smokey translucent texture along with a meticulous finish that can only be achieved through this manufacturing process. The interiors are absolutely hollow, without any support structures, creating a product that truly looks magical, and feels absolutely enchanting to use while watering plants, or potentially even using with a pour-over coffee maker.

Coil dynamically fills through a spiral waterslide, resembling an unexpected pairing of delicate chemistry equipment and ‘crazy straws’ from our youth.

A closer look at the resin 3D-printed design reveals the hollow coiled body and an integrated, but sealed-off handle that doesn’t gather water.

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LEGO launches its botanical collection to merge building blocks with gardening

LEGO’s Botanical Collection marks the toy company’s latest effort in merging the joyful pastime of building blocks with the meditative work of gardening.

Two of the more popular pastimes to have gained traction during the pandemic have been gardening and building with LEGOs. It seems everyone is filling their homes with flower bouquets and greenery. While there’s no replacement for growing our own gardens, LEGO recently launched a collection of blocks that allow people to build their own bouquets and greenery with LEGO blocks. Dubbed the Botanical Collection, users will be able to replicate flowers like Birds of Paradise and orchids with corresponding LEGO blocks.

Designer: LEGO

Designed to provide users with a means for rest and relaxation, the Botanical Collection is like a sort of three-dimensional puzzle that merges the childhood joy of LEGO building blocks with the patient game of jigsaw puzzles. While children and adults enjoy collecting LEGO blocks and building microscopic cityscapes from that collection, the Botanical Collection marks a clear effort from the toy block’s company to ‘adultify’ their collection of LEGOs.

The Bird of Paradise collection features over 1,000 building blocks so users can take their time constructing artful three-dimensional replicas of bouquets and plant life. In addition to the Bird of Paradise option, the Botanical Collection includes pieces to build orchids, succulents, full bouquets, bonsai trees, and whatever else your imagination concocts.

On rainy days, when gardening isn’t an option, LEGO’s new Botanical Collection offers a moment of indoor respite for those of us with green-thumbed tendencies. Of the succulent collection, the designers at LEGO encourage adults to, “Discover the deeper virtues of our resilient friends. Venture into the plant kingdom and let your green fingers do what they do best, with this creative and relaxing build.”

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Modern indoor gardening solutions to help cultivate the perfect personal green space at home

Gardening is an extremely therapeutic activity, and though I may not engage in it all the time, the few times that I have, I found it really delightful and soothing. Growing, tending to, and being surrounded by plants is intensely satisfying, all your worries slowly fade away, and you are simply enthralled by nature. However, not everyone has access to outdoor gardens, especially with the pandemic locking up most of us in our homes. Indoor gardening is a modern solution that works perfectly in our modern homes. From LG’s latest indoor gardening appliance that is 3 feet tall to an indoor vertical garden with a bio-filter, we have a myriad range of options when it comes to growing plants within the comfort of your home! These unique, innovative, and thoughtful designs promise to take care of all your indoor gardening needs. And I don’t know about you, but I’m really considering trying one of them out, I wouldn’t mind adding indoor gardening to my daily routine!

1. The LG tiiun

Designed as a unique home appliance that lets you grow your own herbs and veggies the LG tiiun was announced in the run-up to CES 2022. The indoor gardening appliance is roughly the size of a dorm refrigerator, standing at approximately 3 feet tall, and features two shelves that can accommodate up to 6 all-in-one seed packages and various seed kits. The term tiiun comes from the Korean word meaning ‘to sprout’ and is LG’s way of indicating that this appliance is an all-in-one self-sufficient garden. The appliance creates a perfect microclimate and all the right conditions for the plants to grow, even mimicking light cycles so you could potentially keep your tiiun anywhere in a room without worrying about access to proper sunlight.

2. Vertex Zero

Requiring no water for maintenance, Vertex Zero is a terrarium that encases real, biologically inactive moss, cultivated in TerraLiving’s own greenhouse and preserved in labs, inside museum-grade geometric glass containers. Live mosses are grown and cultivated in TerraLiving’s greenhouse dubbed the “Moss Lab,” before reaching the peak of their health and preserved for encasement. Using proprietary advanced preservation technology, each patch of live moss is stripped of any water content in low-pressure zones and subzero temperatures to freeze their proteins and biological components, rendering them inactive, but frozen in time.

3. Planterior

A LEGO-inspired indoor garden called Planterior by designer Dasol Jeong merges LEGO’s building blocks with the frame of a bulletin board to create a unique, modular garden system for any WFH space. Planterior keeps the shape and size of a traditional bulletin board and integrates a gardening system into its structure to bring greenery to any workspace. Describing Planterior’s inspiration in their own words, Dasol notes, “Due to the influence of fine dust and COVID-19, people, who do not have the opportunity to access plants outdoors, are increasingly putting plants into their homes…Home gardening and plant territories are gaining vitality [as a result].”

4. Vista

Too many of the smart gardens on the market today prioritize function over aesthetics, amounting to cold, vertical farms that would look more at home in a research center’s greenhouse than a living room. That’s why designer Juhyuck Han created Vista, a smart garden appliance that mimics a landscape’s natural terrain and scales it down to fit in our homes. Designed to either stand-alone or be mounted on an interior wall, Vista takes up around the same space as a large fish tank. Featuring a hydroponic gardening system, Vista’s grow tray mimics the terrain of a natural landscape to bring users closer to nature. Through an immersive structure and smart technology, Vista combines functionality with aesthetics to create a gardening experience.

5. Elpo

Inspired to provide an air filter for collaborative spaces, designers Kārlis Vītols, Lolita Epnere, Buka Bērziņa ushered Elpo into the office, a smart biofilter that doubles as a teeming, indoor garden. By absorbing airborne toxins and gases into their leaves and sending them down to their roots, some plants are able to help purify the air we breathe. Equipped with a smart biofilter, it’s not only the plants that Elpo uses to improve indoor air quality. Like many modern indoor gardens, Elpo comes stocked with automated, smart technology that lights, fans, and irrigates the potted greenery. In creating a smart biofilter that doubles as an indoor garden, Elpo improves indoor air quality while also functioning as a room divider in office settings.

6. The BloomingTables

Designed to be the world’s first ‘living furniture series’, the patent-pending BloomingTables allow you to grow herbs and vegetables, cultivate microgreens, or enjoy the beauty of succulents and vining plants in the comfort of your home. With homes and apartments growing smaller and balconies becoming more of a luxury, the BloomingTables provide a uniquely aesthetic compromise – giving you a table along with the added benefit of a tiny terrarium for your house plants. The BloomingTables come in 4 sizes – a desk, coffee table, entryway table, and a side table – all featuring a waterproof acrylic trough-shaped base and a flat glass panel on top. Each table is equipped with a drain valve at the bottom (just in case you want to drain out any excess water from your planter’s soil), and the glass panel on top is removable too, allowing you to easily water, prune, and tend to your plants!

7. The Bridge

The Bridge builds on the increasingly popular idea of an open office and a collaborative workspace (as opposed to compartmentalized cabin spaces). It’s entirely made from plywood and can be flat-packed to a location and assembled on spot. It uses wooden joineries instead of metal/glue fixtures, and can be assembled and propped onto any open desk, uplifting your current workspace with a neat touch of greenery. The channels are big enough to hold potted plants and they give you the freedom to add plants of your own choice. Since the plants sit in their own planters (instead of directly in the wooden channel), they can easily be watered too without worrying about wood-rot or exposing the plywood to excess water/moisture. Just be slightly wary against dropping water on the expensive computers/equipment below!

8. The Smart Landscape Growframe

Designed by Modern Sprout, the Smart Landscape Growframe is a minimal frame that can be mounted on any wall on your home, and whose functionality is more complex than its simple looks! It nourishes all kinds of plants – from ones that seek low light, to ones that seek bright light. Once mounted on a wall, you can slide your favorite plants into the Growframe, and connect to the Modern Sprout app. The app is a complete godsend! The app features an on/off switch and can be used for customizable programming and pairing recommendations for partial shade, partial sun, and full sun plants. You can easily select and switch between light settings.


Designed to take the absolute hassle out of watering and taking care of your plants, WALTY gives them the water they need by simply pulling it out of the atmosphere. Because a singular plant can’t generate and capture enough atmospheric humidity as an entire forest, WALTY basically does that part for your plant. Now it might sound borderline magical, but the way WALTY works is similar to a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier pulls moisture from the air using cold plates that force water droplets to condense on them. The droplets then drip down into a reservoir tank, and when it fills up, you simply empty it out. WALTY’s approach is similar, except it uses that very water to keep your plant hydrated… sort of like a win-win.

10. Vega’s modular planter

Vega’s modular planter was designed to be a solution for vertical farming in small living spaces. Starting with a single modular cube, seeds can be planted and harvested using traditional planting methods, then another module can be positioned on top of the first cube, forming a link for additional planters to be added. Each modular planter comes as a dish with an accompanying cubic case that grants room for the crops and plants to grow and reach their full height. Inspired by the look and durability of Japanese metabolism and Social modernism architecture, Lorenzo Vega conceptualized his vertical farm to be stripped-down and clean by design. The sleek, simple finish of Vega’s modular planter echoes its intuitive usability and modular customization.

The post Modern indoor gardening solutions to help cultivate the perfect personal green space at home first appeared on Yanko Design.

This smart self-watering indoor planter is a futuristic appliance that is almost sculptural in nature

Indoor gardening became all the craze during this pandemic! Since we spent most of our time indoors, gardening became a therapeutic activity that we could engage in. Growing, tending to, and being surrounded by plants is intensely satisfying, all your worries slowly fade away, and you are simply enthralled by nature. Indoor planters are a great option, to nurture plants within the comfort of your own home. They are simple, modern, and almost wholly self-sufficient. The Klaustrafloria planter is one such example! The tall cage-like planter has a sleek futuristic appeal. Available in a stark white color, the planter has been amped with phytolamps, a backlight, and an automatic watering system.

A decorative cage, within which the plants grow, makes up the main body of the planter, followed by a base that consists of a removable inner pot, a water chute, a LED water level indicator, an auto watering system, and a 12-liter water tank. The removable inner pot includes containers that are filled with drainage rocks. Once planted, the plants sprout their roots through the slots in the containers, within 2-3 months. Water is supplied to the plant via the water chute which is connected to the reservoir of water below. Once the plants have grown for more than 2-3 months, they are able to supply themselves with the amount of water they need, owing to the self-watering system. After the 4th month, you only need to fill up the water reservoir once it’s dry. An intuitive indicator lets you know when to fill it, and how much water to fill it with.

The planter is equipped with built-in phytolamps. These lights are extremely useful in the case of young plants, or when it’s winter season, and there isn’t enough light. The LED lights emit light from the exact spectrum that the plants need for photosynthesis. Also, the automatic watering system doesn’t require any power! The phytolamps, backlight, and the indicator that displays the water level, are powered by a power plug, which is inserted at the back of the planter.

The Klaustrafloria is a smart self-watering planter that takes the best care of our plants, as we manage our modern lifestyles. Planters like these make indoor gardening a true pleasure and also super easy to practice.

Designer: Vladimir Popov

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This smart frame is a full spectrum grow light that helps you achieve all your indoor gardening aspirations!

If you have a green thumb and a deep love for plants, but find your modern apartment too dim to nurture your beloved plants, then this frame-shaped full spectrum grow light is the one for you!

Designed by Modern Sprout, the Smart Landscape Growframe is a minimal frame that can be mounted on any wall on your home, and whose functionality is more complex than its simple looks! It nourishes all kinds of plants – from ones that seek low light, to ones that seek bright light.

Once mounted on a wall, you can slide your favorite plants into the Growframe, and connect to the Modern Sprout app. The app is a complete godsend! The app features an on/off switch and can be used for customizable programming and pairing recommendations for partial shade, partial sun, and full sun plants. You can easily select and switch between light settings.

Using LEDs with a long lifespan, the Growframe produces a natural white light, that supports the healthy growth of a variety of plants, such as jade, types of ferns, crotons, alocasia to even flavorful herbs and leafy greens! If you love your salad greens and microgreens, then this frame is perfect for growing them as well. All you need is a 2.4GHz wifi network for the Growframe to function!

Guaranteed to work for almost 25,000 hours, the Smart Landscape Growframe helps you create a miniature garden within your own home. You can create different natural landscapes, from a desert-scape to a tropical paradise, depending upon the kind of plants you choose to grow!

Designer: Modern Sprout

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This public horticultural pod cultivates plants and multi-generational relationships through the act of gardening!

The act of gardening provides many proven physical and mental health benefits that alone make cultivating your own garden worth it. Taking it one step further, community gardens carry the same benefits and then some. Interacting with members of your own community while growing plant life, crops, and flowers not only makes fresh food available for all of those who help cultivate it but also brings people closer together in the process. Enrich Group, a team of designers with Virginia Tech University, created their own community greenhouse to help forge human connections and bridge generational gaps within the community.

Gardening promotes many physical and mental health benefits, including an increase in physical activity, relaxation, and access to fresh food. Enrich Group aimed to combine physical activity and mental relaxation with an environment that cultivates multi-generational relationships with their community greenhouse. Following a year of social isolation, Enrich Group built their own community greenhouse because they believe age is nothing but a number and doesn’t change each aging individual’s desire to connect and build meaningful relationships within their own community. Cultivating genuine relationships between people from different generations through the act of gardening is the “embodiment of purposeful living,” notes Enrich Group, ensuring that “we all have the chance to grow, together.”

The greenhouse’s interior is designed to feel similar to traditional meeting spaces, with an island or table in its center that contains the garden’s main communal herb garden. The main island is also multi-tiered to optimize the greenhouse’s interior space. Hanging plant fixtures form an outer ring above the island’s main communal herb plot. In addition to the plants’ tub, gardening spaces around the pod’s perimeter feature health monitors for each plant, sliding storage bins with open handles for easy accessibility, as well as a general working space. The greenhouse appears as an approachable, modern, and public hub with glass-coated acrylic panels, aluminum ribbing, and a wooden entryway.

Designer: Enrich Group

Enrich Group’s community garden, called Enrich features an exterior design close enough to traditional greenhouses to fit any outdoor space.

Inside, community members can develop interpersonal relationships as well as grow crops.

Enrich wears an approachable design, inviting community members to come inside and tend to the garden.

Around the perimeter of the gardening hub, plant pots and tubs can be found alongside workspaces and sliding drawers.

In the center of each pod, a communal herb plot creates more space for gardening.

Before tending to your own plot, Enrich provides a preliminary survey that reveals what type of gardener you are.

The location of your garden can be chosen according to your community of residence.

Gardeners can also select what types of crops they’d prefer to grow.

At its core, Enrich operates as a social hub for multi-generational relationships to thrive.

This LEGO-inspired modular planter upgrades vertical farming for gardening in tiny living spaces!

In recent years, more people have been trying out gardening and harvesting their own vegetables for cooking and eating. While plenty of planter designs have been created specifically for small living spaces, many of them keep a pretty small size, not allowing for too many plants to grow at the same time. Lorenzo Vega, a designer based in Chile, designed his own interpretation of a modular planter and it leans on a modular structure inspired by LEGO building blocks so the vertical farm can always increase in size if your space allows for it.

Vega’s modular planter was designed to be a solution for vertical farming in small living spaces. Starting with a single modular cube, seeds can be planted and harvested using traditional planting methods, then another module can be positioned on top of the first cube, forming a link for additional planters to be added. Each modular planter comes as a dish with an accompanying cubic case that grants room for the crops and plants to grow and reach their full height. Inspired by the look and durability of Japanese metabolism and Social modernism architecture, Lorenzo Vega conceptualized his vertical farm to be stripped-down and clean by design. The sleek, simple finish of Vega’s modular planter echoes its intuitive usability and modular customization.

Stackable and modular product designs are a Godsend for those of us living in tiny spaces. Taking full advantage of the height in any given room opens the space up to many more interior design possibilities and grants access to hard-to-reach areas of the apartment that would otherwise remain unused. Vega’s modular planter was designed for a small space and that’s where it feels right at home.

Designer: Lorenzo Vega

Identical modules can be stacked on top of one another for vertical farming in tiny living spaces.

A cubic case slides right over the dish planter to allow the crops and plants to reach their full heights.

Additional modules can easily be joined together to form links around preceding cubes.

Notches on the planter lock into place with the sockets on the planter’s frame case.

Vega’s modular planter can be positioned either outdoors or indoors.

Vega took to architecture for inspiration, specifically Japanese metabolic and Social modernist structures.