Earlier today I took the advantage of some decent springtime weather — T-shirt temps without the thunder and downpours — to stretch my legs and take a quick stroll through my Brooklyn neighborhood. Given the disproportionate number of garden centers (there’s three that I know of although the biggest and best was recently shuttered/forced to relocate) located in the small, out-of-the-way waterfront enclave that I call home, it wasn’t too difficult to get an eyeful of lovely bloom-ables as I enjoyed my afternoon constitutional. And like it always does, seeing all the gorgeous, fresh-on-the-market merch on display left me with a serious case of soil envy as I’m an apartment dweller with no dirt to call my own. Boohoo.

That said, there’s no shortage of inventive indoor gardening options for those who live in yard-less urban spaces but dream of one day building a raised garden bed (or maybe even pulling a Margaret Roach).

For example, I’m a huge fan of Urbio Vertical Gardens, a minimalist, modular gardening system that I’m happy to say has well exceeded a bring-the-product-to-market fundraising goal on Kickstarter. And then there’s Growbottles, miniature hydroponic herb gardens housed in recycled wine bottles. These “up-cycled hydro gardens” from Potting Shed Creations were a hit at this spring’s New York International Gift Fair.

While Urbio Vertical Gardens and Growbottles are both excellent small-conscious indoor gardening options, let’s say you’re dealing with a really limited amount of space. Enter Merry Farming, a cutesy herb-micro-garden-in-a-recycled-plastic-soda-bottle-cap concept from Japan’s (but of course) Merry Project. 

Each Merry Farming kit comes with a packet of basil seeds, an instructional leaflet, and a tablet of compressed soil that fits right inside of a recycled plastic soda or water bottle cap that you provide (perhaps you can save the bottle itself for this container gardening concept). Just plant the seeds, water, and watch your bottle cap herb garden grow. These miniature indoor herb gardens for the Sanrio set cost 158 Yen (around $2) but as pointed out over at Lifehacker, you can just as easily make one yourself. Apparently, the Merry Project plans to release kits containing other seed varieties aside from basil in the future. 

Check out the Merry Project website (in Japanese) for more including photos of a Merry Farming growing workshop attended by two of the most disturbing life-sized bunnies that I’ve ever come across outside of "Donnie Darko."  

Via [Lifehacker], [Springwise]

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Merry Farming: Micro-gardening for the Sanrio set
Sure, empty 2-liter soda bottles are often incorporated into gardening projects. (DIY upside down tomato planter, anyone? But plastic soda bottle <i>caps</i>? M