Ancoats resident Keegan has created his very own urban oasis - on his balcony.
I understand that lockdown has been really rather tough on everyone, but certainly some more than others.
If you’re lucky enough to have yourself a big house with a big garden in which to frolic, it’s much easier being stuck ‘indoors’ than it is if you live in a tiny flat with no outside space.
The aptly named Keegan Flowers though, well, he is one of the latter, with a city centre apartment and a small balcony, but it’s not like any balcony you’ve ever seen before. He’s created his very own urban garden with over 1,000 plants, and it looks absolutely fantastic.
It’s been a passion project for him for a while now, and he’s keen to point out that it’s nowhere near as high maintenance as you’d think.
“Believe it or not everything is actually quite low maintenance.”
So if there are any budding gardeners out there who’d like to give it a go, then he suggests you go for it – “once you get started, you will be addicted too.”
It’s easy to see why such a sight might become addictive, when it offers not just a project in which to work on (especially important during lockdown), but also a small urban oasis away from the concrete and traffic of the city centre.
So, what is Keegan’s secret to maintaining such a luscious urban garden? Well, there’s the WATERING; “It tends to be better to underwater plants than to over water,” POTTING; “A nice pot to add year round colour and interest, as well as aiding with drainage. Drainage is key to healthy indoor plants,” and of course COMPOSTING; “Every year I lift all the plants from my border and the living wall replace the compost adding slow release fertiliser to give them fresh nutrients.”
It’s not just a pretty balcony and something to do that has motivated Keegan to create his urban garden, there’s more. Most people who see the garden ask him “Why do you do it?” and here’s his answer…
“As part of ‘Generation Rent’, it is often hard to feel grounded. A constant fear of being told to move looms over us and this can put people off investing in a garden. I’ve designed a garden that can move with me. A living wall that acts, essentially, as a giant colourful hanging basket can easily be transported.”
“Using modern coloured glazed pots indoors adds character and colour to the often-bland bright white rented apartments. Bringing plants indoors and using similar colour schemes connects the indoor and outdoor garden, using each as a borrowed landscape makes sitting on the balcony immersive.”
“As flowers fade and the next season breaks through this shows the transience of life, reminding me to take in the beauty, whilst helping me to see light at the end of these troubled times. Everything is temporary.”
“I long to one day have my own garden. Design ideas and enthusiasm bursts out of me constantly. I use the space I have now to experiment and learn. This dream may seem distant now but feeling pride for what I have created gives me energy to keep dreaming.”
You can follow Keegan’s Instagram for more updates and tips below…
Photography by kurtscerri.com