gardening in plastic bags
The gardening industry is just that…an industry. The number of gardening products grows exponentially, even though the key ingredients–soil, compost, containers, water, sun, seeds, mulch, pest control, fertilizer stakes–come for cheap or free.
Take containers. Spare tires, kiddie pools, plastic bottles, shoes, and shopping bags work well. Check out these online photo albums from Sampath Jagannathan, a gardener in the UK who experimented with growing veg in plastic shopping bags. He also has a page on You Grow Girl with directions that read like poetry. Sorta.
The benefits of gardening in used plastic bags are similar to gardening in tires: bags retain heat and moisture; bags are portable; planting gardens in bags means fewer bags in the landfill or getting caught in trees. But if you buy designer “planting bags,” you’re not really reducing consumer waste.
For artist Judith Selby Lang, you don’t plant a garden in plastic bags; you plant plastic bags in the shape of a garden. She created “ReCycle Ryoan-ji,” a replica of Kyoto’s Ryoan-ji Garden made entirely out of recycled materials. Her installation went up in San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza in April 2007, one month after San Francisco became the first city in the US to ban plastic shopping bags.