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Are You Living a Cultivated Life?

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h1 The man who has planted a garden feels that he has done something for the good of the world.

Vita Sackville-West

Tomatoes are growing on fire escapes all over Brooklyn. Apartment dwellers in Germany are flocking to rent-a-garden plots and planting portable vegetable beds in vacant lots. In Australia, crowds are lining up outside a former warehouse where a mini-farm—complete with chicken coops—supplies the menu items for a hipster coffee shop.

This is what prompted us to create Gardenista. Just look around, and you’ll see there’s been a climate change in the way we think about what it means to live outdoors. Consumer spending on food gardening is soaring. Sales for do-it-yourself lawn and garden activities top $29 billion a year. And interest is increasing: More than 44 million U.S. Internet users say they’ve gardened in the past six months, up 22 percent from 36 million last year.

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Gardens matter. In our own backyards, we’ve noticed that in Northern California all of our friends seem to be raising chickens. In New York City, we see green roofs everywhere. And in London, where there is a ban on hose pipes, Remodelista’s London Editor Christine Hanway is researching drought-resistant plants for her new garden.

Gardenista is a natural next step for Remodelista, which started as a group of friends sharing ideas about remodeling. Gardenista will bring Remodelista’s aesthetic to outdoor living, with the same balance of high-level design and attention to detail that informs Remodelista’s coverage of interior design. The kinds of stories that Remodelista’s readers love—such as Steal This Look, 10 Easy Pieces and Design Sleuth—will be regulars on Gardenista as well.

We have a secret weapon, too. SAY Media’s next-generation publishing tools and sleek design elements will allow us to highlight great editorial content and showcase relevant brand advertising. Gardenista’s beautiful design, like Remodelista’s, can leverage the interactive capacities of digital publishing, while providing a unique opportunity to preserve the integrity of the site - whether you're reading it on a tablet, a notebook or any other device.

At Gardenista, we love tomatoes on the fire escape as much as Vita Sackville-West’s white garden; we believe the arugula we grow in our own gardens will taste better than any we could buy. We are comparing outdoor LED lanterns and debating whether to invest in backyard beehives. We love to pull weeds (or, in any case, to pay the children a nickel per dandelion), and we love to nap in hammocks. Before we make a decision about which heirloom lima beans to plant, we obsessively research it. Grab your pruners, and join us.

Michelle Slatalla is the editor of Gardenista.

[Image: Flora Grubb Gardens]

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