Having an urban garden, while not a particularly new concept, may seem pretty foreign to many Malaysians. The practice refers to turning parcels of land located within urban areas into designated gardens, whether to improve the surroundings or most frequently, to grow food sustainably. The practice is particularly popular in Europe, where gardening and micro-agriculture is a popular pastime for many.
From back alley to urban garden
But you’ll be surprised to know that a community of budding green-thumbed Malaysians have also taken it upon themselves to establish an urban garden of their own, and have successfully converted what had once been a vacant backalley between terrace houses into a beautiful, bucolic space that doesn’t just offer a scenic touch, but also provides a sustainable source of food too!
Welcome to Garden 8, an urban garden located in Taman Pewira, Gombak Setia. Founded by Aida Haniza Adnan and her husband Iqmal Fajri bin Danial, the project had initially started out in their own humble little backyard.
Realising that there was potential in the idea to turn a once vacant alleyway into something that can be shared among residents alike, they hatched a plan with support from their neighbours to convert what had once been grass left to grow in the wayside into a landscaped urban garden.
While the initial designed posed some challenge given the steepness of the alley, the entrepreneurial group managed to work around that slight inconvenience and with their combined efforts, Garden 8 went from blueprint plans into reality.
Sustainable and idyllic
The design of the urban garden doesn’t merely fulfill an aesthetic purpose, but also an ecological one as well, as the community of eight houses has taken to growing a small variety of garden vegetables, fruits, and even herbs, all of which have been incorporated into their daily meals.
This is in addition to the sustainable practices taken on by the families involved in the project, such as the six rainwater collection tanks that they have installed, in addition to solar panels powering garden light fixtures, as well as recycling initiatives.
Since making the garden accessible to the public, the community garden has since gained popularity among netizens alike, many whom complimented the beauty of the garden’s thoughtful design that doesn’t isn’t just stunning to look at, but is equally environmentally conscious as well.
The couple hopes that Garden 8 will continue to inspire other neighbourhoods to take up similar initiatives, in hopes of encouraging a new sustainable lifestyle movement among city-dwellers across the Klang Valley. And for all their efforts, Garden 8 has already been awarded second place in the 2021 Green Neighbourhood Awards organised by the Federal Department of Town and Country Planning!
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