People have many reasons for being willing to share their backyards. They may be elderly folk, wanting to stay in their homes but unable to keep up with the gardening. Or they may be a working couple with busy lives, a big yard and no time. Others may just enjoy the company of fellow gardeners.
Whatever their reason for inviting strangers to garden around their houses, they are Sharing Backyards. The Web site launched by Victoria, BC’s LifeCycles has attracted gardeners and land sharers in cities around Canada and the U.S., as well as several cities in New Zealand.
Starting an initiative like this requires a lot of thought and planning. LifeCycles provides the tools a community needs to starts its own Sharing Backyards project, as well as some thoughtful considerations for those wanting to share their garden space.
Other garden sharing projects have popped up elsewhere. Here are some I found in a quick search. The first four are in the U.S.
- Hyperlocavore: A Yardsharing Community
- The Chico Garden Share Project
- Portland Yard Sharing
- Landshare in the UK and Canada
- Prêter son jardin in France
Whatever the motivation for being willing to share land, a growing number of urban land owners are opening their spaces to people with no land but a yen to garden. They give me hope.