On-demand garden can be booked by the hour in the UK

Plot Manchester on-demand garden
© magneticNorth

No yard? No worries. Plot offers an on-demand private garden, bringing the sharing economy to urban green spaces in the UK.

Being around growing green things can have a big positive effect on our minds and our bodies, but if you live in an area where the only access to a garden or green space requires you to share it with the rest of the public, private on-demand urban garden spaces may offer a bit of respite and relaxation, even if it's just for an hour or two.

Manchester, UK, residents craving a bit of green space and nature for an event, a meeting, or just to chill out for a few hours among the birds and the bees, can book a private rooftop garden, which is "the UK’s first ‘on-demand’ garden."

Public parks and green spaces serve to reconnect us with nature, even in the city, and are open to all, and community gardens offer their members access to a little slice of the natural world, but if you want a lush garden all to your own, at least for a little while, there aren't a whole lot of options. But as part of Manchester's Dig the City urban gardening festival (August 2-10, 2014), a digital design company has launched a sharing economy version of the private garden, called Plot.

MagneticNorth's Plot scheme features a private garden on the terrace of a Victorian building in the Barton Arcade, full of growing plants and fresh air and sunshine (or rain, as the weather would have it), but still connected to everything we've come to expect in a modern setting, such as WiFi and power and social media updates. While some of us would crave a garden with no connectivity whatsoever, other than our own human senses, those who want to be surrounded by a garden while still staying connected to the wired world may find the Plot project to be the perfect middle ground.

As we move more toward a streaming, on-demand, rent and share and borrow economy, an AirBnB for garden spaces might be one of those ideas whose time has come, and which could be an effective way for not only individuals and groups looking for a green meeting space, but could be a way for urban gardeners to put their plots to work in ways other than just growing food and flowers.

"Plot explores the idea of turning outdoor space into a service and, like on-demand TV or music, gives people the chance to use a garden at a time that works for them. When the sun is shining it’s human nature to want to be outside and sometimes you want to enjoy that time in a private space on your terms. We look forward to seeing how people use the space." - Lou Cordwell, CEO of magneticNorth

Plot is currently available to book online, is free for the duration of the festival, and can host up to 30 people at a time. The garden itself has been designed to "subtly cross-pollinate technology and horticulture," with soil and plant sensors relaying data about the growing space, as well as screens displaying information about the garden and weather conditions.

Find out more, or book Plot Manchester, at the website.

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