Newspaper Article

Translation from - Edition 21st June 2017


“In the summer I can harvest something every day”


Tiny little garden, is the website of Iris Effendi about her small city garden. By gardening vertically she still has a plentiful harvest.

By Kirsten Dorrestijn


There are many pots and containers scattered in her garden on the Transvaalstraat with many types of plants in them, mostly edible things. Iris Effendi decided that due to a lack of space in her garden to utilize the space upwards. “You do not need a lot of space to be able to still harvest a large amount. If you grow vertically then you can grow more” (More about Vertical gardening)


In her garden she grows, amongst other things, basil, green beans, chilipeppers and soya beans. The gherkins grow up a string and in the mini – orchard there are patio cherry, apple, peach, and plum trees. There are also raspberries and other berry bushes. (More about creating a food forest or the patio orchard)


Kitchen waste:

Many of the plants in the garden originated from kitchen scraps. “By putting a scrap in water they will grow roots” says Effendi. “In the ground they will continue to grow and you have new plants” This is the origin of the potatoes that are placed on top of the vertical shelving that are next to the open French doors. These potatoes had sprouted so were planted. The spring onions, lettuce, celery, and bok choi also ended up in Effendi’s garden this way. This year she is trying something new: in the windowsill is a glass jar with water in and a sweet potato in it. This is sprouting small roots. (More about growing from kitchen scraps or sweet potatoes)


Effendi’s vertical garden began a few years ago with the growing of tomatoes, “because the tomatoes from the supermarket were not as tasty”. She continues “every year something new was added. I would think: yes, I can grow carrots, and blue peas, and broad beans… now, in the summer I can harvest something every day, fresher than from the shops and without the use of pesticides.”


Effendi documents her experiments on her website She had set up the website a year ago and it has already had almost 10,000 visits. “Originally I wanted to have the site for friends and family” say said “But I had visitors from all over the world”

Effendi has inherited her love of gardening from her Dutch parents who live in New Zealand, that grow all of their own vegetables.

In the winter Effendi reads a lot of books about gardening and watches YouTube videos about gardening, such as how to prune raspberries for example.



Effendi tries to integrate recycled reused material as much as possible in her garden. On the metal room dividers from Ikea hang not just planters, but old tins (bought on Kings day) and a clog filled with soil. The vertical shelving was found by the rubbish, as well as the large container, and the rubbish bins which hold the asparagus and beans. An old wine rack now functions as a strawberry tower. (More about recycling)


She sources her seeds, plants, and cuttings from everywhere. The black and red berries from the Lidl, the fruit and cherry trees from social deal and Groupon, the kiwi plant from Praxis, the madam Jeanette pepper from the Pure Market, and the gigantic courgettes were once little free seeds from the Albert Hein supermarket moestuintjes.