Garden Lifestyle

Take Your Plants for a Ride

The Rotary Garden is an innovative new product that’s perfect for growing edibles in small spaces.

The Rotary Garden is a clever new product for growing fresh herbs, vegetables and flowers in small spaces.
Photo/Illustration: Jodi Torpey

A Garden on Wheels

One of the best new products for gardeners was unveiled at this year’s Colorado Garden & Home Show and it attracted quite a bit of attention.

The Rotary Garden is designed for people who want to grow their own flowers and edibles, but don’t have the space for a traditional garden. The portable garden can fit on a patio, balcony, sunroom or classroom and its four small wheels mean it can be easily moved to the sunniest outdoor spot or rolled inside.

I had the chance to speak with Ian Paton, the Rotary Garden’s designer, and he was surprised at the overwhelmingly positive reaction at the show.

“Someone told me it was the most innovative new product at the show,” he said.

Paton, who resides in Colorado Springs, told me the idea for the Rotary Garden evolved from his aversion to having planted containers make a dirty mess on his deck. He started out by building a model that was just a frame holding window boxes.

After designing multiple prototypes, he came up with the present design–a unit that holds the planting boxes in trays with sealable drains so the garden can be moved indoors and placed on carpet without any water drips or soil mess.

Like a Ferris Wheel for Plants

Each Rotary Garden is made of a welded steel frame, with three trays that hold six plastic planters, providing six-square-feet of gardening space. The unit can be locked into different angles so the planters can be rotated to lie flat or to change positions on the unit.

The garden is well-engineered with nickel-plated components and stainless steel hardware which means it will probably last forever. It’s hefty frame also means it comes with a hefty price tag that might give some gardeners sticker shock ($695 plus shipping).

However, the Rotary Garden has many applications besides helping the home gardener with a convenient place to grow fresh herbs, vegetables and flowers.

Paton said retirement homes or senior centers can use the garden for recreational therapy because the unit can be used either sitting or standing. Restaurants can grow their own fresh herbs and schools can use the garden for growing experiments.

“It’s also an excellent way for nurseries to propagate seedlings,” he added.

Another benefit of the Rotary Garden is that it can be used to extend the gardening season by rolling the garden outside to take advantage of sunny days and rolling inside for cool nights or during bad weather.

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