BELL BUCKLE — A few miles across the Rutherford County line into Bedford County, in an unassuming steel building tucked in-between horse farms, Bill Arquitt is revolutionizing gardening.
TMP photo by Erin Edgemon Andy Andreas, of Southbranch Nursery, plants a variety of vegetables and flowers in The Urban Garden.
He is making it easy for city dwellers to plant a garden on their deck or patio and for experienced gardeners to grow produce organically in a small space.
Arquitt’s invention, The Urban Garden, allows gardeners to grow a complete vegetable garden with more than 55 plants in a 3-foot deep and 4-foot wide footprint. Made from western cedar, the Urban Garden has six levels for growing as well as seed slots for growing smaller plants.
Paula Peace, of Green Thumb Nursery & Landscape Co. in Nashville, said she loves The Urban Garden for its versatility. It makes the most out of a small space.
Dean Higbee, owner of Southbranch Nursery Co., said even after attending garden shows in the U.S. and in Europe, nothing has struck his interest like The Urban Garden.
“I really like the functionality of it,” he said.
Anything from herbs and tomatoes to peppers, pole beans and flowers can be grown in the Urban Garden.
Higbee said because of the down economy, “we are seeing a huge shift to edible landscapes.
“When times get tough, people stay home and do more for themselves,” he said.
Arquitt said The Urban Garden makes it easy for people living in an apartment or a townhouse to eat healthy by growing their own produce and save money.
“These things literally pay for themselves in two to three months,” he said.
The Urban Garden retails for $249.
Other varieties of The Urban Garen are also available including a smaller version measuring 2 feet by 2 feet, which is ideal for growing herbs, and a pyramid shaped garden.
Adhering to the latest gardening trends, The Urban Garden is 100 percent organic. And the western red cedar repels insects.
Arquitt started developing the concept for The Urban Garden a few years ago, while working on his 75-acre certified organic farm located between Bell Buckle and Beech Grove.
He started his company about five months ago, seeing the opportunity for his product. But its quick success has even exceeded his own expectations.
Urban Gardens have been sold to gardening stores and nurseries from Murfreesboro to California.
The business has grown so quickly that Arquitt is having trouble keeping up with demand.
Most days, he and his manufacturing staff, consisting of his wife and their two high school- and college-age children, have trouble keeping up with orders, he said.
And in half a year, they have outgrown that unassuming steel building in Bell Buckle.
Erin Edgemon can be reached at 869-0812 and at eedgemon@murfreesboropost.