With limited space available and number fo apartments and flats growing today, people are coming up with various ways to find a place for their garden. Some options are:
Flats are going green even in flats that are less than 1000 sq metre. The apartment gardens are in fashion. People nowadays try to put some greenery in their flats whether it is a small plant or a proper terrace garden.
The most obvious choice for a garden is balcony and potted plants as well as creepers running across it. The usual choice of plants varies from exotic orchids to common seasonal flowers.
The developers create a rooftop garden to cater to the flat owners in some of the big apartments. This greenery is refreshing and good for a stroll in the evening.
The best option for indoor gardens is a mix of seasonal and perennial plants.
If the apartment garden is in a terrace or balcony you can make seating arrangement with cane, wrought iron or bamboo furniture adding to the overall ambience of the place.
Container gardening in restricted space is a challenging job. The choice of containers popular today is cement. However experts suggest that earthenware is still the best option as it is porous and lets the soil breathe which is beneficial for the plants.
A common ploy used by landscape designers in limited spaces is use a three-tier design. While upright plants are going against walls or trellis, or as a centerpiece in a planter box, bushy medium height plants fill the bulk of the containers and trailing plats are placed on the edge of the planters. This gives the place an expression of volume and also makes maintenance somewhat easy.
DESIGN AND SITE PLAN
The first thing to do is put your garden plan on paper. You will need to draw it out, specifying the dimensions.
After you have done this, decide a landscape design depending on what you are using your garden for. For instance, if you love throwing garden parties, you will need more paved areas. Make provisions for a barbeque set or even a jungle gym for your kid.
You need to decide what you want in your garden and where it will go at the beginning itself. Remember, once your plants are in place, uproot them will be rather painful.
Keep similar plants together - they look good and can borrow warmth or coolness from one another.
Instead of having a pathway marked out with small plants along both sides, try a pathway of stone slabs or pebbles.
Spray on herbal neem oil to avoid insects - once in 2-3 months is fine.
Boil neem leaves in water(it should look like very light tea), cool and mix with water meant for the plants.
Landscaping is definitely not as easy as planting a couple of saplings and waiting for them to grow. It is better to represent a reputed nursery and seek professional help.
The nursery will send a landscaping artist to survey your garden. Don't hesitate to share your site plan with him and explain exactly what you want. He will then work out a plan for your garden keeping in mind the dimensions and your needs.
Most landscaping artists use a software to design the landscape. This way, they can show you exactly how your garden will look when it is ready.
Choose Your Plants
Ask the nursery to show you various specimen plants. You can choose which ones you would like in your garden.
Most outdoor garden plants are hardy and easy to maintain plants. It is better to opt for large plants like plumeria, frangipanni and interesting palm varieties that are available at all local nurseries and don't require too much care.
If you prefer a ready garden, you can try strips of lawn, which are available in 2ft. by 1ft. tiles.
In hotels and other places plants shine and seem like the leaves have been coated with oil.
You have to do is buy a product called 'Leaf Shine'. A couple of sprays on your plant will work like magic.
In Full Form
Are your plants looking rather bushy on one side and sparse on the other? Not a very pretty sight, huh?
Well, you have got to remember a little bit of science you learnt in school. Plants grow towards the sunlight. So keep turning the pot when you leave it outside so that the entire plant gets an even amount of sunlight.
Every garden you visit seems to have the most perfectly maintained topiary and somehow your plants seem to be growing haywire. And you really can't afford to be trimming your plants every second day.
So here's what you can do... Use small pots for your plants. The size of the leaves of your plants will automatically reduce. And don't worry. Your plants will still be healthy. Also the longer you leave your plants in sunlight the smaller their leaves will be. But avoid doing this with plants that don't require sunlight.
Plants outgrow their pots and the only way to know if a plant needs to be potted in a bigger planter is by looking at its size. Naturally you cannot have an overgrown plant in a small pot.
If you don't transfer the plant, the roots of the plant, which continue to grow, will not have enough space and will be restricted.
You should not buy a seasonal plant and dispose it off when the season changes.
Seasonal plants grow beautifully in their season and tend to wilt when the season changes. You should not throw it away but follow the same plant care and when the time comes it will grow beautifully again.
Look Before You Water
Just like you have a routine, you want your plants to have one too. So every morning you promptly water your plants and put them out in your window grill for their daily dose of sunlight. But instead of doing that you should check to see if they really need what you are giving them.
For instance, if the soil is very moist already, you can avoid the water therapy for a day. Too much water make the roots rot. Also, if you notice the leaves drying or yellowing, you can keep the plant indoors for a day.
Maintain Your Garden
For maintenance you will need the following:
A qualified gardener to water the plants on a daily basis.
Make sure the plants are trimmed regularly, especially the ones near the entrance to your home.
You might not want to opt for topiary (decoratively shaped shrubs, plants) because it is very difficult to maintain and grow.