What we find now is that many working couples staying in our neighborhood have usually hectic week days, missing some of nature’s wonders. With budget shrinking pockets further, people are compelled to stay back home living a mundane lifestyle.
For people like us who are living independently, it is more important not only to remain active but also keep mental and physical health in good shape. We both treat our garden to be a private refuge where we satisfy our need for beauty, tranquility and self-satisfaction.
For homes having space constraints, here are some quick tips that I would like to share with the readers, which they can use while starting creating their own garden.
Why you must develop a home garden:
Your home should be a place that radiates positive energy, love and warmth. A visual attractive garden brings inspiration and beauty. Let’s combine these two things in one to create energy efficient healthy ambiance around you. A garden fills space with positive energy that would otherwise be void saturated with stale energy. What joy it is to watch plants and flowers progress as the warm sunshine and rains draw life from the dry ground with changing of seasons.
Gardening is one of the most enjoyable and relaxing activities around. Setting a garden bed, choosing plants and making them thrive are techniques you can learn. Needless to say that gardening is a very good exercise, encouraging you to bend, stretch and dig.
Having acquired new premises, the most important thing is to start creating your own garden. No matter when you start planning, most crucial elements are to have enough sun shine and water to make sure that the garden plants thrive. For creating home garden in small space, I would suggest that you grow your choicest plants in containers or in pots.
Gardening in pots and containers is the most preferred solution enabling you a freedom to move plants in different locations and raise your garden to look best. This provides you freedom to switch out plants with change of season. When one plant starts to fade, look for another to take its place.
This way you can keep same pots blooming in respect of seasonal plants during summer, rainy and winter months. Over the years, I have maintained multiple choices of plants that thrive in pots. Depending how hot it gets during summer, you may have to water plants twice daily and keep shifting locations from sun to shade or anything in between.
As the plants become established, for healthy growth of plants, occasional dressing of manure keeps the plant healthy year after year. It is nice to have just one type of plant in each pot. Select plants you like and keep re-arranging pots according to size of plant to suite a particular location.
A potted arrangement near the entry immediately draws attention. Place pots near your main gate, frontage, and partition walls or in your front verandah whatever strikes your fancy. By selecting bulbs of Cana, gladiola’s, tube-rose, iris, bottle palm, caladium and lilies, you can bring colour and interest into your garden.
There are few perennials as well as green shrubs that bring good contrast. You can keep on adding more plants of your choice whenever you visit a nursery. At this time of the year with light showers every other day, you may make cuttings of hardy plants (hibiscus, bougainvillea, jasmine, rubber plant, ficus panda, crotons, money plant and coleus) year after year multiplying your collection.
If you run out of space, make use of the kitchen window in rearranging various pots according to their height. Don't ever be afraid to take help from your neighbor in exchanging knowledge on gardening.
What you can grow in your home garden:
Available in attractive colours, texture and variety, one of the most essential requirements is the introduction of ornamental grasses in your home garden. Aside from adding variety to your collection, ornamental grasses look attractive when set to provide as back drop to smaller plants. Almost all varieties can withstand extreme summer / winter seasons and also provide food for birds. Ornamental grasses are ideal for container planting and dry arrangements. Exquisite range of decorative pebbles, marbles add show when used for indoor settings. No matter how you keep adding on to your collection, you have a choice to grow ornamental grasses in pots, hanging baskets or in plastic containers at convenient spots in verandah’s or on balcony sills.
Annuals, shrubs and trees:
A garden even in small space, need careful selection of shrubs and flowering trees that live for many years. It is best to visit nurseries and select plants available at comparatively low price now. It’s that time of the year again, when one should start preparations for the winter flowers. In small space one can also plan developing a terrace or a roof garden.
Winter flowers are available in dwarf, compact and taller varieties. Recommended plants: Salvia, lupin, phlox, verbena, cosmos, daisies, aster, dianthus, linum, calendula, gerbera, petunia, pansy, gazania, nasturtium, antirrhinum and poppy are available in excellent colour range. Hybrid varieties are available in every shade from white to pink, magenta and crimson-red, in double flowers.
While selecting, make a rough plan of available space, and attach names of each plant on sticks for proper grouping. During summer time, sow seeds of portulaca, zinnia, marigold and kochia making a wonderful show in the garden. Growing plants and flowers isn’t the only way to add colour and interest to your outdoor space. You could also personalize your green area with selective trees and shrubs.
Suggested plants: Laburnum, araucaria, camellia, hibiscus, lavender, ficus panda, fish tail palm, kedarnath, ficus palm and Chinese lemon. These plants live for many years so it is worth buying them from a good nursery. For evergreens best period to plant is any time between Julys to October. Initially, watering is recommended every evening. You can also choose a few climbing plants for your garden, some of most brilliant, sweet-scented climbing plants which grow well in warm, sunny locations on fences and other support outdoors. Suggested plants: rose, jasmine/ bela, sweet pea and morning glory. In general, all these plants grow in normal garden soil. To give plants good start, soil can be mixed with standard compost /manures readily available in the market. Many shrubs can be propagated from soft stem cuttings in July to September and rooted in specially prepared pots.
There are many varieties of succulent, covering entire year that could also be added to your collection. Most popular include: jade plant, aloe Vera, species of cacti, pony tail palm, mother-in-laws tongue. These are low maintenance plants available in variety of colours and are good for decorative purpose.
These plants manage to survive in hot and dry climate. You can also grow them in plastic containers, decorate in unutilized porcelain and place them in open.
It is good idea to bring your garden inside to give a new life to your interior. More and more people are discovering the pleasure of developing gardening adaptable for small spaces, from balconies and verandahs to interiors. Charming environmental friendly plants from a nearby nursery can be grown to make the surroundings more relaxed with natural beauty.
Matching with furniture, you can create visually stunning arrangement that brings modern charm to a light filled space. Suggested plants: palms, ferns, coleus, dracaena, and mix cactus bonsai, ficus panda bonsai, crotons, dieffenbachia, lucky bamboo, dollar and money plant neatly potted and kept in colourful porcelain.
Climbers can be grown on mossed stick. Keep plants evenly moist and place in light/ semi shade. Periodically, these plants may be shifted outside in medium to high light (out of direct sunlight). Colourful leaves do meet the necessary requirement as a complement to cut-flowers. Striking effects can be seen if you choose foliage, ornamental grass and ferns available in varying shades.
You may make use of empty scotch bottles or ceramic containers water filled for growing money plant indoors without any soil. As the name goes, there is popular belief that as the plant thrives well it brings prosperity. For an extra touch, install collection of Bonsai prominently in a ceramic tray with rocks, marbles, shells or drift wood making it attractive as a part of tabletop arrangement.
Plant propagation is one of the most fascinating arts to gain much pleasure in acquiring gardening as a hobby. In respect of chrysanthemums and dahlia and carnations, vegetative propagation is the quickest, easiest and cheapest method. At the close of flowering season in February, leave the plants in pots till June under some slight cover to keep them away from heat.
Cuttings are removed from the stem, prepared and inserted in soil to produce new plants with the same characteristics as the parent plant. This is a sure way of propagation, applying “rootex”- a kind of hormone to the cutting and inserting it in a properly prepared pot. It is exciting to keep adding on new varieties to your collection every year.
In order to bring good bloom in each stem, it is good to carry on extensive dis-budding. With only one bud on each stem the plants strength is concentrated into producing a few fine blooms.
Grafting is another method popularly, adopted for creating roses joining together two separate plants to form a permanent union. Quality of grafted roses produce much better results, increasing both in size and beauty. Roses do require little extra attention and a reasonably open sunny position, although slight shade does not matter.
Recommended time table for preparing cutting/grafting:
Chrysanthemums: Early July. Repot by first week August. Blooms from November through February
Dahlias: Middle September. Repot by end October. Blooms from December through March
Carnations: Middle November. Repot by middle December. Blooms from February through May
Roses: Grafting - Either in early March or late September
Back yard Gardening:
Easiest to grow are fruit trees namely; lemon, orange, pomegranate, guava and papaya when you have small space in your backyard. As hobby, you can also grow vegetables and other auspicious plants in your back garden. Suggested plants: basil/tulsi, jasmine/ bela, harsingar- queen- of- the night and roses.
In fact, tulsi & curry leaf plant have great religious and medicinal values and you really don’t need much space to grow them in pots. Tulsi brings love, wealth, luck and beauty to your home. A Tulsi plant should be located in the eastern part of the house.