Everyone loves a garden in their home. Whether it’s a large garden with a sprawling lawn and a lovely canopy of trees or a tiny patch of refreshing greenery on a terrace or balcony, when it’s time to design the space, you will realize that it isn’t easy to include everything you want. Having a clear idea of what you want from the space will help, additionally, you need to choose the right type of plants to ensure that the garden looks good throughout the year.
What plants are the best for your garden? What furniture should you use? Will there be space to add a play area for your kids? These are some of the questions that you need to answer before you create a layout and go shopping for plants, pots, furniture and garden accessories.
We’ve put together this ideabook to help you with the process of creating the perfect garden that you have always dreamed about.
We all have favourites when it comes to plants and flowers, but bear in mind that each type of plant has varied requirements in terms of sunlight, moisture and season. Before you buy plants, monitor your garden space for a few days as this will give you an idea of the amount of sun and shade in the area. Based on this, you can choose plants that will thrive in the conditions that your garden offers. For example, ferns will be perfect for an area that is in the shade throughout the day, whereas flowering plants can be kept in the sunny spots.
Besides this, you need to find plants to suit your budget. Visit a plant nursery close to your home and explore the options. Don’t forget to ask the gardener about the maintenance that each plant requires as some need more care than others.
It’s not difficult to find plants with leaves or flowers that emit a pleasant aroma. Planting a few of these, whether it’s a jasmine creeper or a fragrant herb such as rosemary or thyme can refresh the air in your garden. Besides aromatic plants, there are some species that are known for their ability to purify the air. If you live in an urban area such as New Delhi, where the air quality is poor, air-purifying plants such as areca palms, chrysanthemum, bamboo palms and peace lilies can be grown in your garden to improve the environment.
The main aim of having a garden is to provide a space where you can relax and enjoy the serenity. Therefore, it’s essential that you have comfortable seating. However, ensure that you consider functionality when you decide on the type of seating. For example, if you are getting loungers with fabric upholstery, then ensure that it is waterproof so that it won’t get damaged in the rain. Similarly, wooden benches will have to be coated to prevent the material from absorbing moisture and rotting.
Fountains and ponds add a soothing element to any space, more so in a garden as they enhance the relaxing ambiance. Nowadays, you can find fountains in a range of designs, from large stone ones for the backyard to tiny table-top models that are perfect for a small balcony. Choose one that is ideal for the size of your space. It should not restrict movement within the area, and the water from the fountain should not spray your furniture.
Browse through these outstanding designs for ideas for a garden fountain.
Having a variety of plants helps to add interest to your garden, and nothing does this better than seasonal blooms. Imagine enjoying the vibrant colours of marigold, roses, hibiscus, lilies and zinnia during the summer. In winter, these could be replaced by dahlia, calendula, gazania and petunia, among others. A seasonal garden requires planning, especially if you don’t want to incur the expense of buying new plants every season. Therefore, allocate a space for a greenhouse where you can store seeds and bulbs until it’s time to sow them.
With square feet gardening and hydroponics gaining popularity, you can grow vegetables even in a tiny balcony. If you are a newbie at gardening, choose greens such as spinach, which have a shorter harvest cycle and require minimal maintenance. As you gain confidence in your green thumb, you can experiment with other vegetables, including tomatoes, brinjal, beans, ladies finger, cabbage and cauliflower, besides lettuce and herbs. Imagine the joy of eating fresh, chemical-free produce every day!
Vegetable gardens require a considerable amount of care in the form of fertilising the plants, pest control and watering. Before you set one up, assess the amount of sunlight in the area. Check whether the floor of your balcony or terrace has been water proofed. As far as possible, place the planters or pots on a stand and not directly on the floor as this will make it difficult to clean the area. If you don’t have time to water the plants every day, consider installing an automated or drip irrigation system.
If you live in a house, then you should have sufficient space in your backyard for creating a small playground for your kids, but you need to make sure that there is no danger of your garden getting damaged or your kids getting hurt, in case they brush against a thorny shrub or a tree. Work with a landscape designer to create a layout that designates a safe zone where your children can play unhindered.
In a smaller terrace or balcony, while there won’t be space for running around, you can consider installing plastic play equipment such as a slide or a swing that your children will enjoy. Safety should be a priority before you install any equipment. You should make sure that the area is secured with nets or grills to prevent accidents.
Get inspired by these tips to make the most of your small garden.
Butterflies and birds are attracted to nectar-rich blooms as well as seeds. Additionally, each species has a preference, so the best way to welcome butterflies and birds to your garden is to grow a variety of flowering plants, shrubs and trees. Birds need shelter, which can be provided by the dense cover of shrubs and mature trees. If you have a small terrace or balcony, installing a feeder or a bird bath with water for the winged beauties to drink and bathe, is an excellent way to invite birds to your garden. Don’t forget to refresh the seeds in the feeder and the water in the bath regularly. Petunia, zinnia, geranium, gladiola, impatiens and morning glory are among the plant species that attract birds. Planting blooms in a range of colours with help to attract a variety of bird and butterfly species.
It’s not enough to set up a beautiful garden and then expect it to look that way always. Gardens need constant care and maintenance. Planting low-maintenance species is a clever way to keep the space looking fresh, even if you can’t spend too much time on it. You can work with a professional landscape architect who can advise you on the best options that suit your space and your lifestyle.