Friday, November 27, 2009

Go potty

I am currently in the process of planning the garden layout for the terrace. I don't have a lawn space for a garden, but the terrace opens up many possibilities.

So I am drawing up lists for medicinal herbs like basil and other useful ones like aloe vera, while I want just two flowering varieties, hibiscus and white lily.

When you decide to start your own square of garden, first clear out the designated area. If there is already some soil left over from the previous owner's efforts, clear all of it off if you're thinking of using the same soil bed. Soil left unwatered for a long while has close to no nutritive value for the plants, so remove all of it. Lay in soil thus - one layer of soil, then whatever manure you want to put in, then the top layer of soil. Do not pack the soil in too tight.

Every plant's root system is different, hence seeds may have to be planted either deep or not that much. Take an expert's help when planting seeds. Alternatively, head to the nearest nursery for advice and raw materials. They can tell you which plants to begin with depending on the current season, which plants require what kind of maintenance, how much space each plant needs, what not to plant next to each other, and so on.

If you're planning on getting pots, like I am, the task is quite easy. But be very careful when selecting the plants - most are already potted or ready to plant, and while you may be entranced by the purple hue of one flower or the fragrance of another, most flowering varieties do not yield any flowers after the first bloom. You might want to do some research on taking care of the plants you buy, as regards pest-proofing them and feeding them the best nutrients.

If you want plants inside the house, opt for a fuss-free creeper such as a money plant, or a small variety of pine, which looks simply fantastic in a nice planter box in the living room. For the kitchen window sill, opt for small pots with such plants that yield curry leaves or carrots or even tomatoes. Hardy plants are a must in the kitchen because the heat and the masalas from cooking will kill off most others.

For the bedroom, go for a fragrant variety of plant, but ensure that you arrange to keep it out of the window when you hit the sack at night. Not a good idea to have a plant in close proximity to the bed.

If you have a baby in the house or a toddler who typically puts his hands in everything, place all cacti on a higher shelf.

Have you made a square of green in your home? I'd love to hear how you did it.