Constricted spaces have led many City dwellers to adopt innovative techniques to grow plants in small areas in their apartments and houses. While some have taken to container gardening, some have converted their mini-terrace into a small garden, where they grow a host of plants.
Monisha Lobo, who is into container gardening, says that it is a very popular concept and many people after seeing her containers have made use of the space they have at home to grow plants.
“I specialise in single-container gardening, where I put two or three different kinds of plants, which have same lighting and water requirements. That is where the expertise comes in.
I studied and delved deep into the subject and got to know a lot of things. For instance, ferns and cactus should never be grown in a single container together. While ferns grow in wooded areas which have shades, cactus requires a lot of sunlight. The options available in container gardening is limitless and one can explore a lot with it,” she suggests.
There are different types of containers available for those who are interested. Good potting soil and containers with drainage is the key. Monisha advises that the containers should be such that water does not stay in it.
“I generally use containers, which have a good drainage as more plants die of more water than less water. I have also seen people using dish gardens, which are shallow containers and hence require a lot of expertise. One way of checking if the amount of water is sufficient is to put your index finger inside the tub. If it comes out dry, the plant needs water. If it is wet, there is no need of watering the plant anymore,” she points out.
Many others have turned the shelf next to their balcony windows or bathroom windows green by placing small plants on them. Neerja has placed a lot of plants on her window and says that it not only makes the house look bright and green but also adds a lot of freshness to it.
“Keeping plants in small places means a lot of maintenance and nurturing but I don’t mind doing it as it fills my house with positivity. I trim the dead shoots and leaves once a week and change the soil whenever required. I have also kept some plants inside my house and place them in the sun once a day. Plants add beauty to your surrounding and I hope people start growing more of them,’’ she adds.
Lily Paul has converted her mini-terrace into a garden. “Anything is possible when it comes to plants. I have a small terrace and I grow a lot of plants there. I feel when it comes to gardening, each person has a different approach. I have also added a small bird bath in my terrace. I also keep some plants in my living room and keep shuffling them from shaded areas to sunny areas,” she sums up.