Your terrace could lead you to a natural heaven

NATURE'S DEN

Your terrace could lead you to a natural heaven

With rising encroachment and declining greens in the Capital, gardens are diminishing from the cityscape. The pace with which multiple-storeyed buildings are coming up in every corner, possibilities of setting up green patches in homes are fast fading.

If you too feel trapped in this concrete jungle and yearn to be close to nature, then a little bit of planning is all you need to utilise that limited space. While most have us have ‘gardened’ our balconies and verandahs, little do we realise that our roofs are equally feasible for building a terrace garden.

Whether you own a terrace or share it with many others as in a high-rise building, terrace gardens work wonders for rooftops. Since their proximity to nature is higher than the normal ground-based gardens in terms of being surrounded by open sky and unrestricted sunlight, air flow and freshness is easier to maintain.

“Terrace gardens are more technical in nature as they have to be artificially planned, keeping in mind the limitations of the surrounding walls and underlying rooms. They are not as deep-rooted and must be planned according to the suitable soil type and material to be used,” informs Aanchal Sarin, a Delhi based terrace garden designer, mentioning that there are different soil substituent like coco-peat, wormy-compost, and perlite, all three being used together.

Since such gardens are placed on rooftops, water-proofing the entire terrace is a must to prevent moisture from seeping through the walls. Precautions must particularly be taken for smooth drainage to avoid water-logging which can be damaging for the walls and flooring.

Although absolutely any plant variety can be installed in a terrace garden, the selection can be based on the broad criteria of their sun or shade loving nature and the prevailing climate. Aanchal suggests, “The overall design of the terrace garden may involve ideas like setting up a covered sitting area to protect against rain, planning the water body away from the windy corner of the roof to prevent water-splashing.”

Other aesthetics are also determined by the kind of theme being followed. “Patterns based on geometry, forest, tusken, Mediterranean, English countryside, etc. Give a touch of natural ambience to a terrace garden after which different elements can be infused to give a varied look,” Aanchal exclaims, highlighting the intricacies in designing such gardens to suit customised needs.

While this innovative approach to gardening breaks the monotony, it also makes the skyline look beautiful. With improved technologies, water-proofing the roof has also become easier and cost-effective. Depending upon your funding capacity, mini waterfalls or cascading water walls along with some beautiful sculptors can also be included in the terrace landscape.

So, the next time you feel deprived and crave to lie down in a scenic green space, you know your roof is waiting to be explored, capable enough of literally acting as a stairway to the sky by taking you into nature’s lap.

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