A green space of your own

A green space of your own

Green corner Bring a bit of outdoors inside your homes by nurturing a green patch on your own. Bindu Gopal Rao tells you how...

Your home is an asset that is arguably your most prized possession. Naturally then you do everything and more to ensure that you make it your own. Making a garden in a small nook at home is something that not just adds an aesthetic appeal, but also gives you great lung space. And if you have a small space, fret not, here is how you can make the most of your small garden.

A patch of green in a corner of your home or flat is ideal to relax and bring a bit of outdoors inside. Create a garden in the balcony or patio in an urban living space. Terraces, a balcony in a flat, a corner of the entrance porch, an atrium or a courtyard in the core of the house, or the space below your staircase can be converted to a patch of green. Apart from placing pots, plants and hanging planters, one should also look into the entire feel of the space as this makes a well-lit retreat for reading or enjoying a cup of tea. “The railing could become a spot for geranium plants to hang, or you could place potted plants on the floor. 

Plan your garden to maximise the use of your limited space. Planting on trellises or placing plants on wall shelves increases your gardening opportunities, as they enable you to use the maximum area you have available to you. This space is a great example of how you really don’t need much outdoor space to take advantage of summer’s fresh air and sunshine. Comfortable seating, accented with colourful cushions, transforms a simple space into an inviting retreat,” advices Rajat Singhi, founder and creative director, Address Home. 

Plants keep the air clean and balance indoor humidity. “Not only do plants inhale pollutants, but they also remove harmful gases in the air and help fight pollution. Use air purifier indoor plants like spider plant, boston fern, areca palm, golden pothos and aloe vera,” says Anju Kumar, artist and interior designer. 

Web portal HomeShop18 has seen a rise in the sale of garden equipment and little quirky items that help build small gardens. As spaces are getting smaller, people are turning to small gardens to use their green fingers and bring nature into their homes. Meghna Mirchandani, interior designer - Dimensions opines, “An interesting option would be to create a ledge seating of stone. Outdoor furniture can also be used in wicker, wrought iron and plastic. One can choose from a large variety.” 

Ashish Dhingra, MD - Obsessions explains, “The windowsill in your kitchen, the corner of your balcony and that empty space in the living room serve as ideal places for an urban garden. Throw a small carpet to demarcate the area of the garden from the attached space. Using a dust-free and moth-free carpet will help in making a cozy garden area.”

Accessories & more

Illuminated planters are the new trend this year. They provide their good looks and their Mediterranean style for vitality and well-being. “Even kerosene lamps and lanterns are pleasant and soothing light sources. Candles, specifically anti-insect candles with citronella aroma, spray a pleasant fragrance and are at the same time a beautiful and practical balcony garden decoration,” says Singhi. Adding a water body to the set-up can suddenly enliven the space with just simple recreation of all the elements of nature. 

“Be it flowering or non-flowering plants, the pots tend to be an important element. Coloured, patterned or just natural terracotta, it is important to sync them according to the interiors. A bright modern place can use popped up graphic pots whereas a serene somber atmosphere can use black high gloss ones, and ethnic spaces work best with terracotta,” says Manish Saksena, president and co-founder, LimeRoad.com. 

Shruti Choudhari, Director-Soul Space Projects Limited adds, “There is a new system called Bio Wall, which is basically an MS Grid structure, which has pots placed on it at angles, which make the grid akin to a green wall. This is the hottest new trend for small spaces.”

Doing it right

Maintaining a small garden in a flat is certainly difficult. But managing it in a right way can not only add to the décor of the house, but also enhance your hobby. 

“Most of us have only a small space in our homes which can be dedicated to a garden, some of us making do with a 

few potted plants in our balconies and terraces. From brightly coloured earthen pots that can be bought along most highways to neon-hued flowers, eye-catching colours are the best way to make your garden appear larger than it actually is. Shrubs are perfect for small spaces, and being larger than herbs, are more rewarding aesthetically,” advices Gupta. 

Says Alpana Kirloskar, architect and interior designer, Alpana Kirloskar Design Studio, “An easier, low maintenance solution is the use of turf or artificial grass that is perfect for any urban roof top garden. There are many companies that deal with artificial turf which is so realistic that you can enjoy the outdoors without worrying about mowing the lawn or pulling out weeds.” Don’t clutter the garden space. Utilise the space creatively. 

“Make sure you buy the base plates (if you are planting directly in the planter) so that there is no mess in your house when you water them. Select some indoor plants that can grow without sunlight,” advices Amrit Borkakoty, proprietor, Serenity - Blissful Living.

Ideas unlimited

To give a decorative look and also make it feel like a garden, you may hang small colourful flower pots. “Place larger, brighter specimens closer to where you will be viewing them. Use more muted colours and smaller features (leaves and flowers) further away. This helps to give the illusion of a larger space,” says Monica Gupta, co-founder, Craftsvilla.com. Clipped, pruned plants are interesting while miniature clusters form an interesting museum feel. Multi-coloured flowers in a single pot set-up is an important trend. “New trends for home gardens are minimalistic, Zen-like gardens, combining hard landscape with soft landscape, or space saving trends like vertical gardens using trellises or walls for creepers like ivy etc. 

Kitchen gardens always find space in any home, big or small. Use of hanging baskets, candles, water fountains, lights and potted plants add a feeling of tranquility to any home,” says Kirloskar. In fact, you can even grow vegetables in your garden space. 

“There is also the advantage of enormous saving of water for the city grid. So, if the pipes that feed out the waste grey water from your homes into the sewerage lines are redirected to your plant beds, after some treatment, you will make a significant saving of water and ease the pressure on the grid for sanitation logistics that the sewerage board in any city has to manage,” says Dr Chandrashekar Hariharan, executive chairman and co-founder of BCIL, Zed Homes. 

Ajay Padmakar Gade, general manager - Design & Development, Marvel Realtors, says, “With spaces becoming sparser, many apartment dwellers are turning to vertical gardening where if you don’t have a lot of floor space, your plants can take up the wall. If done aesthetically, it will look like a soilless green vertical patch of garden.”

So, go ahead and let your green thumbs do the talking. 

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