How to build a garden in 8 steps

How to build a garden in 8 steps

Just because you've moved into an urban apartment doesn't mean that your tryst with Mother Nature must come to an end. The ability to imbue elements from nature into modern homes has been something that homeowners have strived to do for several decades now.

In recent times, there has been a growing awareness surrounding the depleting natural resources of our planet. At the same time, blending (or contrasting) modern balcony decor with organic elements create a visual spectacle that makes you feel peaceful, serene and most importantly, welcomed, transforming your abode into a sanctuary. With these creative decor tips, you can make your very own balcony or terrace garden in your little humble apartment.

Location matters

Far too often, even the most brilliant ideas don't quite translate into reality due to the selection of a less-than-ideal spot. Begin by asking yourself what is that you love about nature, gardens and being outdoors in general.
More than likely, it would have something to do with feelings of adventure, freedom and a connection with nature. Connecting your apartment decor with these sensations will make it that much easier for you to make your apartment into a green sanctuary. Then, ask yourself the following questions: where do I want my garden to be? How much sunlight will my garden space get? What kind of pot will the plants or herbs or vegetables grow in?

More often than not, you're likely to zero in on your balcony or terrace as the ideal space to place your garden.

Herbal delight

You can grow any herb you want as long your balcony or kitchen garden has access to sunlight, adequate space and regular water supply. Thankfully, most garden experts and enthusiasts would readily concur that working with herbs is also the easiest way to get started. Also, most well-known plants are ideally suited for the balcony. Parsley, basil, fennel, chive, cilantro or thyme or rosemary make for good ideas. Perennials like lavender, sage and mint are ideal for balcony gardens.

Keep a diary or jot down your observations in an email draft and understand what kinds of herbs or plants resonate strongly with your food culture. Once you have the answers, you can begin to buy the herbs or the seeds.

Incorporate natural materials

You can literally bring the outdoors inside by using organic materials within your furnishing. For furniture, opt for rattan, bamboo, wicker and rustic wood surfaces, and ensure that the natural hue of the wood shines through. For upholstery, rugs, pillows and curtains, your best bet is to choose natural fibres such as jute, linen, muslin and wool. The great thing about these natural materials is that they'll give a rustic and a homely look, while adding to the tactile feel of the chosen space, regardless of how small it is.

Pot it right

Pots for small-apartment gardens should ideally be in accordance with the amount of available space. It's a good idea to go for large chests, wooden planters and crates, which are affordable and can accommodate a wide range of plants and herbs - thus simplifying your post gardening maintenance.
Thankfully, these herbs can be grown in small pots as well. If you don't wish to deviate from your ambition of going all natural, look no further than clay pots - they're as natural as can be. Plastic pots aren't a bad idea either, given their lightness and flexibility. You can hang them anywhere you want. Similarly, ceramic planters look stunning as well.

Then, there are various kinds of single-pot container gardens that you can put on a patio or small balcony. You simply need a galvanised steel tub with holes in the bottom for the purpose of drainage. Add some soil, seedlings, water, and sunshine, and you're good to go.

Use window-boxes

Window-boxes can be adjusted to your patio railings, balconies or from the windowsill. You won't find anything better if you're looking to grow edibles at your arm's reach (literally), adding tons of beauty along the way. And the best part: you'll get to see greenery every time you open your window and look outside, even if it's amidst a claustrophobic downtown. Window-boxes are ideal for growing flowers as well. Lavender, cilantro, mint, oregano and other varieties can brighten your space exponentially, particularly indoors.

Go vertical

It makes a lot of sense to go vertical if you're looking to maximise your space and increase the aesthetic quotient. For hanging your planters, the choices are plenty - railings, walls and even the ceiling. If you put some thought into it, you'll realise that you can actually enhance your space by up to four to five times.
Else, hang shelves where you can conveniently fit these tiny-sized pots. Alternately, you can also explore the possibility of using a pallet shelve or even a shoe rack. An elevated garden offers some attractive benefits. It stops grass from growing in your garden, which isn't necessarily something you'll be excited to see in an indoor garden. In addition to gaining easier access to the plants the space is used well.

Blend light & sound

One of the best ways to invite nature into your small apartment is to allow the light to illuminate it. You may want to opt for airy window treatments that accommodate plenty of natural light. As often as you can, open these windows to let fresh air in as well as any calming outdoor sounds like flowing water or the chirping of birds. Also, try a tabletop fountain to mimic those glorious, succour-inducing sounds.

Cosy seating arrangement

It's now time to look for furniture designs for balconies: perhaps a centre table, a reading sofa and a couple of chairs. While you're at it, ensure that your outdoor furniture is comfortable enough for you to sit on for at least a few hours at a go.

If budget is an issue, simply turn a few wooden crates into seating and table arrangements. All you need to do is to turn them upside down, paint them in a colour of your choice, have them dry out, and decorate them any way you want. If a formal balcony seating arrangement doesn't do it for you, get a hammock instead. With these tips, you are good to go. You can create your own green space for healthy living.

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