New Delhi: Your Terrace garden is your pride – nurture it, love it and enjoy it, and remember the basic rule is to go green till the eyes can see.

With a growing number of people shifting to apartment living, gardens are a rare sight today. Gone are the days when people sat in their gardens to enjoy a warm cup of tea on a cool morning. The laziness of night melted into a fresh zeal to start the morning. Bless the cup of tea or the foliage all around, but there is nothing like a garden to enjoy nature.

However, the space starved and on-the-move residents can no longer think of this luxury. But in the present scenario, people have devised various ways to add colour to their drab cemented homes by creating terrace gardens and balcony gardens. Not only does it add a touch of green but also brings out your most creative skills as you develop this divine corner. Enjoy a light drizzle or even a brisk walk here on a summer evening or a warm winter afternoon.

Definitely a show stealer, terrace garden can be of any shape or design. It can be developed in your house, office, in multi-storey apartments, in hotels, restaurants, or any institute. Environmentally this is healthy and therapeutically it helps one to relax.

But terrace and balcony gardens must adhere to certain points to make the most of their features.

The first requirement is an adequate terrace that is strong enough to handle the weight of plant or even smaller trees.  An effective drainage system is a must for terrace gardens and the terrace has to be water proof so that the walls of your house do not get damp marks.

Next is the selection of plants, soil and manure for your dream venture. Fibre rooted plants are best as tap rooted one with deeper roots can cause cracks in the building. Money plants, bamboo, palms, herb, Rose plants, smaller and beautiful plants like orchids, lavender, sunflowers or pansies and bonsai plants are good for terrace gardens. 

Seasonal and perennial flowers like lilies, champa, mogra etc. can weave a magic around, add coolness to the environment, endow the surrounding with a sweet fragrance and trigger your senses with instant oxygen. It just requires a bit of homework to pick the right plant for the right place.

One can also opt for a kitchen garden to further beautify the place. Lemon, Lady fingers, tomatoes etc. can be grown to have a taste of home grown fresh veggies. Grow herbs such as Lemon Grass, Aloe Vera, Brahmi, Ashwagandha (Indian ginseng), Citronella (that keeps annoying bugs away). Tulsi plant can greatly enhance positive energy and benefit the physical and mental health of the family members. They not only add a special flavour to your food and are known for medicinal properties.

Once the basic factors are in place, it’s time to use your green thumb and turn you creativity into reality. Artifacts, colourful pots, ceramic structures, all-weather Garden furniture, pergolas, wooden decks show that beauty can unfold in even the most restricted space. 

One can also get various theme gardens designed by Interior experts. And to fully celebrate the bountiful nature, add a waterfall in the garden according to your liking, budget and garden space. The sound of running water provides instant calm to mind and makes you feel closer to nature. Line it with rocks, pebbles, gravel and spotlights to enjoy a colourful evening with family and friends.

This retreat would even inspire the famed English nature poets of the likes of Shelley, Blake and Wordsworth.

An air conditioned Garden house or Atrium can also be installed to simply chill with friends and encompass in the glory of  natural light pouring over you for the better part of the day.

Now that you have plucked a leaf from nature, it's important to keep your green oasis of delight sparkling clean by avoiding dust and waste material to gather. Add a bit of vaastu or feng shui , whatever you believe in, while placing the plants and pots.

(Courtesy: City Plus)