Creating a loft or apartment garden is just a different method of gardening. It is not difficult and it demonstrates that a garden can be created anywhere and not just in a yard. The big bonus is you will not need a lawnmower.
How to create a garden in your apartment or loft is quite straightforward, begin by going into each room and see how much space and light there is. Is there an outdoor balcony, patio area, fire escape, or a roof terrace? Draw a rough sketch of each room showing the height and width of any windows, skylights, air-conditioning, draughty areas, any access to a balcony, veranda, or roof terrace, and finish by showing ‘North’ on the diagram.
Take the sketch to your local garden center and discuss with them the colors you want, the space available for containers, your budget, and plant aftercare. They will be pleased to advise you; one day you may ask them to landscape your 5-acre yard!
Check all available outdoor and indoor floor space. This helps decide the size and shape of the containers. Extend a room color theme with matching containers or opt for a striking contrast by using stark, vivid colors.
Arranging Your Apartment Garden
A tray of gravel is necessary to stand the plants on and help with the drainage. First, group at least 3 plants together; choose a tall plant, a medium, and one that tumbles over the edge of the container. They will give height and soften the edges of the container. Use annuals to provide color and fragrance or just have a single plant to create a ‘Feng Shui effect. Dark areas suit dark-leafed plants.
The kitchen window sill is the quickest and easiest way to start your indoor garden; basil, rosemary, thyme, mint, and oregano are wonderful to add to dishes but try some tomatoes, peppers, and strawberries as well.
Is space available by a window? Plant bamboo in a pot; add a café style table and two chairs to create an outdoor illusion.
Balconies and verandas can be minimal or crowded. Frame a doorway with a potted plant or tree to either side of it. Fix a wooden trellis to a wall for plants to climb up. Medium-sized evergreen shrubs offer privacy; trees in tubs provide height; flowering perennials and annuals give color and cover just above ground level. Create a Mediterranean atmosphere on a sunny, sheltered balcony with an olive tree and orange and lemon trees.
Trees in pots will not grow to their full size as the pot restricts the amount of root ball growth. Grapevines and bougainvillea growing over the balcony create large expanses of green leaves and flowers; the delicate scent of jasmine will drift on an evening breeze whilst roses always provide color and fragrance.
Caring For Your Plants
Finally, once the plants are sited, regular watering is needed to prevent them from drying out. Use good lightweight compost to enable the water to reach the roots evenly and to drain away. Prune parts that are no longer wanted or if the shape needs trimming or changing.
If your garden furniture has to be stored indoors, opt for the folding variety as it takes up minimal storage space. Keep all your garden tools organized in one location.
Now, think of your friends and family with outdoor gardens. They are mowing their lawns, tidying their yards, and performing back-breaking gardening chores. All the while, you are sitting back and relaxing in the harmony and tranquillity of your loft or apartment garden paradise.
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