Thursday, December 09, 2010

How to have a garden on a high rise

Yellow and red blooms from
my own little sensory garden.
Orchids and roses are among flowers that I admired most in this world. However, both floras are of a challenge to grow in one’s garden. Most orchids require cool, shaded area of high moister while roses need ample sunlight and ventilated area to grow healthily.

May be women are more sentimental than men about flowers. For me, flowers generate good feelings and positive thinking to a person. Orchids are strongly exotic and rare. It makes you feel very unique and different, while roses are romantically beautiful and soft. It triggers feeling of tender love.

Once a gardener, always a gardener no matter where you reside. I can never live in a house without plants. At least if not a garden, I can put some greens in a pot or a vase. There are many ways to do it, if only ones want to do it.

If you live in a high rise, doesn't mean that you can't have a garden. Yes you can. Go for potted plants or ready made planter boxes. Arrange and decorate as per your available space at the balcony or may be your house entrance. However, the first step to be taken is to take measurement of the area. Then to study what kind of sunlight condition the area has. What direction the area faces, whether it is East or West. If on the East side, it means, you get morning sun exposure and if West, means evening sun exposure. Then you will be able to know how many hours of direct sunlight. Whether the area is blocked by shades or not. All these are important to determine what kind of plants you can have in your garden. When you gather all these information, then you are ready for the next step, that is designing your dream garden. 

Scientific name: Brunfelsia pauciflora
Common name: Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow. 
A lovely powerfully fragrant flower of 
3 changeable colours. 
First bloom is deep purple, middle bloom 
is soft lavender and before it withers, 
it turned into almost white 
(Photo taken from Wikipedia)
Garden ideas can be had in the internet easily nowadays. So be diligent enough to discover the world of plants. If you had no idea at all and have a bit of a budget to spend for consultation, then feel free to hire a professional to do the job for you. Save you the hassle and hard work. Nevertheless, you still need to learn how to take care of the plants afterwards. 

In my case, I am my own gardener, designer and contractor because I run a business in this line now. I had a very small balcony on a very high condo. I can only have not more than 20 pots and it has to be in a straight line arrangement. I am lucky to have a house unit facing the East, which means, my plants will get at least 4 hours daily sunlight from 8am to 12pm for photosynthesis which is vital for any plants in order to live healthily.

Inspired by the recent project that our company had just completed, I wanted to create some kind of a sensory garden. It has to be all flowering vegetation with fragrance of various kinds. A bit ambitious, I know. Therefore, I planned to have only a few types, i.e. gardenia, jasmine, rose and yesterday-today-tomorrow. However, it ended up more than what I had planned for. Every visit to a nursery means more plants being added because I just could not resist.

Scientific name: Gardenia jasminoides
Common name: Cape Jasmine
A lovely smell flower almost like a rose.

Furthermore, I took it very personal that all the plants that are placed at my balcony been given enough TLC (tender-love-care). Each one of them carries sentimental value. Most of it was given to me. I hardly spend a single cent. Some were given by the kind hearted people who understood my passion for plants and some by the nursery itself during my various work visit. I am the luckiest person. Thank you all. Mwah! Mwah!

Scientific name: Ixora javanica
Local name: Jejarum
I know I look funny but I was truly adoring it. 
Something to share with everyone here is that, having a garden means a commitment. It is not just to have a beautiful garden that people could admire. We must know how to take good care of that beautiful garden as well. Learn a bit about plants that you have and what it takes to sustain its living. Admiration can only come after much sweat and hard work. It’s a challenge, I tell you. Not an easy task to cope with plant diseases and pests. Recently I had my roses infested by the spider mites. This is very common. Most of the leaves and flowers withered and fell. Lucky that I spotted it before it’s too late. However, it’s a continuous process of TLC. That’s why gardening can be a good therapy. One’s own distraction of this horrid world we live in.

Take care for now. Mwah! Mwah!

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