Are you bored with the dull look of your terrace? Do you want to make your terrace your own private sanctuary after toiling all day in the office? Now you can, by growing a garden in your terrace. To really ensure that you get what you envisioned as your terrace garden, why don’t you grow it yourself? You might be surprised how easy it is to build your own terrace garden and the sense of achievement you get is enormous.
Planning the terrace garden
The first thing that you need to consider if you want to create your own terrace garden is the viability of your terrace. It has to be sturdy enough to support the weight of the media, the material design, and of course the growing plants. You don’t want to compromise the integrity of the building. If you’re not sure how much load your terrace can support, ask your engineer friends about it; they can estimate the load your terrace can support.
Now that you have a go signal to proceed with your plan, try to picture out how you want your terrace garden should look like. This helps you to get a head start for your project. But know that when you have a lower terrace compared to your neighboring building, you want your garden to provide some kind of privacy for you. Using taller plants and dwarf trees can help give this privacy.
Some dwarf trees you can consider are:
- Persian ironwood
- Japanese maple
- Dwarf spruce
- Dwarf larch
- Hinoki cypress
You also have to consider the size of your terrace. You don’t want to plant taller plants and heavy foliage when your terrace is limited in space. After all these considerations, you can now start working on your terrace.
First, you need to waterproof your terrace by lining it with burnt bricks – not just brown bricks. Before you lay the bricks, be sure to wet your terrace well and observe how the water drains. They all need to drain towards the main drain pipe(s). Lay a very fine mesh over the bricks before you put in your planting media, which is your soil, in order for it not to seep into the cracks of your bricks, defeating its drainage purpose.
Now you’re ready to place your soil, but soil tends to be heavy so it’s advisable to use a mixture of soil, compost, and peat moss. You can also mix in some sand to increase its drainage capacity, but this will depend on what you intend to plant. Some plants like sandier, drier soil, while others don’t. Alternatively, you could opt for a built up area, and using only potted plants to line the terrace.
When your media is ready, you can now plant your flowers and trees in your terrace. You need to use plants that don’t have tap roots because these can grow deeper and can very well damage your terrace. Get ones that have fibrous roots. If you want to plant small trees in your terrace, be sure that the tap roots are bound or the tree is contained in a special container to restrict the growth of its tap roots.
Try to have a balance of perennial flowering plants and foliage plants that will survive through winter to provide you with shades of green, even during winter. If you’re not too keen about plants, you can ask your garden supplier to help you choose the best plants for you. Remember that shorter plants are best for smaller terraces, while taller plants are okay if you have a wider terrace.
But what if you only have a tight balcony instead of a spacious terrace? Don’t worry, because you can still have your mini garden in your balcony so long as it can support the weight that you’ll be adding to it. There are gardening boxes you can get from gardening shops in which you can hang along the rails of your balcony and plant flowers in them. Arrange short flowering plants in the center of these boxes and plant hanging foliage along the edges to create the illusion of variety and space.
No matter how big or small your terrace or your balcony is; you can still create your own garden sanctuary in it. Often, it is just a need to compensate space with your creativity, and you’re good to go.
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