These days we live in homes that have different sized yards. Some yards are large and require maintenance, while others are smaller in size and are far easier to look after. But regardless of the size of the area you have, we can all have a garden that adds aesthetic appeal to our home and is good for our health. Lets look at some of our options.
The Indoor Garden
With a plethora of cooking shows appearing on TV more of us are considering what were eating and how we can make better culinary delights. One of the best ways to improve your health and the flavour of your meals is to grow your own food and to use the produce in your cooking.
Small vegetable gardens can be grown indoors. The best places for this styled garden is in a sunroom, on a balcony or on the sunny window sill in your kitchen. All you need is warmth, light, water and shelter from too much sun, wind and frost.
Herbs and Vegetables
The best plants to grow for cooking are herbs and vegetables. Start by buying a container that drains well. Get some potting soil and plant some leafy greens. Then water this regularly until your crop grows and is ready for harvesting. You can typically pick what you need, when you need it. This way your food remains fresh and crispy.
Bean Sprouts and Water Cress
If youre looking for a simpler option then you can grow bean sprouts and water cress. Buy a packet of seeds from your local supermarket or nursery. Grab a shallow bowl and line it with damp cotton wool and then sprinkle the seeds over this. Keep the water up to your sprouts or cress and germination should occur after a few days, with your crop ready to harvest in 5 to 6 days. These little gems are full of goodness and are great on sandwiches and in salads.
Tomatoes and Capsicums
Vine growing indoors is simple and easy. This is why tomatoes and capsicums are ideal. You dont even have to buy seeds, instead simply remove the seeds from a tomato or capsicum next time you buy these from the supermarket and then set these aside. While the seeds are still fresh and havent dried out, put these into a pot of soil in a planter. Water the seeds well and then sit back and watch your seedlings emerge. When the plants get bigger, use a bamboo stake to support each of the plants. Continue to water the plants, and when your fruit emerges wait until they are ripe and then pick them. Enjoy these delights in salads and other dishes.
The Courtyard Garden
Okay so your courtyard isnt that big, but that doesnt mean that you cannot have a lovely garden. You can make your courtyard look special by using the space you have wisely, and by resisting the need to over-fill the area with too much.
You can also make your courtyard look bigger than it actually is by keeping the area open. A central water feature or garden bed is ideal and so is placing any key features to the rear of your courtyard. Mirrors will make the area look bigger and screens give you the perception of depth, plus these draw your eye outwards so that the area looks bigger than it actually is.
Even if you your courtyard is a really small area you can still add lots of greenery. When planting in this area stagger your plants in height, place lower plants to the front and higher plants to the rear. Put a trellis and creepers in your courtyard so this draws your eye upwards. Benches and outdoor seating creates zones within your garden and also gives you places where you can unwind and relax.
The Bigger Backyard
Before you start planting your garden take a moment to plan it. You can create an oasis by using plants, paving and patterns. There are many plants that you can use that are bright and vibrant in colour, they are also fragrant and some even attract birds, butterflies and other wildlife into your garden.
When designing your garden create pockets of space, or mini gardens within the larger garden. You can use these areas for alfresco dining, as ornamental vegetable patches and fruit zones, or to create different styled gardens, such as a Japanese Zen garden, cottage garden or even an English formal garden.
By paving areas and putting in pathways you create ornamental living spaces that are productive, useable spaces, which are aesthetically pleasing. Hedges and other screening plants around the edges of various zones in your garden will also allow you to create greater privacy. Features such as gazebos, trellises and privacy screens are excellent for creating spaces within your garden.
No matter the size of your garden, the key to success when designing your garden is to buy plants that suit your space and climate. For instance, if youre seeking to create a rooftop garden in a tropical climate, then consider the wind and sun conditions in your space and then buy plants that suit a warmer climate.
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Written by eChoice
Since 1998, eChoice has helped more than 50,000 Australians secure a home loan through its network of over 25 lenders and hundreds of loans. Best of all our service is cost and obligation free!