The Best Home Gardens Ideas
It is full summer and there’s plenty of time to get a garden spruced up or start a new small one. The benefits of a garden, no matter how big or small, are numerous. Gardens also add value to a home as it can just be the persuading factor for a potential buyer! Plants provide oxygen, absorb carbon and if you know what you are doing; your plants will thrive and be no trouble at all to maintain. Gardens definitely add an aesthetic value to any home, whether it is a villa or an apartment. They bring a positive energy, provide shade, and bear fruit and flowers and can lower the temperature in their shade significantly.
You can have herbs, fruit and vegetables right on your doorstep or simply have it looking beautiful, making you happy and content in the process. Clever gardeners make use of climbers to form canopies and umbrellas, other utilise wall space for hanging or vertical gardens…the potential and options are endless and simply limited by your imagination.
We look at some wonderful ideas and preparations for having a home garden.
Have your own patch for vegetables and herbs
You can cultivate this in a big or small space, even a pot or trough on a windowsill. Think organic, rosemary, basil, thyme, even an onion or garlic which will present you with gorgeous flowers of you leave it long enough to go into bloom. Many people love to grow their own tomatoes, radishes, carrots and even beans.
Always make sure you have the right combination of environmental factors for your plants to be healthy and happy, whether you are going to be planting in a huge outdoor garden or a small pot. Look at the Ph level of the soil, what nutrition and fertiliser you will need, the drainage required and most importantly the type of plant and where you will need to plant it. Your best bet is to go for plants that are native or do well in the climate where you live or otherwise artificially provide the optimum conditions for these plants. If you are at a complete loss as to what to do or what to buy, speak to your local nursery.
Colour and smell
We all have a colour preference and a garden in full bloom can not only smell wonderful, it can make any home look like a million euros! Think of the green of rosemary bushes, the myriad of colours roses have, purple and white agapanthus, tall and towering Cyprus and conifer trees with their distinctive scent, the smell of the Mediterranean. When all our senses get involved in what a garden offers, it can be very beneficial for our mental well-being. Nearly all the world’s perfumes come from the plant kingdom such as patchouli, jasmine, rose, cinnamon, vanilla, cloves, pepper and mint to name but a few and oh boy, do we love them!
Pots are a must in any garden, big or small. Pots can be ceramic, plastic, terracotta, made from cement, metal…and the rage at the moment is to use items that have been recycled. In all cases make sure you have proper drainage holes at the bottom and that the pot is elevated on stones or “feet”. No plant does well when they get “wet feet”, in other words when the draining of water is blocked. This will cause overwatering: the plant roots will rot and the plant will die.
Local is better
Indigenous plants have the best chances of survival. Many people choose succulents as their preferred species, as these plants are hardy, survive on little water and lock moisture in the soil where they grow. Succulents are also, like many other plants, excellent purifiers of the air and mixing them in with other plants in your garden is an excellent idea. Some succulents may not be the prettiest, but for this they make up in spades when they start flowering!
Make use of any space, no matter how small
We know the largest share of people in Malta live in apartments. This does not mean you cannot have a garden! Once again, pots and vertical gardens come into play. Even on the smallest balcony a splash of green plants and bright coloured flowers will elevate the mood, providing a pretty frame of the cityscape. With the latter, your best option is a window box: easy to access and water, even from the inside. Then there are pergolas and trellises, both of which will be out of your way being overhead or on the wall. Here you can have a pot at the bottom with some climbers and creepers such as Jasmine that will just love the chance to grab on to something to climb. When in bloom, Jasmine will provide you with a heavenly fragrance as a reward. Pergolas and trellises are also perfect for tomatoes and beans if flowers are not your thing.
The last word
Gardens are good for the environment, good for bees and insects, good for mental health and can yield healthy organic crops depending on what you plant. People just love to see a healthy, green and beautiful garden whether it is full of veggies or planted with flowers and trees. In Malta we need more greenery than ever, so why not do your bit whether you have the luxury of an extra piece of land or just a small balcony? Add value to your home, add value to nature and not least of all, having a garden will make you happy…guaranteed!