Trop­i­cal style gar­den­ing

The Borneo Post - - NATURE - PU Chien By colum­[email protected]­bor­neo­

THE most im­por­tant thing a gar­den should of­fer is a set­ting that is both ro­man­tic and ex­otic in na­ture.

I think it should cre­ate an en­dur­ing pos­i­tive vibe for the house owner, adding value both in terms of en­joy­ment and cre­ativ­ity.

It doesn’t mat­ter if we don’t know how to de­sign the lay­out or con­sult a spe­cial­ist as we all are al­ready liv­ing in a trop­i­cal coun­try with a warm cli­mate and plenty of rain­fall.

The trop­i­cal heat is enough to meet the needs of var­i­ous plant species al­beit not suit­able to many tem­per­ate spec­i­mens.

There should be a plan to build an in­door-out­door link to share more ar­eas for plant­ing shrubs and trees of var­i­ous height and cre­ate a lawn to re­duce the heat.

Some or­chids on tree stems and shrubs can save space, and epi­phytes for colours and sculptural plea­sure can be a wel­come fea­ture here.

The over­all de­sign needs to con­sider the heat as­pect. Grow some trees for shade such as Christ­mas trees and palms, and frangi­pani or eugenia will have less prob­lem with de­cid­u­ous leaves.

For un­der-storey plant­ing, we can choose shrubs-cy­cads, agave, cacti and succu­lents – yucca and hi­bis­cus ferns and bromeli­ads species.

For ground cover, we can choose Ja­panese grass, vina and im­pa­tient. Hang­ing pots should have am­ple mois­ture, re­tain­ing ma­te­ri­als such as or­ganic com­posts and gel crys­tals.

Fur­ther­more, a trop­i­cal gar­den can be in­cor­po­rated with sculp­tures or sculptural plants to make an im­pact.

Be­low, are small tips and hints for be­gin­ners on the de­sign of a trop­i­cal gar­den: Keep it sim­ple Clean sim­ple lines and a min­i­mal­ist ap­proach to de­sign is al­ways bet­ter than a busy ap­pear­ance. Lest is best Re­cently, I re­designed my own home gar­den with this idea so that many of the rather old spec­i­mens in pots or on the ground were rogued or moved to leave space.

Cre­ate it to give it more space. Use a few larger pots or planter boxes in­stead of many smaller pots spread all around. Flex­i­bil­ity of use The court­yard may be shifted to en­large space for gath­er­ings or spe­cial oc­ca­sions. It’s nec­es­sary to re­serve some flex­i­bil­ity for the fu­ture.

As days go by, one is bound to gather more plant species, or even a bed or two of favourite veg­gies for the fam­ily.

A dan­ger is fall­ing into the col­lect­ing trap. The temp­ta­tion is, more of­ten than not, to jam the orig­i­nal de­sign.

It’s best to choose both hardy and ten­der plants for the gar­den – hardy plants need lit­tle at­ten­tion, but ten­der ones might strug­gle to sur­vive. There is lit­tle al­tru­ism be­tween shade and root.

Don’t overdo the gar­den art. One sculp­ture and one wa­ter fea­ture are enough for an av­er­age back­yard or front court­yard.

Look for some­thing time­less rather than some Ba­li­nese urn that quickly be­comes ob­so­lete. There are a host of good ma­te­ri­als we can pick and choose from.

Ver­ti­cal gar­dens are an im­prove­ment el­e­ment to en­large space. To in­crease gar­den space, cre­ate the ver­ti­cal gar­den or add a third di­men­sion to the open space. This is get­ting pop­u­lar world­wide.

Shop­ping malls and con­do­mini­ums have been built in the mid­dle of a busy city cen­tre with ver­ti­cal gar­dens on all sides to pro­vide a cool­ing space of green to the orig­i­nal harsh en­vi­ron­ment.

There are many ac­ces­sories for set­ting up the ‘V gar­den’ as long as there’s a blank wall or bare fence that needs beau­ti­fy­ing. We can tend ed­i­bles, an­nu­als or oth­ers with the ‘V gar­den­ing’ ideas.

Here are some prac­ti­cal DIY tips for ver­ti­cal gar­den­ing: Hang­ing clay pot­ted plants adds green­ery with­out tak­ing up space. Grow plants in plas­tic trays at a slant­ing an­gle to pro­mote drainage and aer­a­tion. Trays come with mount­ing frames and are suit­able to succu­lents. Trel­lis hang­ing on walls can be used for sev­eral types of plants. Fix hex wire net­ting to a frame next to the fence. Here, we can use ready-built plas­tic slant­ing pock­ets for plant­ing. Hang­ing glass ter­rar­ium planters is

suit­able for cre­at­ing a com­mu­nity pot of flow­ers and dag­gling vines. Stack up crates as a ver­ti­cal planter pyra­mid. Min­i­mal­ist ver­ti­cal gar­den uses stacked cedar boxes. at­tached to the wall for an aes­thetic strik­ing ver­ti­cal gar­den. Cut empty plas­tic bot­tles into half and hang up with a cloth line. Use a lad­der for less heavy ob­jects, neatly stacked on the rungs.

Ideas should be prac­ti­cal and easy to ap­ply and most im­por­tantly, the planters should pro­vide the habi­tats for the green­ery we want to es­tab­lish.

The re­quire­ments are light, wa­ter and nutri­ent that any ‘V gar­den’ needs. An in­door ‘V gar­den’ is a test for the keen owner to be suc­cess­ful.

Happy Gar­den­ing!

The trop­i­cal heat is enough to meet the needs of var­i­ous plant species al­beit not suit­able to many tem­per­ate spec­i­mens.

Ver­ti­cal gar­dens in­crease gar­den space, cre­ate the ver­ti­cal gar­den or add a third di­men­sion to the open space.

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