Sunday, August 15, 1999
NOT many people seem to realise that the boundaries of their gardens extend well beyond their houses. As such they do not pay attention to the proper maintenance of berms.
Since a berm is in the open, anything that is planted there can be damaged by pedestrians, vehicles or cattle. Hence it is important to choose the right plant species to plant in a berm. Keep the following guidelines in mind while planting in a berm. Leave a margin of at least three feet from the road for use by pedestrians. Do not go in for expensive materials or plants or fixed structures. Check if there is any electrical or telephone wire running below the area to be made into a berm. This is more important in case you plan to plant trees or shrubs. These may have to be uprooted in case of any electrical repair work. It is a better idea to have lawn grass or seasonal plants.
Berms need careful handling. A gentle slope towards the road ensures proper drainage. However, this is not a must. You can also give it the shape of waves. A few small and closely clipped shrubs planted on each cliff of a wave will look nice. Hardy bulbs like hippeastrun (the garden amaryllis) can also be grown.
Prickly borders can also be used. Euphorbia is one of the best choices. Called the crown of thorns it has sharp prickles and blood red flowers almost throughout the year. Planting rose cuttings is pointless as these grow wild, look ugly and also carry some diseases and insects that can harm other plants or even hedges. Murraya hedge is prone to powdery mildew is a common fungus growing on wild rose plants.
It is not always necessary to use plants for decorating berms. This can also be done with marble chips or white river stone. You can use your imagination to make beautiful patterns. If there is a tree already growing on the land it can also be integrated into the design.
The advantage of using
marble chips is that these can be removed if any
underground repair work is to be carried out. Plant
species that can be used for berms are duranta (various
species), acalypha (dwarf and ornamental), snowbush,
iresin, sedums chlorophytum, various alternanthras,
kofia, lantana (yellow and blue) etc.
| Interview | Bollywood Bhelpuri | Sugar 'n' Spice | Nature | Garden Life | Fitness |
| Travel | Your Option | Time off | A Soldier's Diary | Fauji Beat |
| Feedback | Laugh lines | Wide Angle | Caption Contest |