The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, September 17, 2000
Garden Life

Decorate your driveway
By Satish Narula

A GARDEN is not a mere collection of plants but arranging and placing plants in an aesthetically pleasing manner. When a plant can be appreciated only when it attracts the attention of visitor. And this is possible only when it is properly placed in the garden.

Due to the paucity of space in urban homes, some plants, particularly trees, cannot be grown. One cannot, unless one has plenty of space grow plants that have plenty of foliage. But one can select plants that grow to give an impression of thickness but at the same time are disciplined in growth.

In landscape planting, unless you have a plant that looks best if planted alone, the best effect is obtained by mass planting. See the accompanying picture, the areca palms have been planted along the boundary wall, of the driveway. The major advantages of this plant are that it is perennial, does not dirty the 

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pathway by shedding leaves, flowers or fruits, keeps multiplying on its own. The overhanging leaves could be clipped back to keep the plants in shape. The plant gives a thick screen and above all is valued for its grace and grandeur. These plants do not interfere with the movement of car and if at any time any branch or leaf comes in the way, it can be clipped without damaging the plant. The growth of areca palm is quite fast.

Areca palms along the driveway: An elegant displayAnother plant that is suitable for planting along the driveway is polyalthealongifolia variety pendula, the Ashok tree. These trees can be planted at a distance of three feet from each other. This tree too, grows very fast and forms an excellent screen. However, after it attains the height of 20 to 25 feet, it starts bending. To avoid this, the tree should be clipped at a height of 10 to 12 feet in December. The tree grows within a few days to hide the cut-ends and regains its shape. The procedure could be repeated every two to three years.

Screening can also be done by planting climbers and training them on wires bent at angles. Another way is to tie a wire with a well-secured hook near the gate and another near the roof at the other end of the wall. A climber trained on it will attain a triangular shape and will thus look different.

This feature was published on September 10, 2000