The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, February 9, 2003
Garden Life

Landscaping requires detailed planning
Satish Narula

This landscape feature can be moved to any part of the garden
This landscape feature can
be moved to any part
of the garden

WHILE planning a garden, a landscape or a feature, it is not always necessary to follow the book. This way you may end up with something more formal than intended. However, there are a few basic steps that can make the job easy. The first thing to keep in mind is your family’s needs and choices. Then visualise plants of your choice and the style of features you want and put these down on paper. Then proceed to implement the plan on the ground.

Planning a garden is like planning a canvas for painting. You have to keep the things in proportion and balance. The basic mistake made while planning is not to see the future perspective and site allocation. It has to be according to the type of feature that you want to introduce. Buying of plants, net, paving stones, statuettes, pots, pebbles, etc, has to be done accordingly. Some mistakes made at the initial stage may prove costly later .

Let the ‘star of Bethlehem’ light up your lawn
December 22, 2002
Get the spring effect with winter blooms
December 1, 2002
For peach harvest next summer begin planting this winter
November 17, 2002
Prepare your plants to face winter
November 3, 2002
Lend a touch of green to the festive decor
October 20, 2002
They have lovely flowers & foliage
August 25, 2002
They have lovely flowers & foliage
August 25, 2002
Make hay even if the sun doesn’t shine
August 11, 2002

The basic step, in fact, should be to clear the site completely if you are dealing with an untouched site. All the unnecessary material like debris, bricks, stones, weeds, glass and marble pieces, unwanted shrubs or bushes, etc, should be cleared. Correct measurement of the site should be taken. The existing trees or features should also be marked. Make a note of the direction of the sun to facilitate planting according to shade or sunshine. Special features like pavement, shed, barbecue, trellis, border area, water feature, etc, should all be first drawn on paper and an area earmarked for each. This way you will also be able to order the quantity of material actually required.

The planting plan is most important in garden planning. While allocating a site for a particular plant, many things like the potential height, spread, nature of the plant—whether it is deciduous or evergreen— time and colour of flowering, etc, are to be kept in mind. It is also important to identify the location of sewerage, electricity installations, both above and below the ground, water pipes and telephone lines. The placement of the plant should be done keeping in mind the sun direction. Filling with good soil is the next step and the most important aspect. On this depends the performance of the lawn and plants. Do not compromise on the quality of the soil even if you have to buy it.

The concrete areas also need greening with pots or some landscape features that you can easily create from the building waste. In the accompanying picture, the base has been created with bricks, cement, etc. Cinder has also been placed to create a hill-like effect. Different pockets have been created and planted with hardy species with a sprinkling of moss grass. This feature can be shift to any desired site. Similarly, you can create a complete landscape with features like miniature bridges, ponds, hut, lamps, and a road on small platforms giving an undulated appearance to the soil.