WORDS: VICKI SLEET IMAGES: MICKY HOYLE, WARREN HEATH & LAR LESLIE/BUREAUX
Don’t let a small thing like the lack of space deter you from channelling your inner gardener and letting your green fingers fly. You’d be surprised just how easy it is to incorporate plants into your home.
If you’re stuck for space or not sure what to do with an empty wall, a hanging garden could be your green solution. It works well with succulents and hardy grasses that need little care and water.
Choose a cylindrical container that sits comfortably against the wall and plant a selection of species with interesting shapes and colourways. Alternatively, choose plants with scented flowers and allow the fragrance to waft through your home.
Hanging gardens planted with herbs and vegetables are increasingly being seen in urban environments. Keep in mind that they require plenty of sunlight.
Climb the walls
Create a mini garden using pallet wood nailed together into a neat grid and criss-crossed with fishing gut, and deck it out with epiphytes, or air plants, which can grow without soil.
Bromeliads are popular at-home epiphyte choices, as are some species of orchids. Watering is best done by removing the installation, submerging it and the plants in water for up to 20 minutes, then draining it well.
You don’t have to spend a fortune on a series of containers for a potted garden or green indoor installation. Use what’s around you – things like discarded copper lighting components and PVC pipes could work. Use coir (fibre from coconut husks), which retains water very well, to create a sense of cohesion between the different containers.
Whatever you use, you’ll need to ensure you have proper drainage. Drill or punch holes in the bottom of your container to allow excess water to seep out.
Bonsai can be used as decor objects to make a style statement in your home. These miniature ornamental trees command attention and look great in a modern, minimalist space. Some of the species that do well inside are the Natal fig, tiger bark fig, Japanese maple and Chinese maple.
A terrarium garden is easy to install and maintain. You’ll need a glass container with an opening that’s big enough to fit your hand through. Start with a base layer of pebbles followed by some horticultural charcoal – to absorb fumes due to decomposing plant material in the closed environment – and on top of that goes a thick layer of potting soil. Adding moss in-between plants will help to retain moisture in the soil.
Plants that are suitable for terrariums enjoy high humidity and low to moderate light levels and will remain relatively small. These include ferns, miniature orchids, African violets, cyclamens, air plants and peace-in-the-home.