15 Jul

Ixora – growing from a bush to a tree

The Ixora Parviflora growing in my lawn is sprawling in all directions, these days. Previously it has flowered abundantly.

ixora flowering bush

Photo © The Lovely Plants

It produces bunches of creamy white flowers with a hint of fragrance. This year, it is producing more leaves than it had produced ever. The lime-green leaves are covering the entire plant to form a nice canopy. Today, I also noticed some fresh bunches of flowers appearing here and there. Seems this Ixora will soon transform itself from a flowering bush in to a tree.

06 Jul

15 ideas for window gardens

Gardening is a lot more than sowing and harvesting; it is observing and seeking the joys of nature. Creative gardeners double the joy of gardening by innovative and creative ideas – from interesting landscaping to unique garden decor and from unusual planting ideas to classic waterfalls, ponds and topiaries.  Fortunately, you do not have to be an expert or invest a lot of money to jazz up your garden. There are hundreds of ideas to give your garden, terrace, patio or windows into a spectacular look. To begin with, you can experiment with garden planters or window containers. In my earlier post, I suggested some unique ideas for miniature gardens using unique garden planters. In this post, I am showing some beautiful containers for window gardens by ePlanters.

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Beginner’s Guide to Designing a Window Garden

05 Jul

Guide to Designing a Window Garden

Window gardens are easy to maintain and can instantly give an entirely new look to your home especially if you do not have a lawn or live in an apartment. A window garden usually requires low maintenance and can be set up with relatively lower cost.

window garden container

Photo © ePlanters.com

Before you begin with your first window garden, here are a few tips that would definitely help you with your window garden experiments.

Select a Location

Select a location for your window garden and observe its exposure to light, temperature, water, fog etc. Also make sure that the windows are easy to access as you would need to visit your window garden frequently for watering, fertilizing and weeding. Once you determine the type of climate, narrow down your choice of plants to the varieties that can be grown easily in your window garden.

Select Plants for Window Garden

Determine what type of plants you want to grow in your window garden. There are a lot of options ranging from flowering perennials to evergreen shrubs and from cacti and succulents to climbers or hanging plants.  As a general rule, select a mixture of trailers and compact upright plants that grow tall enough to be seen without blocking the window, filler plants, and bulbs.

For a better show, choose plants that contrast with the background, for example, select bright plants against light background and pale flowers against dark brick walls. For beginners, here is a list of recommended plants for window gardens.

Annuals

Sweet Alyssum

Alyssum, a fragrant trailer available in white, cream, pink, and purple colors, is easy to grow and fills in the space beautifully.

Caladiums

Caladiums add a lush, exotic look to a window garden. They are easy to grow and are available in a variety of colors and combinations. You can grow caladiums with flowering perennials to give a dramatic effect to your window garden.

Pansies

A perfect choice for window gardens, offers showy flowers in variety of colors and quickly fill gaps between permanent plants or other annuals.

Petunias

Excellent choice for a spectacular summer show, petunia offers wide, showy flowers in a range of bright colors.

Dianthus

With nice fragrant flowers, dianthus makes a good choice for any window garden.

Permanent

English Ivy
Another excellent choice for window gardens. English ivy is a hardy trailing plant and can tolerate a range of temperature.

Miniature Roses

Bred to stay small in size, miniature roses come in a variety of types and colors. Despite their small size, miniature roses are hardy and can be grown easily in a window garden.

Cacti & Succulents

There is a large variety of cacti and succulents that you can experiment with in your window garden. With a little creativity, you can mix verities of cacti and succulents to grow a unique, year-round miniature garden.

Select Containers for Window Garden

Select containers for your window garden. These days, garden containers come in a lot of colors, style and materials. You can buy plastic, terra cotta, wooden, metallic or concrete containers in almost any color or shape. However, you should select the container that matches your windows and all the requirements of the plants that you want to grow in your window garden.

Most important factors are size and the material that the container is composed of. Pay special attention to the size. The container should allow sufficient room for the plants to grow. Since you will not be replacing your window gardens very often, the container should be sufficient for the plants for at least a year or two. Also select the material that is suitable for the plant and the climate. Normally, garden containers made of plastic do not survive broad spectrum of temperature. Similarly, terra cotta containers have a limited life. Moreover, there are certain materials that you not good for certain plants. Consider all these factors before purchasing containers for your window garden.

Mount Containers and Pot Plants

Fix your containers firmly and provide protection from rains, storms, birds, sunlight according to the requirements of plants that you want to grow in your window garden. As a general rule, position your container slightly below the window (normally 6 inches below) especially if the window opens outwards. Always mount the box before planting.

There are a number of options for potting plants in your window gardens:

  1. You can put them directly in the container. This method is suitable if you are planting evergreen shrubs that do not need frequent re-potting.
  2. You can put potted plants in the container; this method if suitable when you plan to frequently change plants in your window garden, for example, flowering perennials.
  3. Alternatively, you can put plants in a plastic or metal liner that fits inside the container. With this method, you can easily change the liners or soil and add fresh plants.

Maintain Your Window Garden

Window gardens do not have any special maintenance requirements. You just have to make sure that the plants are provided with suitable conditions and are protected from insects, storms etc.