Variety

Garden trends

Archana Achal 11 July 2012 | Updated on July 10, 2012 Published on July 10, 2012

Electrolux Barbeque   -  BUSINESS LINE

Bonsai gardens at Kumar's home at Kodambakkam Chennai. Photo S_Thanthoni   -  Thehindu

Water feature in a garden   -  THE HINDU

Philips lights   -  BUSINESS LINE

World Bazaar umbrella   -  BUSINESS LINE

Loom Crafts Eco Tent cottage   -  BUSINESS LINE

Weber summit grill   -  Jim York 11/09;BUSINESS LINE

Honda lawn mower   -  BUSINESS LINE

Electrolux barbeque   -  BUSINESS LINE

Bosch Cordless trimmer   -  BUSINESS LINE

With the monsoons underway, it’s time to prep your garden for the rainy days ahead, and here we bring you some of the trends making the rounds at every avid gardener’s home. Last year, vertical gardens were all the rage, with people, especially those living in cities trying to make the most of the space they had. So while the bio-wall trend continues into this year, the main focus is the need to downsize the garden into one that forms a small sanctuary in a busy home. We also bring you a pick of devices meant to spruce up your garden, both aesthetically and socially, while talking a little bit about the ultimate in luxury garden accessories. Correction, this last bit is more than an accessory, it’s an indulgence! So get your spades, rakes and forks out, it’s time to go green.

Size doesn’t matter

Most of us have only a small space in our homes which can be dedicated to a garden, some of us making do with a few potted plants in our balconies and terraces. But this year, it’s all about going small, without compromising on colour and greenery. From brightly coloured earthen pots that can be bought along most highways to neon-hued flowers, eye-catching colours are the best way to make your garden appear larger than it actually is. Imported sunflower seeds are now available at most horticulture farms and gardens, so why not pick some up for a bright yellow beginning to your morning? You don’t need to grow a lawn to actually own a garden, so get planting with some fast-flowering beauties. Shrubs are perfect for small spaces, and being larger than herbs, are more rewarding aesthetically. Flowering shrubs like roses, hydrangeas, hibiscus and azaleas are easily available and only require pruning from time to time. Low-maintenance is key.

Eco-décor

A slowly-growing trend on the Internet is stories about “Urban Knights”, stories about people abroad who plant little oases wherever they can find the space, continuing the trend of small gardens making a big impact. Cracks in the sidewalk, terraces and abandoned building sites have all become hubs for tiny gardens. The concept is not new to Indians, as we have Urban Knights in every city, town and village doing their bit. It’s time for you to do the same as eco-consciousness is growing fast in the gardening community. Along with this, maintaining a more rustic, romantic look by growing ivy and deep green plants is catching on. Vegetable gardens have been a staple for a while now and the step up is to make it organic. If you’re worried about pests, find sprinklers that spray non-toxic pesticides.

Aquaponics is a great way to be eco-friendly. It is the combination of hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) and aquaculture (growing aquatic creatures). The plants are grown in trays filled with clay beads through which water from the tanks below is circulated. The effluents excreted by the fish/snails is treated and absorbed by the plants, and the clean water is circulated back into the pond below. The process may sound complex but is easy to create in a small space too. Small water features, maybe even a koi pond are easy to maintain and fed by the rains, making it eco-friendly. Keep recycling the water used and build in a rain-water harvest system, which is already mandatory in some states, as well.

Stepping out

The garden is quickly becoming a social hub in most homes. No longer just the space for your morning cuppa, it’s the newest hotspot in the neighbourhood. Great barbeque and grill brands are now available in India, so this favourite American pastime is making inroads into Indian Sunday afternoons. If space permits, move the kitchen into the outdoors with grills and induction cookers that can work anywhere. Those with large gardens are now going in for Oriental gazebos with pagoda-style covering that are made with good wooden planks. Erecting four-poster sitting and dining areas are also a good option, but keep the weather in mind when doing so. If you want to enjoy the rains without getting drenched, colourful umbrellas like the ones available with World Bazaar are the way to go. Keep the lighting simple and subtle, with small lamps like those by Philips’ outdoor lighting implements that are unobtrusive. Ambience is the most important aspect here, and even bright fairy lights will do.

A home in itself - Eco tent Cottages

If you have the luxury of a sprawling garden either at home or at your holiday villa, Loom Crafts can help you make the best use of the space. You can try out one of their Eco Tent Cottages, a special structure that is assembled and positioned in your garden, in accordance with your design requirements. All you do is choose the design and select the materials you wish for the interiors and the company will create the rest. The pre-fabrication takes 20-30 days while the final construction takes 5-10 days, depending on the size of the structure, number of rooms, bathrooms etc. There is no concrete involved and the entire structure can be dismantled and relocated if you wish. The framing of the cottage is made with a special aluminium alloy; each part of the frame is separate and held together using stainless steel jointers. The top covering is PVC coated tensile fabric while the interiors can be made with natural wood finish, laminated wood flooring, tiles, etc. The design elements are left completely up to you. These cottages are definitely luxurious and meant to give you a feeling of being at home, with concealed wiring, water pipelines, working electricity and the rest. The approximate costing of the Eco Tent Cottages by Loom Crafts ranges from Rs 2,500 – Rs 3,500 per sq ft. Camping need no longer mean cramped tents with no modern amenities.

Handy Tools

Weber Summit S-670 Gas Grill

Weber, a well-known name in the world of barbeque introduces the new Weber Summit S-670 Gas Grill. An expansive cooking area, Snap-Jet individual burner ignition, smoker burners and Sear Station technology are some of its features. The Sear Station area reaches temperatures of 800-900 degrees. The grill also has stainless steel Flavourizer bars and lighted control knobs, making for easy use in the dark. It is set up for Indian LPG.

Available at its outlets

Honda HRU 196K1

This new HRU lawn mower from Honda comes with great features that have been added to its predecessor, like a bigger fuel tank, Mow Safe technology, new grass catcher with Dust Direction technology, improved handle grip and folding, new wheel design and improved swing back blades for easier cutting. Your lawn will have never looked so immaculate.

Available through its dealer networks

Barbeque by Electrolux

Cooking outdoors just got more fun with the new addition to the Electrolux family the new Barbeque and Integrated Burner. The barbeque comes with a retractable stainless steel hood, stainless steel and powder coated steel construction, instant electric ignition on all burners, built-in cabinets and warming drawer, discreet wheels for mobility and easy clean interlocking stainless steel grill system. It’s great for a social event at home.

Available at Grandeur Interiors Pvt. Ltd. and online

Bosch ART 26 LI Cordless Trimmer

Bosch introduces the new ART 26 LI Cordless Trimmer to keep your garden lawn and vegetation in check. The trimmer is lightweight and can trim up to a kilometer on a single charge with no need for cables, which is quite remarkable. For precise cutting, the trimmer has an adjustable telescopic handle with a plant protector.

Available at its outlets and Home Town stores

>archana.a@thehindu.co.in

Published on July 10, 2012

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