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A NEW GARDENER IN TOWN?

By Vision Reporter

Added 3rd November 2006 03:00 AM

Many times, people look their gar-dens and see them as a burden, to be tended, tidied and dealt with.

Many times, people look their gar-dens and see them as a burden, to be tended, tidied and dealt with.

By Harriet Birungi and agencies
Many times, people look their gar-dens and see them as a burden, to be tended, tidied and dealt with. They see them as extra work that interferes with their daily routine, instead of life-enhancing beauties.

But Ester Atukin, head gardener at Centenary park says having a cared for garden is more than adding value to your house. A garden brings back life that the city takes out of you. It relieves the soul in a way that is incomparable.

For, especially people who live in urban areas, having plants in one’s surrounding, helps one stay in touch with nature on top of providing a natural air freshener.

“It does not have to matter what size the plants occupy, as long as you can feel cozy and comfortable. Size should be something that is furthest from your mind. If it is small, the better as you will take less time tending,” advises Atukin.

However, the point should be how to create and keep your garden as beautiful. This involves looking at many pointers in your surrounding. The surrounding starts with the person him/herself.

A good garden depends on how one views, approaches it plus where it is located.

If it is looked at as something that interferes with one’s daily duties, takes a lot of one’s money and time tiding it up, then it will not be as good. Because no one wants to spend all their savings and energies on the garden, then priority must be taken in choosing a strategic place for it.

Strategic places can be; where you look first thing in the morning or when you enter a gate, favourite spot for relaxing after a hectic day at work or a cool corner in the home – when everywhere seems hot.

Which direction remains a bit warm when the sun falls, which space gets the sun in the morning or later in the evening? These can help determine the location of the garden.

In addition one needs to look at the boundary walls or fence in relation to the neighbour’s to decide what type of plants to grow.

Although traffic fumes and noise cannot be gotten rid of, they can give you a pointer of using water fountains to minimise the noise destruction, plants with leaves that rustle in the wind and sweet-scented ones to mask off the smell.

The rubbish collecting points can be an eye-sore that they need to be hidden by using tall plants. If the place is windy, tall plants will break.

So you will need to plant shrubs. Is the soil nutritious, thick or dry that it needs a lot of soil supplements? Most soils can be replenished with addition of lots of composite to make it come back to life.

Remember, your garden is not an island, but affected by the surroundings. Shape is another issue one should not forget. The garden can be the traditional square, corn, round or stretch away from the house.

The square garden can be enhanced with its corners turned into corn shapes using stones.

But to maintain the traditional feel, pots and stones can be used as decorative components to create contrast with the green plants, advises Atukin.

“Such a stone garden will be good if located at the main entrance, near a dull fence; next to the gate or in a corner near the house, where you put your eyes first thing in the morning,” she added.

It is also easy to maintain as the stones hold the soil in one place which is good at minimising weed growth.

Alternatively, the round- shaped garden can be put in the centre of the square so that tall trees with deeper roots are planted and enclosed in the circle.

Having trees in the middle will provide shades where one can relax in a hot afternoon, while controlling root penetration into the neighbour’s space.
Nevertheless, Atikun says there are as many ways to get to a beautiful garden as the plants used.

One should not be afraid to make a mistake, to the extent that gardening is seen as too complicated a chore instead of being fun.

A NEW GARDENER IN TOWN?

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