How To Lay Out Your Terrace Garden, What Plants To Grow And How To Maintain The Garden

This article deals with lay out a terrace or a roof garden. What plants can be grown in a terrace garden. Why is it necessary to have terrace garden in a house? How a terrace garden should be maintained? Finally it makes an appeal to readers to enjoy the photos of the author’s terrace garden taken by him.

Why is it necessary to have a terrace garden?

Terrace garden in a duplex house or roof garden in any other house is the most beautiful place for a house owner or anyone visiting the house to look at. Usually people in metros and big cities and towns take go to gardens and parks if they want to be in the midst of nature. But this they can do only a few occasions when they have a holiday or a free time to visit these places. The students studying in schools get this opportunity when the school authorities take them to such places on school picnics or excursions. Sometimes a few families join together and go for an outing to a park or a garden. These days many resorts have come up on the outskirts of big cities where people go on picnics and enjoy their holiday. All these places take you away from the stone houses to a beautiful lay out of flowering and ornamental plants. But there is nothing like one’s own home garden where one can be among natural surroundings of plants and flowers whenever one has leisure or a period to relax. However, this privilege can be enjoyed only by the house owners who have a lot of space in front of their houses to lay out the gardens. This has become almost impossible by the presence of high rise buildings all around the houses and space restrictions in the big cities. Obviously, the alternative is a terrace garden or a roof garden which gives one a wonderful and the most beautiful place to relax during one’s leisure time. Imagine the pleasure you get sipping a cup of coffee or chatting with your family, friends or relations sitting among the greenery of your terrace garden. When you look after the garden yourself, the satisfaction of looking after your plants will make you feel sublime. When you are taking care of a plant, you will feel as you are looking after your own small baby. The aromatic smell of the flowers and plants of your garden at the time of the rising morning sun or at the pleasingly cool rays of the setting sun is the feeling which you cannot enjoy even in a municipal park or a garden. If you want to rejuvenate your spirits after the day’s hard work, just go and relax in your terrace or roof garden.


How should you ideally lay out a terrace garden?

A terrace garden can be laid in the open space of duplex houses. If open space is not available in front of rooms, then the only alternative left is the roof garden. These terrace gardens or roof gardens can be designed and shaped in different ways according to the space available and the type of the building. Any building whether a house, a hotel, an educational institution or a corporate office can lay these gardens. However, these will be encouraged in buildings where the house owner or the administrator of a building has a love for plants and nature. One can lay a terrace or roof garden if the terrace or the roof is strong enough to support the weight of the red soil one has to use in the plant beds. One can divide the terrace in small beds and can have a number of earthen pots to grow the plants. The care should be taken to fully make the terrace or roof water proof and provision should be made to drain of the water from the plant beds and the earthen pots. The water should not be allowed to stagnate in the plant beds or pots. That is why the first layer at the bottom of the soil bed has to be a mixture of sand and small pebbles that will allow the water to be constantly drained out. It will be better to lay tiles that would not only give a beautiful look to the garden but would also prevent water from seepage into the roof. One can arrange these plants and soil beds in such a way so as to give an aesthetic look to one’s terrace or the roof garden. A particular type of plants can be arranged in small groups. For example, crotons can be put in one corner and the asparagus group of plants can be put in another corner. A jasmine climber can be given a support to climb high to get sweet smelling flowers. I suggest putting rose plants in little bigger pots that should be placed on the part of roof where there is a beam underneath to support the extra weight of the large pots. One can construct small walls of about one and half feet high on the length of the beam underneath and grow chrysanthemums in those drains which will give your garden a lovely look when they bloom in the months October, November, December and January.


What plants are suitable to grow in a terrace or roof garden?

A terrace or a roof garden makes our environments look clean and lively. The plants in these gardens not only add to the beauty of the surroundings which pleases our eyes and mind, but they also have a therapeutic value. One can grow a variety of plants in one’s terrace or roof garden. They may range from simple, beautiful and ornamental crotons, grassy asparagus to lovely flowering plants like roses, chrysanthemums, marigolds, verbenas, gladiolus, begonias, petunias, balsams, cannas, lilies, poinsettias etc. A jasmine creeper going up your sloping cover of the balcony will add glory to your building. The women folk of the household would definitely love and admire this. One can grow several kinds of medicinal plants in these gardens which come handy in treatment of certain kinds of ailments. The Tulasi, the Aloe Vera, the Bryophyllum etc. are the medicinal plants which can be easily grown in pots in the terrace or the roof gardens. The roof or the terrace garden is the right place for you to practice bonsai. A bonsai is a dwarf ornamental tree or shrub grown in a tray or shallow pot by arranging mud and stones in the pot in such a way that the roots of the plant keep on moving round and round in the same pot. The life of a bonsai plant increases many times than an ordinary plant. One can grow dwarf varieties of fruit plants like figs, guavas, lemons, sapotas etc. One can turn one’s terrace or roof into a vegetable garden by growing a variety of vegetable plants. There are several vegetable plants like ladies finger, tomatoes, brinjals (egg plants), gourds, chillies etc. which you can grow in terrace garden. The taste of the vegetables when you cook them will be entirely different from those which you buy from the market. The reason is obvious. The vegetables of your garden are fresh and mostly grown by using organic manure and not the hybrid ones which are available in the market. The mint and coriander plants grown in your garden not only add flavour to your cooked vegetables and salads but the fragrance you get standing near these sweet smelling plants fill your mind with a sense of pleasure.


How should you maintain your terrace garden

The most important thing is to maintain the garden. One has to take care of the plants in the same way as one takes care of one's small children. Some of the plants are very sensitive and a small negligence will cause them to dry up. The red soil has to be made rich in various nutrients required for the growth of the plants by way of adding organic manure and sometimes chemical fertilisers. But I prefer organic manures like the cow dung or the waste of the poultry farm etc. Employ an experienced gardener if you can or look after the garden yourself learning its upkeep from various sources like the internet. A regular pruning of plants has to be done of certain plants. Unnecessary flowers have to be removed from crotons very often. Dry twigs and dry leaves have to be removed now and then. Turning of the soil at intervals will give strength to your plants to bear more flowers and fruits. Watering the plants at regular intervals is of the utmost importance to your garden. Always remember that some plants need more water but some others need less of water. Most of the things about your garden you will learn by experience if you are looking after your garden yourself. Watering of plants should be done at least twice during the summer season and at least once during winter. During the rainy season, the greenery which your terrace garden gives will make you to have an ecstatic feeling. Please be watchful not to over water the plants during the rainy season since there will be lot moisture in the atmosphere. Make use of insecticides or pesticides when you find any attack of insects or pests which are harmful to the plants. Preferably, cover the plants with a net supported by bamboos or some other poles during the hot summer days. Alternatively find some shade under a balcony to place the plants which are very sensitive to the hot sun.


Photos of my terrace garden

Last but not the least; I want the reader of this article to share my joy by looking at the photos taken by me of my terrace garden. There are many of them but I could attach only a few of them due to lack of space allotted for photos. The photographs by themselves display how carefully a terrace garden has to be managed to make one happy watching at it.

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Author: Runa N Borah30 Apr 2011 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 1

Hi Sukhdevji,

Your terrace garden is very beautiful and it shows how much care and pampering it gets from you.

Thanks for sharing the pictures.

Author: Aditya30 Apr 2011 Member Level: Gold   Points : 1

This article is really informative and must read for gardening enthusiasts like me. The pictures of your terrace garden are really adorable.

Author: Bhavani30 Apr 2011 Member Level: Gold   Points : 1

Hi Sukhdev,

Your terrace garden is really awesome. Lovely greener photographs indeed. I love gardening. Your article has provided great information about terrace garden. Is sky farming different from terrace garden?

Guest Author: RIAZ AHMED KHAN09 Jul 2014

Having a terrace garden is good but before going for it we must be sure that the terrace are is having proper slope like the water should flow freely , there should not be any stagnant of water and then necessary filtration materials should be laid like versicell or drainage cell, geo fabric cloth , sand , coco peat to reduce the weight and red soil , finally any thing can be planted like lawn and plants.

Guest Author: V.R.HIREMATH29 Sep 2014


Guest Author: Amil Kumar Hrangkhaw09 Apr 2015

What are the plants we can used for landscaping at least up to the human height of 5 feet and above?

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