Outdoor Attractions:Accessories for your garden

-Samridhi Goyal

Lights in trees give the effect of moonlight and creating shadows through lights is interesting. A reflective water feature also looks good. All this and more goes towards the making of a garden that can still the worries in your mind and take you away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Growing a garden is much more than having trees, flowers, and grass in an enclosed space. It needs to have a character and identity of its own. What elements make it complete? We explore.

Garden flooring: Wooden flooring works well in small spaces and can be placed over concrete, making its removal easy too. It also gives a rustic feel. A mixture of pea gravel, concrete geckos, colored tile, and flagstone is nice to look at, stimulating, and easy to maintain. Concrete pavers give a modern, classy feel. Multicolored stones for flooring lend to old-world charm. Ipe decking helps you keep cool in summers. Artificial grass used as flooring lets you enjoy the natural look. You can use a section of patterned tiled in the garden for a different look. Boulders lining the pathway gives an authentic look. Concrete treated with chemicals gives the look of faux slate.

Garden gates: Garden gates need to be sturdy as well as beautiful. They can be made of copper and other metals and can be reinforced with glass. They can have beautiful designs and carvings on them. They should be spiked or barbed so that there is security. Things like old bicycle tires can be part of the gate too.

Garden seating: Where you install seating is of utmost importance, it has to be somewhere far from the prying eyes of the neighbors, thus creating a sense of privacy. The view that the garden overlooks is equally important and the treatment of the place depends on that. It is essential that the seating area has shelter from the heat, rain, and other elements of weather. It could be anything from a parasol and wooden cladding to jute hangings and hedging. You can even install some gadgets like a mini Mp3 player along the seating for some good music. Foliage such as bamboos, herbs, or a grapevine provides great shade, design, and some great views. Benches work great in gardens. It could be anything from wooden, steel, curved, built-in, and so on. They can be fitted with light and double up as storage. If deep enough, it can be used as a daybed. Chairs and tables work well too, especially in windy areas; round tables work well in smaller spaces. Loungers provide a vantage view of the sky and allow one to choose location.

Water features: You can install features such as fountain, lake, and pond to enhance the beauty of the garden. A reflective water feature looks good. Landscapers can stain the water dark to give a color resembling that of trees. A fountain installed behind a steel backed outdoor seating is a new idea. A pond with a stone water feature enhances the area. Distressed wood with bamboo creates a tropical waterfall. Galvanized steel make some interesting water features. Geometric shaped water features give a spa-like feel. Black pebbled stones used in water features give a distinct feel. Multileveled waterfall with stone wall is a unique concept. Planters can be used as water features too.

Garden lighting: Garden lights should be interesting enough for people to give a second glance as they pass by. Path lighting is all about placement, a hint as to where to go. The less the better. Place them near interesting plants to add color and texture. You can place lights in trees to give the effect of moonlight. Seating areas benefit from high, overhead lighting to create an intimate feel. In combination with moonlighting, warm tabletop candles provide that pop. Hardscape lighting also work; you can even light up features from within to give a storybook feel. You can use blue lights to intensify greenery. Creating shadows through lights is interesting.

Landscaping: Flowers lining the garden path is an apt way of landscaping. Ornamental grasses soften the look too. Flowers and vines climbing up the wall look pretty. Fences provide intimacy. Rockeries look nice too. Interior designer Kanchan Shrestha says, “Landscape includes paths, water features, and sitting areas. The quality of grass and types of flora, including trees, plants, and flowers, make a difference too. Hedges help create boundaries whether they are tall or short. While planting, one should have a good idea of design as it accentuates the whole look of the garden. Taking care of the garden and maintaining it by regular watering, proper use of fertilizers, trimming of hedges, and moving of grass should be kept in mind.”

Garden statues: Garden statutes depicting different gods, animals, and such add beauty to the place. You can even add a swing to enjoy especially in monsoons.

Sunita Acharya, owner of Thong-na-Gawa, shares, “In our garden, we have a mix of traditional and modern elements. We have garden benches, a swing, a small pond, some beautiful statues, and practical landscaping. We make sure that the garden is well maintained and the furniture stays in good shape.”

Happy gardening folks! Enjoy the joys of gardening and get your hands dirty.

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