Floriculture Domestic Flower Growing in Limited Spaces Tips
Decorations made of flowers have been an integral part of mankind’s social, cultural, and traditional traditions, down the ages. There is absolutely no civilization anywhere in the world, which did not use flowers in some form or the other, in the shape of foliage and blossoms for religious rituals as well as personal adornment.
The goddess of flowers has been worshiped in different forms by every ancient civilization in the East and in the West for centuries. Festivals were held every spring in her honor, where everyone did honor to her with garlands of flowers and other flower decorations.
In ancient times, especially in Rome, there were floral games known as Floralia, where the people rejoiced in the coming of spring with flowers. Everyone had to take part in the celebrations, from Caesar to the lowest citizen, because it was a celebration of nature and joy.
This supposedly pagan and heathen-ish ritual came down the ages as the Maypole celebrations, and in medieval times, everybody went May-ing.
When I was a child, we danced around to the floral and ribbon decorated Maypole on the first of May, every child holding a ribbon and dancing to the music, and this was one of the highlights of our year. This ritual/practiced is of course one which was practiced in some form millenniums ago. And these fragrant and bright colored flowers have been part and parcel of human lives since prehistoric times.
I know a lady who cannot pass a Jasmine, hibiscus, poinsettia, or rose without plucking a flower and tucking it into her hair. If I had seen this action as an adult and if I was in a bad mood I would have thought it as a typical piece of feminine coquetry, but since I was a child, I have lived in lands, where it was natural to pluck a flower and either place it in your hair, or in a buttonhole.
Every morning, we children used to weave garlands of orange and white Jasmine, to wear in our hair, because we saw the adults around us, doing that, naturally, and they had learned to do that, traditionally down the ages. The thread we used was banana thread.
Tips for Beginners
But you say, you have no little space of land, in which you could grow something to gladden your heart. I have written books on sustainable space gardening and hydroponics. I have also written books on window gardens and indoor gardens. Do not let any sort of imaginary problems and difficulties prevent you from growing any beautiful plant. You can grow musk, Verbena, campanula, sweet violets, lavender, wallflowers, and herbs, in containers hanging out of your windows to cover city begrimed walls.
I remember a friend who lived in a flat, perched high up in the sky, in a city landscape. The moment I looked out of the window, all I could see was high-rise buildings – all of them ugly – telephone poles and wires and other features of a city, and wondered how anybody could look out of that particular window, and even think of relaxing after a tiring day’s work?
And then I found that she had changed another particular window Vista by a large window box in which she had put in ferns, herbs, flowers, and other plants, which just need a little bit of spraying and syringing with warm and tepid water. Remember that these plants are not something which are difficult to grow, and even a supposedly amateur beginner can grow plants successfully and soon find himself/herself obsessing about them, as a new challenge!
So now, you are going to get tips and tricks on how you can grow these mini gardens, especially window, room, and balcony flower culture and gardening. Ivy, Virginian creeper, Jasmine, fig, and other plants over walls are now being acknowledged as plants which can lower the pollution level, clean the air and that is why green walls of these flowers and plants are being planted all over building surfaces, and if most of us use the excuse that window gardening is a source of continuous responsibility or annoyance, it is time we got out of that particular mindset.
However, you need to water them regularly. You may also need to get rid of the weeds occasionally. One of the reasons why so many people fail in window gardening is possibly because we have not chosen the right plant for our particular climate. Just imagine that you are living in a cold zone area with harsh winters.
You saw a number of tropical plants, in exotic locales and you wanted them blossoming in your garden. The only problem is that the climate in your area is not conducive to that particular plant’s growth. That is why, you as a beginner have to look for native, hardy, common plants which have a robust constitutional nature.
Once you see that you have a successful growth rate of these particular plants, you are going to start thinking of tender and perhaps valuable varieties. So do not go for a tropical zone plant in the first instance, but if you want to do a little bit of experimentation, look for temperate zone plants, if you are living in a cold zone and want something more exotic.
These are going to include herbaceous plants, annuals, shrubs, and bulbs. These can grow happily within the temperate zone temperature conditions of your flat or apartment.
You have to remember that all the blossoms on your plant are going to bloom in profuse splendor only as long as they are not allowed to turn into seed. Once the seeding process starts, the plant is going to be “injured” more than the presence of a great number of buds is going to have on the health of the plant.
Make sure that you cut all your flowers, before they start to fade. And then place them all over your house to lighten your temper, freshen the atmosphere, and make into bouquets to give to your friends, family members, and acquaintances.
Once you think that your flowers have gone past their blossoming time, especially if they are annuals you will want to collect their seeds for the next season. So just allow three or four seed pods to ripen, so that the rest of the flowers can keep blooming profusely, and for a longer period of time.
This seed, which you have grown yourself is going to be of a much superior quality than that which you find in nurseries.
If you have a dry sort of atmosphere in your apartment, it is going to affect the health of your plants. That is because the arid atmosphere causes the foliage to give off even more water vapor, and unless you keep syringing your plant, you are going to have a wilting willow.
Any plants that I have growing inside, is given an airing regularly in the fresh air, twice every week. Let them have a fresh mouthful of oxygen too. After that, they are sprinkled with water from a very fine Rose watering can, somewhat simulating our spring showers. The plant perks up immediately! If you have plenty of summer showers, place your plants outside to get rid of all the grime, dust and other particles of pollution and impurities that may have settled on their foliage.If your plants are growing outside your window, or on your Terrace, do a little bit of syringing and sprinkling occasionally, so that they think that hurray, it is raining.
Let me tell you an amusing story about a friend, who did not allow her little kid to use a water sprinkler, because that kid made such a mess. So that creative little fella just went into the garage and came back with a Flit Gun. This was very much in vogue, up to 30 years ago, for sprinkling that well-known pesticide Flit, all over the place. That gun had not been used before, so it was not contaminated with pesticides. So there he was happily spraying the plants with water, and his mom was marveling at his ingenuity!
If you do not have a spray, this is going to work just like the modern-day highly pressurized aerosol container.
Preparing Your Windowsill Boxes and Containers
It is not necessary for you to spend lots and lots of money on pots, and containers, unless you intend your windowsill to be a showpiece. Whenever I go for a walk, I just stay on the lookout for soft drink bottles, strong food containers, or any other watertight containers, which can be used for growing plants, with a little bit of sprucing up.
Clean them thoroughly, and dry them in the sun. Now take some pieces of broken flower pots, which are known as crocks and place them right over the bottom of your container in which you have drilled a number of holes for drainage.
Cover the main drainage hole with a piece of crock which is convex in shape. Now put the container under your tap and see if the water drains out. If it does, well and good, that means the pieces of small crock are not blocking the water drainage outlet holes.
The next layer is going to be made up of moss or turf. That is to prevent the soil from washing away, with the drainage water through the holes.
Now we come to the soil. The best soil is, of course, natural soil which you can get from the woods, rich and full of organic nutrients, like loam, leaf compost, pieces of soil, and other material, which has been helping in plant growth for millenniums.
The pot has to be filled up with a good and sweet soil, rich in loam and humus and organic fertilizer – I normally put this soil in a huge tub, don a pair of gardening gloves, pick up my friendly gardening sturdy trowel, and begin filling the pot. When I am half way done, I alternate this soil with a couple of trowels of fine river sand, in which I have added a little bit of gravel and grit, just for the fun of it.
Choosing Your Plant Before You Buy It
Do not buy a fully grown specimen just because you found it so attractive in the nursery. That is because when it is taken from one atmosphere to the other, it is going to decline steadily, especially when the high-temperature turns cold.
The plant which you are going to use in your apartment has to be left for a little while outdoors, so that it hardens to the temperature. Or you can leave it in the temperature as cool as your room or even a bit cooler, so that it says, well, this temperature I can bear, and I will grow here.
Start with seedlings or plants which are rooted cuttings, young and able to adapt themselves to a possible climactic change. That is because they are easily able to inure themselves to any new fresh conditions. Let me take the example of an adult human being. Look at our kids and grandkids. Pick them up and transplant them into any new location and land, and if they are the adventurous sort, they are going to take to the new environment like a duck to the water. As for us adults, we are so used to our own personal environment, that the mere idea of relocating from our comfort zone is enough to bring in a fit, and extra stress and tension.
So, catch the little plants young, so that they can grow vigorously in your windowsill. If you go through flower markets in a number of cities, especially London [also Park Lane, thoroughfares in the West End area and Piccadilly] and Paris in the autumn and in the summer, you are going to find cuttings and seedlings which have been grown in cold outdoor pits, and in growing frames.
These are native plants. So when they are transplanted in your windowsill, or indoors, they are going to flourish, if you take just a little bit of good care of them.
If you do not have a balcony, do not despair. You can make a window box, which can be fitted right onto your sill. A common wooden box can be of any dimensions you want. You can also use other materials like as they did in the 19 century, wood that had been varnished, boxes made of zinc which were lined outside with tiles which were enamelled, and even cork. These boxes were quite well-suited for ordinary plants, animals, climbers, and hardy bulbs.
I was just walking through the streets of an old city, and saw an excellent old vintage innovation, which must have been around for more than 100 years. Somebody thought of suspending a number of plants, outside his window, with the help of a bracket pot. a wide expanse of solid brick or stone. After that, make sure that your metal container with a little bit of ornamentation on it is attached firmly to the wall surface with a bracket. Fill the container with just those plants, which can hang outside the basket/container and cover the wall. The amount of soil that you put in the bracket container is of course going to be just enough in order to encourage root growth in a limited space.
This book has given you a beginners insight into growing flowers in a limited space. So remember just a couple of tips, before you start growing them, and you are never going to feel that gardening is such a hassle.
Firstly, the soil has to be rich in natural and organic fertilizer. After that, you should be very careful about proper draining.
Organic fertilizer is normally obtained through natural products, which can decompose easily to provide lots of food and nutrients to your growing plant. Along with that, they are going to give you a firm medium, in which the root can take hold, and your plant can grow without worrying about getting uprooted.
If your pot is full of dust and just ordinary soil, without any fibrous particles, you are going to find a dry and solid hard mass of soil, which is not conducive to good plant growth. That means the moment you are going to water a plant with such a sedimentary mass, you are soon going to have a solid clod base which is not going to allow any plant to thrive and flourish in it.
So remember that your plants should always have lots of material which can decompose properly especially when you have picked up the soil from any pasture ground, woods, and other natural places where the nutrients are already present and decomposing in the soil. Chop up this soil or crumble it with your hand without getting rid of any of the fibrous material. Never sift this soil because that means you are removing all the particles which provide the decomposing nutrients.
However, you may want to pulverize the soil between your fingers so that you have a fine medium for potting tender young plants. Loam and peat is a good addition to this medium. Do not go in for any sort of loam, which is made up of animal fertilizer and sand, which unfortunately is being sold as a good medium for beginners plant cultivation.
The best loam is always going to be obtained in pastures, and it is going to be of nut or yellowish colored earth which is going to be rich in fiber. Collect enough loam, to make a layer of about 3 inches in thickness and allow it to dry naturally for a month or so. This is the most valuable loam, which is excellent for your plants. Loam, which is full of sand, or with clay is not good plant material.
Peat is of course the most natural nourishing soil, which is dark brown and black soil obtained from heaths. Being very rich in vegetable matter, it is best used mixed up with loam. But before that, collect all the peat you can and allow it to dry for a little while under cover because it is hygroscopic if left out in the rain, and is going to become really heavy, soggy, and wet to be used immediately.
Leaf mold, of course, is one of the best composed materials which you are going to use so when the autumn leaves begin drifting down your window, put them in compost heaps, so that they can decompose during the winter and provide you with lots of leaf soil and compost mixed up with peat and loam.
Sand is of two types, road and yellow sand as well as white colored sand. You can use any of these sands, as long as it is clean and sharp as well as washed well and gritty. If the sand is very fine, it is going to be really cloggy, so avoid it, as far as possible.
While you are washing the sand, just see if the water is milky or red colored. That means the sand has lots of iron content and lime content. Do not use this kind of sand.
Sphagnum – also known as Moss – is excellent for cultivating ferns, wicker baskets full of lilies and roses, crocus, Ivy, Lycopodiums, horsetails, and even plants which grow in Alpine regions.
Moss is excellent spread at the bottom of a glass case, and as long as it is moist, it is going to grow well and freely. Sprinkle warm water on the Moss twice a day, if the weather is dry, or once a day if the weather is humid.
And then of course organic fertilizer is necessary to help your plant grow in a healthy manner, bringing joy to your windowsills or your indoor garden.
So enjoy your gardening experiment, Live Long and Prosper!