Terraced gardens

Terraced gardens

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How to create and care for terraced gardens

The creation of terraced gardens requires careful planning, which primarily regards the positioning of planters and vases in relation to the available surface. Without having to resort to specialized architects, the design can be carried out in complete autonomy, taking care to report the type of plants to be used, the size and size of the vessels, paying attention to the areas where the containers will be placed. The weight of the pots and plants must also be taken into consideration, to avoid excessive loads for the terraces. It is clear that for small spaces it will be preferable to use light and manageable pots, with small plants that give rise to a regular growth: in a larger space, instead, you can indulge even with small shrubs. Finally, the positioning of the irrigation system and water intakes should not be underestimated.

Choose vases and planters

Once the theoretical planning is completed, you can put yourself to work, choosing planters, vases and tubs. The tanks are particularly suitable for those who intend to place plants in series in such a way as to create a natural effect garden. For spaces of average width it is advisable not to use more than three shrubs for each tank. In an eighty centimeter flower box, on the other hand, the two shrubs should not be exceeded.

Plant selection

As for the selection of plants, they will have to be chosen, as well as on the basis of personal tastes, also taking into account the exposure of the terraces and the available surface. A very south-facing terrace, for example, will be subjected to a constant action by the sun's rays, especially during the summer: therefore, it will prefer plants that can resist heat and drought without problems. Those who do not have much time to devote to the terrace garden can opt for similar species, which have the same characteristics of cultivation, so as not to constantly have to change the rates of fertilization and irrigation. In other words, the climatic conditions must also be taken into consideration: it is not by chance that often the choice falls on evergreen species, which have the ability to resist without difficulty to the adversities of the winter months without compromising the aesthetic appearance of the garden. Plants of this type, for example, are the sedum, the lewisia, the pulmonaria, the rodiola, the hypericum, the hellebore, the thyme, the periwinkle, the lavender, the maivivo and the pachysandra. Nothing prevents, of course, from cultivating vegetables such as courgettes and tomatoes, flowering plants like geraniums, typical of balconies, or basil and parsley seedlings, to combine business with pleasure. We see the main features of the most common plants used in terraced gardens. The lewisia appears as a species with remarkable flowering, which prefers a constant exposure to the sun. The periwinkle, on the other hand, is characterized by pink and blue flowers, which bloom in late spring until the month of August: it is an evergreen species, indicated especially for those who want to give their balcony a particularly intense color. Small yellow flowers, however, are those of the sedum, which grows both in partial shade and in the sun: the same characteristic is found in the rodiola, while the hellebore blooms in the winter months, especially in December, and for this reason it is also called Christmas rose. The pulmonaria is characterized by the fantastic shades of the flowers, violet and pink, but also of the leaves, with exceptional silver lines that stand out on the mottled green. Whoever intends to give life to flower beds and hedges, perhaps in combination with roses, can refer to the classic lavender, which must be placed in a sunny position, and which, thanks to its small-sized and lilac colored flowers, releases a decidedly fragrance pleasant. Not to be missed is the little-known pachysandra, which, although it produces few flowers, is appreciated for its plush and abundant leaves, perfect for covering the terrace in its shady areas. Furthermore, a succulent plant cannot be missing: it is the case of the evergreen, suitable for rocky areas and able to withstand the summer heat and winter frost with equal ease.

As for watering, the plants that make up a terrace garden must be bathed regularly, at least once a day in the summer months, more rarely during the rainy season. How to do? It is necessary to wet the surface of the container, being careful not to moisten the plant. Nothing prevents, of course, from using, in particularly large terraces, drip irrigation systems that distribute water at scheduled times and in specific doses. It should be remembered, in conclusion, that a great importance is also covered by the substratum: the soil must be of excellent quality, since the plants are destined to remain in the same pot for many years. The pots, moreover, should be in terracotta, which turns out to be a material that can help drain water in the best possible way: plastic containers, however, are more manageable and easy to move, and therefore more comfortable to use.