Wednesday February 12 2014

Five steps to an inviting garden

With a garden placed strategically in your

With a garden placed strategically in your home, it can be an inviting sight for your and any guests you may get. Photos by Constance Obonyo  


First impressions matter to many people. That is why a welcoming aura to usher visitors into your home is important.
Below, Stephen Kigwe of GAN Design Services, a landscaping and gardening company located in Kabalagala along Muyenga Road shares five steps to creating welcoming garden havens.

1. Never underestimate the power of flowers
Plant flowers near the parking lot and along the walkway to the front door. Visitors may not have the chance to walk through your garden, but the flowers will create a welcoming atmosphere around them.

Dig small flowerbeds around the gate also. If you have a small garden, raised beds can do. Build them off the ground on either side of the gate.
You can plant orchids, chrysanthemums, carnations, dianthus, asparagus, verbena or clossandra. Clossandra creeps on the ground and can look nice.

2. Consider planting containers
You could plant cane palms in pots at the gate and hang orchids in baskets there.

3. Make use of your pillars
Some homes have pillars or columns at the side of the gates, doors to the house or on the balconies. Make use of these pillars.
You could hang baskets on these pillars. In the baskets, you could plant ferns, various kinds of succulents like dwarf sansevieria or asparagus. You could also plant them in small pots and paint them in beautiful African styles, in zebra colours for example, which look good.

4. Plant attractive annuals
Some people don’t like annuals, because of the amount of work that they demand, but Kigwe says you should consider some annuals, because they are beautiful. Plant them around the balcony, entrances and along the boundary of the parking lot, because when somebody comes out of a car, these are the plants they peek at. Roses are particularly nice. You could also plant asparagus. However, they don’t produce flowers often. But when they blossom, they look nice and can go for two weeks to a month before they die off.

5. Vary your landscape with miniature containers
If space is a problem, miniature container plants can come in handy. Plant miniatures in small containers and place them on your window sills, along the parking lot boundaries, in front of verandahs and balconies and on the edges of stairs.

You may not have a lawn, for lack of space and you could have opted for a bigger parking lot. Place them strategically about a metre, 30 centimetres or one or two feet along the parking lot. They can add beauty and value to your home.
Also, somebody may drop by and not have the chance to enter your house, to see the beauty of your living room. The beauty around your home may be enough to draw them back again. It could be an ice-breaker as well – something for small talk.