Wednesday January 8 2014

Tips from 2013 that you can carry into the new year

Water plants like the one above became popular

Water plants like the one above became popular last year. Other trends to bring into 2014 from last year are rock gardens (right) and utilising dead plants by decorating them (far right). 

The new year should come with new gardening ideas. But that does not mean we should forget the gems we unearthed last year. Below are the best of them:

Water plants for your patio
A new phenomenon swept across Kampala last year and we can carry it into the new year. According to Paddy Namanya, Manager at The Flower Centre, Freedom City Mall, most people resorted to growing water plants like Lucky Bamboo (lucky bamboo), because they don’t need much maintenance.
“Even when you want to add beauty to them, you can throw crystals into the vases or add fresh cut flowers and mix them with the water plants for a nice bouquet,” he said.

You can cook your own compost
Don’t complicate your life by looking beyond your environment for solutions. With a little sorting, your garbage can save your plants and save you a big chunk of your garbage collection bill in the process.
If you can cook your own food, you can also cook your own compost manure,
Paul Ayebazibwe, a Senior Four student at Midfield Secondary School and a resident of Najjanankumbi shares how his family does it.

“My parents told me to dig a hole at the side of the house, about three feet deep, out of the way of the path. I am responsible for sorting the organic garbage. We have two garbage bins. One is for organic materials and the other is for other garbage materials,” he said.

Utilise wasted garden corners
Have you ever wondered what to do with wasted corners around your garden? They need not be unsightly either. Some are just drab and could do with a little brightening up. They could even end up being the focal point the garden needed all along.

“Homes have corners around the house and in the garden. Some are too small for car parking, especially the parking lot corner points.
“It may be spots where perimeter walls meet and you cannot plant a tree or place a seat there. You can plant a rock garden in these corners,” Stephen Kigwe of GAN Design Services, a landscaping and gardening company located in Kabalagala along Muyenga Road said.
Another vantage point to place your rock garden is the bottom of the house corner, where water from the roof gutters ends up.

Recycle your dead trees
Do you have a dead tree in your garden? If so, cutting it down may not always be the best decision to take. The Arinaitwes in Kansanga, together with Justine Nabwami, a Compound Designer with Jowy Creations came up with an ingenious way of recycling a dead tree in their garden.

“They had a guava tree that had grown old and the fruits were getting rotten. We never wanted to remove the whole tree, so we decided to trim its branches.

“We cut off its main branches and a few remained. Then we came up with the idea of decorating the few remaining branches,’ Nabwami says.
To decorate the tree, they decided to have hanging baskets, planted with flowering and wandering plants upon the different branches.

Floral ornamentals for your garden
“We experienced a dry spell and everything wilted. But that does not mean you should throw your arms up in frustration,” Joseph Kaka, a gardener with Mukwano Tree Planting Association, a collection of nurseries along Mukwano Road in Nsambya said.

“There are floral ornamentals that can withstand dry weather conditions and still have lovely blooms to cheer your garden all year round,” he said, and recommended Miniature Carnations (dianthus caryophyllus) and ornamental geraniums.
If you are looking forward to cultivating a better garden this year, these useful tips should help propel you.
Happy New Year.