insideKENT Magazine Issue 60 - March 2017 - Page 97

WINDOWSILLS AND INDOOR GARDENS Indoor gardens are the ideal solution for those with no outside space at all. If you live somewhere that has no outside garden, there is no reason not to create one inside – you just need to work at it a little first. Windowsills are great places to set up your indoor garden as this allows for your plants to get a good dose of sunlight. You may want to invest in a special irrigation system for keeping them watered, and this can be especially useful if you are away from home at any time, but it isn’t strictly necessary. Just remember to place your indoor garden on a tray or similar so that the excess water doesn’t make too much mess. The best things to grow inside are herbs as they are able to thrive quite happily without the need for too much fresh air. They are also fairly simply to plant and nurture, so for beginners they are perfect. Plus, as a bonus, you can use them in your cooking for an ultrafresh homemade taste. The same goes for fruit and vegetables (strawberries, blueberries, dwarf apples, carrots, onions and salad greens are great at growing indoors, for example). You can even grow some flowers such as begonias, petunias and marigolds. Amaryllis are a great variety to start with if you fancy a room full of flowers – they’re easy to grow (even in winter), and are stunning when the blooms show their beautiful faces. DECK OR BALCONY If your outside space is restricted to a deck or balcony you can still have a beautiful flowering garden there. Balcony gardens have a special, intimate feel to them – they are a secret space just for you; although if and when guests do see your handiwork they won’t fail to be impressed. Since there are no flowerbeds to utilise you will need to think outside the box – or rather, use the box to your advantage. Adding garden boxes to your balcony is a lovely way to improve the look of it as well as offering you the chance to grow your favourite plants and flowers. The fun part is making or finding these boxes yourself. What about wooden wine boxes? They make perfect little beds for planting herbs in, for example. Simply drill a couple of holes in the bottom and fill them with soil – they’re ready to use for planting. Or perhaps jars might work for you? They can be attached using brackets to a wooden board and then fixed to the wall; they look wonderful and you won’t lose any floor space. No matter how you organise your balcony garden or what you choose to grow your plants in, it will look and smell amazing. The perfect plants for a balcony include lavender, Californian poppies and nasturtiums. As well as these, all kinds of salad leaves and tomatoes can be successfully grown on a balcony, as can a variety of dwarf trees such as olives. 97