After the long winter is over, most home-owners are eager to surround themselves with lots of eye-delighting greenery and bright colorful flowers. If your suburban cottage features a large terrace, why not arrange a small garden as a warm-season exterior decoration of the house?
Terrace Garden: Basic Ideas
The terrace is the intermediate chain link between your house and the garden; therefore, the presence of ornamental plants in this area is a must, according to most USA and UK designers. Decorating the terrace with pot herbs is a major topic that borders on both interior and landscape design. Below are several popular tricks used to introduce the beautiful floral layer into the zone:
- A rim formed from ornamental bushes and shrubs is an excellent way to beautify the extension externally;
- At the base of the terrace you may create a big and bright front flowerbed or a mixed border;
- A stunning decorating method involves surrounding the area with espaliers and let the climbing plants (lianas) entwine them.
- In the territory of the terrace, you can create beautiful arrangements from pot plants: place them on the floor, elevated surfaces or holders, or suspend them from the ceiling (cachepots).
- If the terrace features a wide flight of stairs, select a few most aesthetically appealing flowerpots and place them on the steps.
Choosing The Flowerpots
The modern-day market offers amateur and US professional gardeners every opportunity to show what they’re capable of. From the cheapest plastic boxes to exclusively designed flowerpots and planters, cachepots and baskets – all these variants and combinations thereof can be used in creating the terrace garden of your dream.
Compact containers are the most convenient choice. You can always move them around to create new ornamental arrangements. This will enable you to fairly easily renovate the terrace interior a couple times during the summer season. If the planters are meant to be large and heavy, have a look at wheeled options. Most terrace garden layouts can be implemented with involvement of only four types of pots: round, high-rise square, low-rise square, and rectangular.
When choosing the pots, keep in mind that their depth should be no less than 10 inches. The planter’s bottom must have drainage holes. Worth recalling, for planting an ornamental herb into a pot, cover its bottom with a 1-inch-thick layer of gravel and add another inch of sand – only after that there comes the soil. Once the plant is successfully put into its new home, the soil should remain 1-1.5 inches below the edge of the flowerpot.
Choosing The Plants: General Tips & Recommendations
Avoid creating an “impassable jungle” on the terrace and always keep your garden trim and neat, without compromising on its beauty or your comfort. The plants should not be located in the passage area or prevent you from seeing a guest who is sitting across from you. The presence of decorative flowerpots is not supposed to significantly reduce the amount of free space. If the terrace is really small, your gardening options will probably be limited to climbing plants: espaliers enliven the interior greatly, while occupying little space. When choosing the ornamental plants for your terrace, follow the following rules:
- Select the herbs that comply with your climate conditions and the area’s exposure to sunlight during different times of the day;
- Planning to utilize plants that are known to thrive and expand, leave enough space for them to sprawl;
- Consult the blooming calendar about different species and create an arrangement that preserves its decorative effect throughout the warm season;
- Plants of the same species or the same color should better be planted in small groups, as this will enable you to create spots of a saturated color in your floral arrangements.
- The variety of seasonal plants can be complemented with pot plats intended for in-house growing
Seasonal Plants: Spring-Summer & Summer-Autumn Ideas
Long gone are the times when amateur gardeners used only two or three types of annual ornamental plants for planting in boxes and containers. Nowadays, new species of one-year flowering herbs have been designed and raised specifically for pot planting, as well as a number of plurannual plants that tolerate being planted in boxes. If your terrace is small, rather than encumbering it with an unnecessary number of boxes and pots, pay greater attention to the choice of plants and herbs.
The spring-summer terrace gardening season will benefit from the plants listed below:
- caper spurge hybrids;
- yellow cress hybrids;
- white sedge grass;
- corydalis speciosa;
- tufted pansy;
- creeping loose-strife (two-penny grass);
- esparto needle grass;
- alum root (coral bells);
- doronicum orientale;
- European ivy;
- carnation grass
In the mid-summer, you can remove the spring plants that have ceased to blossom and replace them with the herbs that enter into the blooming phase in fall. A list of autumn ornamental plants for the terrace is provide below:
- citron thyme;
- sage (salvia) hybrids;
- petunia species and hybrids;
- morning glory;
- everlasting (immortelle);
- decorative basil species;
- torch lily;
- phygelius hybrids.