Zodiac Gardening

Flowers can brighten your mood even on the darkest of days.Be it an elegant bouquet for your mother on mother’s day, a red rose for your beloved or a pretty bunch for a sick friend, flowers have a way of conveying feelings when words fail.

They are sometimes the central theme for a poet’s verse and sometimes a muse for the artist. The sheer beauty of a flower makes it a natural go-to choice for decoration and gifting.

Have you ever wondered if there is a certain flower for every person of a zodiac sign? Well there is and the concept is called Zodiac gardening. Zodiac gardening as the name suggests, is planting and growing flowers according to your zodiac signs. For many out there, Zodiac flowers are a way of self-discovery. These flowers are a reflection of one’s personality.You don’t need to be a believer in zodiac astrology to try this out. All you need is a curious mind, the desire to experiment and of course an unrequited love for gardening which all of you visitors at GreenMyLife surely have.

Go on and find out the flower of your zodiac sign!

ARIES- THE FIERY HONEYSUCKLE

Honeysuckle

A fire sign Aries represents confidence, dynamic energy, and true adventure. They are true leaders and trendsetters. The fiery nature of Aries syncs perfectly with its birth flowers thistle and honeysuckle. There are some other flowers too that suit the characteristics of Aries such as bryony, peppermint, tiger lily, geranium, hops, impatiens, onions, hollyhock, thorn-bearing trees, and shrubs.

TAURUS- THE SENSUOUS FOXGLOVE

Foxglove

Taurus is an earth sign and its attributes are stubbornness, sensuality, and sensitivity. Along with those characteristics, they show humility, strength, warmth and are well grounded. Apart from Foxglove, other flowers that signify the characteristics of Taurus are poppy, daisy, violet, columbine, mallow, berries, sundew, ash, cypress, vine, apple, crab apple, pear, fig, citrus, and palms.

GEMINI-THE PLAYFUL LILIES OF THE VALLEY

Lily Of The valley

Known for their multifaceted, playful personalities Gemini also embodies deep passion and an introspective attitude. Their creative and illuminating imagination blends in with their birth flower: Lillis of the valley. Other flowers that symbolize the characteristics of Gemini are lavender, maidenhair fern, myrtle, fern, orchid, chrysanthemum, lilac, azalea, nut-bearing trees and hazel.

CANCER-THE SERENE WHITE ROSE

White roses depict the emotional, strong-headed and sensitive nature of the Cancerians. Other flowers that bear these characteristics are bear’s breeches, morning glory, geranium, lily, water lily, cabbage, lotus, verbena, Southern magnolia, cow parsley, and white flowers

LEO-THE CYNOSURE MARIGOLD

Marigold

Bold, energetic and extrovert, Leos surely love attention and their birth flower Marigold mirrors these traits. Other flowers that depict their personality traits are sunflower, passion flower, vines, rosemary, aster, larkspur, dahlia, heliotrope, palm, bay, laurel, walnut, olive, and citrus trees.

VIRGO-THE METICULOUS BUTTERCUP

Perfection is the middle name for those born under the zodiac sign Virgo. Along with those traits, an analytical, methodical and reflective approach makes buttercup the birth flower for the people with this zodiac sign. Other flowers in the gamut are narcissus, chrysanthemum, aster, all brightly colored small flowers (particularly blue or yellow), cherry and nut bearing trees.

LIBRA- THE BALANCED BLUEBELLS

Bluebells

Librans are known for their ethos of justice, belief in truth and their penchant for striking a balance in their life. Since the birth flower is bluebell for Librans, these flowers should be grown in a well-organized and balanced proportion(owing to their characteristic of balancing things in life). Other flowers that depict the characteristics of Libra are large roses, aster, hydrangea, mint, daisy, berries, plum, ash, and poplar.

SCORPIO- THE PASSIONATE GERANIUMS

Germaniums

For the passionate, intense, insightful, creative and tenacious Scorpios, Geraniums are the flowers that embody all of these traits. Other flowers that symbolize these attributes are rhododendron, holly, black-eyed Susan, scarlet monkey flower, anemone, heather, gardenia, honey suckle, cactus, Arian flowers, yew, blackthorn, and bushy trees.

SAGITTARIUS-THE INTENSE CARNATION

Carnation

Sagittarians represents intellect and strength. They also have an eye for adventure. So, the Carnation is the flower that perfectly symbolizes all of these qualities. Other flowers that symbolize the characteristics of Sagittarius are – Pinks and carnations, dandelion, clematis, peony, blackberry, thistle, moss, sage, rush, lime, birch, mulberry, oak, ash, and chestnut.

CAPRICORN- THE ROOTED PANSY

Pansy

Practical and willful Capricorns are synonymous with deep-rooted flowers like Pansy. Other flowers that mirror their persona are Ivy, heartsease, love-lies-bleeding, pansy, knapweed, hemp, Scotch broom, trillium, baby’s breath, camellia, magnolia, pine, elm, yew, willow, aspen, poplar, and hemlock.

AQUARIUS-THE INSIGHTFUL ORCHID

Orchid

Insightful, independent, romantic and faithful Aquarians have Orchids as their birth flower. Orchids is a perfect symbolization for their ever-romantic personalities. Other flowers that symbolize the characteristics of Aquarius are Solomon’s seal, orchid, golden rain, goldenrod, jack-in-the-pulpit, bird of paradise, gladiolus, trillium, kiwi, fruit trees, elderberry, olive, and alder.

PISCES- THE COMPASSIONATE WATER LILY

Gentle attitude, imaginative thinking, and reactive nature makes water lily a beautiful birth flower for this water sign. However, there are other flowers too symbolizing its nature. They include poppy, rhubarb, yarrow, clematis, wisteria, lilac, orchid, willow, fig, and other trees growing near water.

Now that you know your birth flowers, select flowers that would complement your personality and garden on!

Top-10 ornamental plants for vertical garden

Top 10 ornamental plants for vertical garden

In a vertical garden, we can grow a wide range of plants; some are edible, some strictly for beautifying purposes, while some are for both. Vertical gardens are a green solution to urban gardening problems within a limited space. Ornamental plants not only add to the aesthetic sense of the place but also help in making the space eco-friendly.

In this write up we will discuss the various ornamental plants including both foliage and flowering plants.

NOTE: Check out our portable vertical gardens – these are easy to install and maintain – and you can buy them online and get them home delivered anywhere in India !

Foliage:

  • Sword Fern: They are most common vertical garden plants used, nowadays. Often grown in hanging baskets on green walls.
  • Botanical name: Nephrolepis exaltata
  • Light and temperature: light to heavy shade; most ferns like an average temperature of 65-75 degrees F
  • Soil: pH should be around 7-8
  • Water: regular watering and never let the soil get completely dry.
  • Height: up to 4-5 feet

 

  • Golden Pothos or Money plant: It is a vining plant that is super easy to care for. They easily grow and spread over a wide length of the wall. Botanical name: Epipremnum aureum
  • Light and temperature: money plant prefers indirect light and will tolerate low light; thrives better in humid areas such as bathroom walls
  • Soil: grows best in fertile loamy soil of pH range 6.0-7.5;
  • Water: needs watering every 7 to 10 days when the top 2 inches of soil is dry
  • Height: grows up to a length of 20 feet
money plant

money plant

 

  • English ivy: Ivy is a hardy, evergreen vine. It attaches itself by aerial rootlets to the walls and other surfaces. Grown primarily for its lush foliage, which forms a cool green cover on walls or whichever vertical surface they’re grown on.
  • Botanical name: Hedera helix
  • Light and temperature: full to partial sun; 50-70 degrees F
  • Soil: well-drained loamy soil, either acidic, neutral or alkaline in nature
  • Water: average watering is required
  • Height: 20-90 feet
english ivy growing vertically

english ivy growing vertically

 

  • Giant lilyturf: They have dense spreading strap-like leaves that are glossy and dark green. Though it is grown for its dense green foliage, it does bloom in summer and its flowers are quite showy.
  • Botanical name: Liriope gigantea
  • Light and temperature: full-sun to full-shade; 60-70 degrees F
  • Soil: well-drained loamy or clayey soil with pH ranging from neutral to acidic
  • Water: needs regular watering throughout the growing season.
  • Height: up to 4 feet tall.

 

 

  • Philodendron: It is easy to take care of, because if you watch the signals, the plant will tell you exactly what it needs. They are comfortable both as indoor and outdoor plants.
  • Botanical name: Philodendron scandens
  • Light and temperature: bright indirect sunlight; 75-85 degrees F
  • Soil: a soil of pH 6.0-6.5 is ideal for philodendron
  • Water: while watering philodendron plants, allow the top inch of the soil to dry out between watering.
  • Height: grows up to a length of 10-20 feet
philodendron and peace lily distinctly visible on a wall

philodendron and peace lily distinctly visible on a wall

Flowers:

  • Geranium varieties: They bloom in burst of deep reds, scarlet, pinks, white, purple etc. with flowers lasting the entire gardening season.
  • Botanical name: Geranium dissectum
  • Light and temperature: bright to medium light is needed along with 60-70 degrees F.
  • Soil: well-drained potting soil of pH range 6.0-7.5
  • Water: known to be drought tolerant, occasional watering can be carried out
  • Height: grows up to 12 inches tall
  • Flower colours: pink, blue, orange, white, red.
geraniums

geraniums

 

  • Wedding vines: Wedding vine derives its name from the decoration purpose it serves at weddings. It’s grown vertically widely for its pure white, waxy, intensely fragrant flowers.
  • Botanical name: Stephanotis floribunda
  • Light and temperature: 70-90 degrees F
  • Soil: high content of loam and peat moss.
  • Water: water until the soil mixture is drenched; the mixture should drain freely
  • Height: grows up to 6 feet or more
  • Flower colours: pure white

 

8) Peace lily: Peace lily is used in a vertical garden owing to its quickly growing ability. Easy to grow as they are tolerant to lower light and low humidity.

  • Botanical name: Spathiphyllum wallisii
  • Light and temperature: bright to medium light; 65-80 degrees F temperature
  • Water: water at least once a week and spritz the leaves with distilled water throughout the summer growing season.
  • Height:up to 2 feet (60 cm)
  • Flowers: white
peace lily on a green wall

peace lily on a green wall

9) Star jasmine: Evergreen plant and can be easily trained on trellis.

  • Botanical name: Trachelospermum jasminoides
  • Light and temperature: full to partial sun
  • Water: average watering is needed.
  • Height:3-9 metres
  • Flowers: white
star jasmine vine

star jasmine vine

10) English lavender: Evergreen garden herb thrives in summer heat and dry weather. They are also grown for its medicinal and culinary uses.

  • Botanical name:Lavandula
  • Light and temperature: full sun; 70-75 degrees F
  • Soil: neutral to alkaline soil
  • Water: regular watering is not required
  • Height:1-2 metres
  • Flowers: lavender in colour

 

english lavender

english lavender

NOTE: GreenMyLife offers landscaping services in Bangalore – we can build beautiful vertical gardens for residential and commercial spaces ! Get in touch.

Top 10 indoor low maintenance plants

INDOOR LOW MAINTENANCE PLANTS

Indoor plants or houseplants are used to make our house look lively and fresh. But maintaining it becomes a task sometimes. Taking out time to take care of these plants is not always a feasible option and we end up neglecting it and they eventually die. Well, this trouble can be avoided by choosing low-maintenance houseplants that are very easy to take care of.

The top-10 low maintenance houseplants are:

  • Snake plant:
  • Botanical name: Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’
  • Other names: Mother in law’s tongue
  • Light and temperature: low to bright light; 60-85 degrees F
  • Water: occasionally, as it is drought tolerant
  • Height: up to 4 feet tall
snake plant

snake plant

Snake plant is a carefree succulent plant, it is quite indestructible and has lovely, long architectural, snake-like leaves. The only problem with this plant is that it’s very likely to develop root rot if we overwater it.

  • ZZ plant:
  • Botanical name: Zamioculcas zamiifolia
  • Other names: Zanzibar gem, Zeezee plant
  • Light and temperature: low to bright light; 60-75 degrees F
  • Water: allow the soil to dry between waterings
  • Height: 2-3 feet tall
ZZ PLANT

ZZ PLANT

This plant is sometimes called the eternity plant because it lasts so long. It’s thick, fleshy leafstalks are very durable and thus, very resistant to harsh conditions. This plant is poisonous if eaten or chewed by children or pets.

 

  • Cast iron plant:
  • Botanical name: Aspiditra elatior
  • Other names: Bar-room plant
  • Light and temperature: low light; 45-85 degrees F
  • Water: should be kept evenly moist during active growth period
  • Height: up to 2 feet tall
Cast-Iron-Plant

Cast-Iron-Plant

This plant literally lives up to its name, it is nearly indestructible. One of the toughest houseplants one can grow. It withstands all adverse conditions.

  • Money plant:
  • Botanical name: Epipremnum aureum
  • Other names: Golden Pothos, Devil’s Ivy
  • Light and temperature: bright to medium; 45-85 degrees F
  • Water: moderately; let the soil dry between watering
  • Height: climbs up to 7 feet (around 2 m) in containers
money plant

money plant

Money plant is the most common and most planted houseplants in India. It is seen in almost every other house in India. It can be grown in a pot as well as a hanging plant.

  • Peace lily:
  • Botanical name: Spathiphyllum wallisii
  • Other names: Cobra plant
  • Light and temperature: bright to medium; 65-80 degrees F
  • Height:up to 2 feet (60 cm)
  • Water: the plant should be kept moist most of the time
  • Flowering season: blooms repeatedly all-year long
  • Flower colours: white
peace lily

peace lily

Because of its low maintenance and pure white blossoms, Peace lily, is one of the most popular varieties of houseplants. The soil of the plant should be moist at all times but there shouldn’t be any standing water.

  • Arrowhead vine:
  • Botanical name: Syngonium podophyllum
  • Other names: Goosefeet, African evergreen, Arrowhead philodendron, Arrowhead plant
  • Light and temperature: low to medium
  • Height:up to 3 feet
  • Water: drench; let dry
arrowhead vine

arrowhead vine

Arrowhead vine is one of the most common houseplants. This plant may cause irritation of lips, tongue and throat if any of its parts are eaten or chewed.

  • Asparagus fern:
  • Botanical name: Asparagus densiflorus ‘Myers’
  • Other names: Foxtail, Plume asparagus
  • Light and temperature: medium to bright light; 60-75 degrees F
  • Height:up to 4 feet tall
  • Water: should be kept evenly moist

 

Many varieties of Asparagus ferns are used as houseplants because they are the fastest growing, least demanding and easiest to take care of. Best grown in bright light without direct sun, shade tends to cause them to yellow or drop.

  • Hens and chicks plant:
  • Botanical name: Sympervivum tectorum
  • Other names: Houseleek, Jupiter’s eye plant, Thor’s beard plant
  • Light and temperature: medium to bright light; 60-75 degrees F
  • Height and spread:up to 2-7 inches tall, 2-36 inches wide spread
  • Water: Leaves are succulent; watering is only necessary in drought conditions
hens and chicks plant

hens and chicks plant

Since houseleeks are succulents, maintaining it is not a task at all. Keeping them in sunlight brings out the bright colours in this plant. If kept in shade, many varieties fade to a plain green colour.

  • Peperomia:
  • Botanical name: Peperomia spp
  • Other names: Radiator plant
  • Light and temperature: low to medium light; 60-75 degrees F
  • Height:up to 1 foot tall
  • Water: moderately, let the soil dry between watering
peperomia

peperomia

Peperomia is a diverse group of small houseplants with waxy colourful foliage which adds liveliness to any room where it is kept without taking up a lot of space.

  • Coleus:
  • Botanical name: Plectranthus scutellariodes
  • Other names: Painted nettle
  • Light and temperature: low to medium light; 65-75 degrees F
  • Height:up to 2 feet tall
  • Water: moderately, let the soil dry between watering
Coleus

Coleus

Coleus plant’s tallness can be maintained at a desired height. Pinch the stem tips to control the height and increase the bushiness which is favourable for indoor planting.

Top-10 indoor woody plants

Indoor woody plants are a great source for oxygen yield that helps in reducing the sickness syndrome that develops due to air pollution in indoor closed environments which are not suitable for prolonged healthy life. Staying in closed environments can protect you from being vulnerable to diseases but can cause other ailments due to the lack of exposure to fresh air, which are remedial for problems related to physical and mental well-being. Read more

TOP-10 kitchen garden plants for a vertical garden

kitchen garden plants for a vertical garden

In the last write up we discussed about the various types of vertical gardens and why should we practice vertical gardening in the first place. We see how these vertical gardens are slotted in different types according to the purposes they serve. Some are meant for aesthetic purposes while some are carried out for providing fresh produce (vegetables, fruits and herbs).

Below we discuss the top-10 kitchen garden plants befitting a vertical garden, in no particular order:

Read more

Organic Gardening 101

For those of you who still haven’t come in terms with Organic Gardening and what it means, here’s a quick idea about it. Organic Gardening, as the name suggests, means Gardening using only products derived from nature. It means not using synthetic products including chemical pesticides and fertilizers.

Organic gardening is all about creating an ecosystem where all the elements help sustain each other.  Like for example, the plants help the insects and the beneficial insects help the plant and so on.

Here are some of the important components of an organic garden:

Organic fertilizers, along with organic pesticides make the most integral part of organic gardening. In simple language, organic fertilizers are those that are derived from animal and vegetable matter, which are formed as a result of microbial degradation.

Why are Organic fertilisers better than chemical fertilizers?
Inorganic fertilizers or chemical fertilizers are subject to leaching and results in high toxic salt concentration in soil, while organic fertilizers work as soil conditioners. Inorganic fertilizers are derived from synthetic elements while organic fertilizers contain only plant and animal-based materials which turns out to more beneficial, of course.

Types of organic fertilizers:
Compost, manure and mulch make up the most popular types of organic fertilizer. Commercially packaged organic fertilizers are also found at garden supply stores.

  • Manure is derived from livestock and poultry waste. It has been used as a fertilizer since ancient times. It is buried in the soil near plants so that plants can directly absorb the nutrients.
  • Mulch is the most common type of natural fertilizer. Mulching materials includes, bark, leaves or even grass clippings from mowing the lawn.
  • Compost made out of garden and kitchen waste proves as the best type of organic fertilizers. Through composting a lot of kitchen waste is recycled which otherwise would have been disposed off in the garbage bin.

Half of all the chemical pesticides used have carcinogenic effects. They prove to be effective for the purpose of removing pests but the long term effects of using synthetic chemicals cannot be ignored. They prove detrimental for human health as well as plants health. That is why one should immediately switch to organic pesticides. Organic pesticides have no adverse effects on humans or plants.

 Types and examples of organic pesticides:

We can get rid of pest in a lot of natural ways. We can either get rid of them manually (by removing the effected parts of plants, spraying jets of water to dislodge pests etc) or we can take help of other mediums such as pest-eating predators (by attracting lady bug, spiders, praying mantis etc into the garden), neem extracts etc. By employing these well-known methods of pest-control we can minimize the population of pests and keep it within the threshold limit.

  • Water conservation:

When we take up the responsibility of carrying out gardening in an organic way, we must also make sure we are not wasting water while watering the plants. Water is vital for both humans and plants.

The following guidelines of watering plants must be followed for conserving this precious resource, water.

  • We should choose plants that are native to the area and require little or no water beyond what the nature provides
  • Planting groundcovers will help in keeping the garden coo. Also, regular mulching locks the moisture in the soil.
  • By using watering method such as Drip irrigation or soaker hoses which reduces evaporation of water. In drip irrigation technique we can deliver water directly to plant roots, where it seeps water in the soil slowly, one drop at a time. Thus minimizing loss of water due to surface runoff or evaporation. It saves time as well as effort.
  • Rainwater harvesting is another method of water conservation for the purpose of gardening. Rainwater can be collected in rain barrels and stored for watering the plants in the garden. The water thus harvested is pure, soft and has neutral pH which makes it a perfect fit for gardening purposes.
  • Growing native/local plants:

Growing plants that are native or local to a particular region has its own benefits. They tend to be resistant to all the conditions which are adverse in that particular region.

Like for example, Jasmine is native to India, which means growing and taking care of jasmine plant won’t be an exhaustive task. It can bloom on its own as long as it is grown in India or any other tropical country for that matter. Just the same way, if we bring in exotic plants which are native to other countries to India then we’ll need to put in extra effort for taking care of it, otherwise it’ll perish.
Hence, we see that local plants require less or no fertilisers, little water as they are mostly accustomed to the weather conditions of its native place. Local plants/crops require low maintenance as compared to other exotic, non-local plants.

 

Thus, organic gardening is considered to be a smart choice as it doesn’t harm the environment or the diversity. It in turn benefits us in so many amazing ways.

NOTE: You can buy organic fertilizers and organic pesticides from our online garden store – we deliver anywhere in India !

Happy Gardening.

Principles and Practices of Permaculture-I

Permaculture is practical, grass roots sustainability in action. It provides immediate tools for people to reduce their environmental footprint and build resilient communities. It is a creative design process that is based on ethics and design principles. It guides us to mimic the patterns and relationships we can find in nature and can be applied to all aspects of human habitation, from agriculture to ecological building, from appropriate technology to education and even economics. When applied to gardening it suggests that not only can we grow food almost anywhere – from fruit shrubs in patio pots to vines on fences – but we can get higher yields with less effort simply by mimicking nature. Read more

Want to build a greenhouse ?

Greenhouses are building or complexes in which plants are grown. By providing a more controlled convenient environment, they expand the growing possibilities for the crops. Inside a greenhouse, gardeners have control over temperature, humidity, soil aeration, soil moisture and drainage, fertility levels, and light. Read more

World Famous Greenhouses

  1. Royal Greenhouses of Laeken

Royal Greenhouses of Laeken

Situated in the grounds of the Royal Castle of Laeken in Brussels, this enormous complex of greenhouses covers 270,000 square feet. Commissioned by King Leopold II of Belgium, it was built between 1874 and 1895 and includes the Iron Church, a domed greenhouse which served as the Royal Chapel. A whopping 800,000 litres of heating oil are required annually to keep the greenhouse heated. The public are allowed entry once a year, in the spring, for nearly three weeks when the flowers are in bloom.

Read more