It’s lucky that I live in an apartment building with many gardening enthusiasts as neighbours. It was indeed a neighbour’s exotic herb garden that drew me to the roof in the beginning. My own garden has now advanced from the balcony to the roof. Flowering and fruiting plants usually need full sunshine, for several hours a day. And though my balcony gets adequate sunshine, the roof is still where most plants can thrive.
Here’s a list of what I started out with, to create my roof garden:
- A dozen pots
- A composter for compost on demand
- A spade and an old table fork for the more delicate operations
- A watering can
- Neem cake powder
But the most essential ingredients for a successful garden are:
- Good garden soil
- Sunshine (in abundant supply here in Chennai) and
I could add “Expertise” and “Tender Loving Care (TLC)” to this list. I don’t have the former but I hope to make it up with plenty of the latter.
|A Section of the Roof Garden|
A home garden doesn’t need a large budget. Even the famous White House organic vegetable garden, Michelle Obama recently revealed, cost about $200. Apparently, the produce from this garden has already exceeded 2 tons. Of course, I doubt she included labour charges and experts' fees in the costs.
Returning to my garden; since the first seed germinated in January, I have tasted many luscious tomatoes, several batches of spinach, ladies fingers, fenugreek (methi), fresh coriander (dhania) and mint (pudina) from my garden. I am still waiting to harvest ginger, garlic, chillies, potatoes and coriander seeds. I find visiting my garden in the morning, one of the best ways to start the day. More often than not there is a surprise in store – a tomato that’s turned unusually large, a brown ladybird or a stunning lady's finger flower. More on all those in future posts.