Tray gardens

I remember the good old days while we used to live in big houses rather very big houses which were allotted to engineers of agriculture department with acres of land in three sides of bungalows and front lawns parted with a road as good as modern day roads of a colony. Well-maintained lawns by departmental gardeners and orderlies provided for the purpose with watering facilities with tube wells especially fitted for the purpose. Tractors were available for proper tillage of the land and best quality of seeds and plants available as per our specific demand. Lots of trees of different fruits including guavas, mangoes, shehtoot (mulberry) of different varieties right from red to black and green to brown, Mahua (Madhuca longifelia) were part of our gardens. For example, Jungle Jalabi (Pithecellobium dulce) was one of the most common trees but we were afraid of climbing on Jamun trees because those were too soft for our weight. Sugarcane known Ponda, a thick red long variety that would peel in its entire length without using teeth, was our favorite item for its extra ordinary taste. I can still remember that house where I spent my childhood, situated in a colony having only nine houses but covering whole of 3 kilometers of length more than 2 kilometers of width full of lush green lawns and lanes and side lanes.

No more space for plants and greenery

jungl jalab

Now people have too little spaces to live and there are no open spaces even for hobby gardening especially in big cities and towns. They love nature and plants as these are parts of our life, there is nothing more than greenery that attracts us. Actually, flowers plants and greenery are ways to keep us happy, full of positive energy and peace of mind. However, to have a feel of nature inside their homes, people have invented ways to bring some of the greenery into their homes by tray gardening. People have been using different ways of keeping plants in their homes like use of flowerpots of different sizes, empty wooden cases and other unused or broken containers. What you need is enough space to keep these pots or containers to have a feel of nature or you can place them near the windows in wooden or steel made boxes.

Tray gardens

If you do not have balcony, barandah or rooftop to keep your plants, you should not feel disappointed as a new form of domestic plantation allows you to go for tray planting inside your home with different artistic themes in small trays. These mini trays made of wood, terracotta, fiberglass or cement are perfect alternate for making small gardens of your choice according to your need. You can design these mini gardens look like small forests, hill designs with greenery, small bridges, hilly roads, slopes and whatever your imagination suggests to make them beautiful. 

The plants for your tray garden

The most important part of decorating tray gardens is to select plants for the same as you have limited space and not every plant can survive in such limited space. You should go for certain plants, which may look ordinary but if you mix them with other plants, the beauty of the tray garden would be extra ordinary. I am giving you a short list of a few plants that you can try using your own imagination to decorate your tray gardens like Aralia, Babie’s tear (Soleirolia) Nolina and few specific grasses as Duranta,  Money plant, Maranta, Aglaonema , Chlorophytum, Croton, Song of India, Chinese Cladium, Goldeneye, Asparagus etc.

How to prepare tray gardens

Maranta

Although a tray plantation is a personal job that you would prefer to execute as per your own choice but I would give you a few basic ideas to help you begin the job. You should cover the holes of your tray while you are about to commence planting your trays, fill your trays 50% with soil, 25% with coarse sand and rest with compost fertilizers available at every nursery. Now you are ready to plant according to your choice, once you are through planting put soil properly to cover plants and water them as per need.

You shall have to keep colors of plants in mind because the combined effect of colors is an important factor of your mini garden. You must see to it that height of plants is according to width of your trays because not every plant is suitable for all sizes of tray. 

Give every tray a unique design

You can give your trays a unique design of their own, if your trays are big enough try a theme of a village with roads, hillocks, desert plants, cattle. Bushes, lampposts or even lamp shades. You can use your imagination to make these tray gardens as much as you can. The fact is these gardens are blessings of nature for us, which fulfill our desires to keep greenery in our homes even if we do not have open spaces. These mini tray gardens keep us full of positive energy and keep our homes however small a beautiful place to live. 

Photos from wikipedia 


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