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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Must Have Water Feature in Your Terrace Garden

Water Cabbage Growing in Water in a Glass bowl
 A very important part of any garden is a water feature. Any water feature acts as a soothing and focal point of your garden. There are many designs and makes available in the market and water features of many materials are available ranging from fiber to wood to clay and metal. Visiting a place near our home there is a lake where grow beautiful lotuses. My friend has sent these lovely pics.
Beautiful Pink Lotus/ Water Lily
 I do not know whether this is a lotus or water lily and will find out more about these, their growing and propagation and their requirements. Lotus flowers are bigger and have more petals , the ones we used to draw durign our schooling years, and the one where Godess Saraswati is seen. In many temples we see people offering lotus flowers as offerings to please God, and even I had purchased one during my years as a teacher for the pre- primary section for 'show and tell' session. The lotus flower is a special flower, different and majestic and no wonder it is one of the most beautiful flowers known!
Water Lily/ Lotus Pond
Coming to the point having a water feature is among the wish list for me as we have a water container made of clay for birds to drink from, the water remains cool even during hot summers. This small pond is a very attractive spot and draws the eye towards it as there are always many birds coming to bathe and drink from it. Also we keep food for the birds near the bird bath so that they can eat and then have a drink. This gives energy to your terrace garden and positive energy brightens the environment and makes your garden a relaxing and spiritual place. Evenings are special as many birds come together before the winding up of the day to quench their thirst. With feng shui placing so much importance on a water feature I feel every garden must have at least a small water feature be it a water fountain made of wood, bamboo, clay or ceramic or even metal. You can select the material for your water feature according to the directions in feng shui.

Sleeping time anytime!
 With dogs seen everywhere this one seems to be enjoying a nap.
 Growing a lotus plant is easy if you have a pond which can hold its long and deep roots along with the thick leaves surrounding it. The roots of the lotus plant are very delicate and need special care during planting. We have a water cabbage growing in a small glass bowl which also requires care during planting. I think the same procedures will work for growing lotus plants also. A layer of slimy growth (dead leaves and rotten garden remains), soil, small stones, and of course some feedings of growth fertilizer. As I had planted the seeds of the water cabbage and later they developed into full leaves and plants so also the lotus can be grown with care.
Tried to buy online but hesitated as the roots of lotus are delicate and wither very soon if not planted properly. On professional advice learned that lotus requires deep pond with some amount of sunlight for the plant growth. Also since the water required for growth is muddy having a lotus pond in a small terrace garden will be questionable to avoid mosquitoes and other insects of water, which may come in close contact of the house, so go in for a lotus pond only if you have  a bigger terrace garden and is on a distance from your main house. Maybe we will need professional guidance for planting a lotus plant in our garden.
The roots of lotus plant need to be planted deep and firmly into the soil and then water is added to submerge the seeds. In the beginning new leaves will appear and then once the plant looks healthy it can be transferred into a larger pond. The roots of the lotus are deep and strong and one cannot remove or cut the flower by bare hands. The plant grows deep and it is well known that lotus plant along with its stem is edible.
The stem is used as vegetable and even lotus stem pakoras are very delicious.
Single White Lotus/ Water Lily

 The lotus flower is symbolic of enlightenment and spirituality since ages and it has been used to decorate and offer to God in temples. Lotus is associated with ultimate enlightenment and I have also painted a beautiful abstract painting of lotus.The lotus grow in partial shade and it requires a deep and wide pond for healthy growth.
With the small area available I will have to make do with a smaller pond made of cement or other tough material. I think I will definitely give it a try, meanwhile I have to make do with the artificial lotus flowers in a bowl decorated with small colored glass stones which look beautiful when the sun shines over them as they reflect a shiny pond with lotus flowers in it.

The White Lotus Arrangement with Coloured Stones
Placing a stone arrangement is also an added feature that your garden can do with and it will create a focal point in your terrace garden with minimal expenses and care. If not real even the artificial ones will do if there is space restriction but do try to have a small water feature maybe of bamboo or ceramic, it is soothing and relaxing to hear the slow tricking of the water along with the chirping of the birds, you will feel closest to God!
Or if you are the energetic one go in for a water fountain which is also available in all sizes and made of different materials.

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