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How to create a garden? Here’s what to do

Living in big cities means that we miss the luxury of sitting in our garden and enjoying an evening as life goes by. While we may not have a full-fledged garden, here’s what we can do

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How to make the garden
Source: The Spruce

Just the thought of sitting in the evening with flowers and greenery everywhere is a luxury that few can afford. Gone are the days when there were bungalows with huge gardens with trees and rows of flowers in the flower beds. Well, all is not lost here. If you have a terrace, there is a lot of the outdoors that you can bring to it.

Planting a roof garden is not too expensive and it’s an investment that will help you improve your well-being and health. Here are some benefits that it brings given the stress and anxiety that the present pandemic has brought with it.

Improved mental health

Regular daily contact with nature is very important for mental health. However, many people who are living in cities don’t have the luxury to leave their homes or workplaces to have much needed daily contact with nature. With a roof garden, you can take a coffee break from work and enjoy your break as you work from home.

Better air quality

Roof gardens are known for filtering and absorbing CO2 emissions and releasing oxygen. If you have a garden on the terrace, you are reducing greenhouse emissions and conserving energy.

Effective use of rainfall

Green roofs absorb up to 80% of rainfall and their plants serve as a natural filter for the water that runs off the building.-

Energy efficient

Rooftop gardens are energy efficient because they provide insulation. This means less air conditioning in the summer.

Urban agriculture

Another advantage of roof gardens is that you can grow your own veggies. Fresh veggies plucked from the garden are more nutritious because it’s not processed. It is also environmentally friendly because it has a smaller carbon footprint.

Less noise

Having a roof garden can help absorb the city noises and provide a quiet and peaceful environment.

But the question is how does one go about creating a rooftop garden? There are many options that you can go for. Using hydroponic planters is an effective way to grow plants with water that contains nutrients instead of soil. Many hydroponic planters and kits are available, you can choose what suits you best.

Options

Homemade growing systems can be simple. There are 2 main types: Flood and drain and the reservoir method. The flood and drain method consists of using 15-litre plastic tubs with lids opaque in colour to help keep the light from depleting the nutrients in the water.

Place individual plants into their small plastic planters. Cut holes in the lid of the tub, just the size of the smaller planter and drop the plants into each hole. Use the second tub with a lid as a reservoir. But in this tub cut holes in the side of the tub.

Run your waterline between the two tubs. Placing the reservoir tub level with or above the tub containing your plants, allows the water solution to flow through the waterline from one to the other, flooding or watering the plants.

The second method or reservoir method also uses the 15-litre buckets or tubs. But here, the plants sit in a reservoir filled with a nutrient solution that covers the roots.

But if water is an issue and you don’t want to use these two methods, using good old soil to grow your plants is a tried and tested method. But then comes the issue of choosing what kind of planters to choose? Should it be wood, metal, concrete/stone or plastic? Choose a durable product.

Wood

These tend to be the most durable and weather-resistant. They can be beautifully painted or stained to accent your decor and many have lovely designs made out of the wood itself to add depth and dimension to the planter.

Metal

Have a modern accent to them and add beauty to the roof garden. They are very durable and rugged, but be careful as they may damage your plants when they overheat in the summer.

Concrete or stone

These planters are great for an outdoor garden. They are generally very decorative, durable and resistant to wind.

Plastic

These planters are affordable. They are lightweight and easy to transport or move if needed, due to in-climate weather or to move indoors for winter.

Ceramic

These planters are fragile but very colourful as well as decorative. These tend to be on the heavier side like the stone or concrete pots, but are an appealing addition to any outdoor space.

Things to keep in mind

Creating a roof garden requires a complete transformation of the roof, especially if this is the first venture of its kind. Check the load-bearing capacity of the roof structure and drainage regulations. Climate conditions are also important factors to consider, as temperatures and winds affect plant life, flowers and trees.

Each plant requires different conditions, different temperatures and lightning. If you are incapable of picking the right plants in your roof garden, it is best to leave it in the hands of an experienced professional.

Learn how to utilise the space you have. Many small roof gardens have some truly stunning designs. Gardening is often described as an art form. It’s very easy to add shape to your garden and hide boring lines.

When planning your garden design, start by writing a list of all the things you like. Are you one for barbecues? Do you like to cook with fresh herbs?

Do you need a low maintenance option? Do you prefer dainty flowers or clean-cut modern lines with an organised look? Split your garden into at least two sections to incorporate all of your ideas.

Talk to experts at your local garden centre to find out about any specifics such as when to plant and soil types etc. Alternatively, buy yourself a good gardening book.

You can add a rockery, a waterfall, curved flower beds, and small trees or bushes. Colour is a matter of personal choice but opt for bright colours.

Once the garden is ready, you will need tools for its upkeep. Here’s what you will need.

Hose

A rubber hose is more flexible and less likely to get cuts or splits. But these can be a bit expensive. The length of a hose will also determine the weight (the longer the hose, the heavier it will be.

Pruning shears

These are essential to prune your plants or cut and trim unwanted branches and weeds. They are great to help shape your plants to allow for effective growth. After each use, rinse in water, dry and cover with a protective cover before storing it away in a proper place so that you can find it next time you need it.

Gloves

This is one of the most crucial items to possess. We all know that weeds as well as many plants and flowers have thorns. Gloves will prevent blisters as well as protect your hands from getting scratched.

Getting all of your ideas and plans in place all comes down to imagination. It may be hard work in the beginning but your time and patience will be more than worth the wait. And it all starts with preparing your roof and waterproofing it.

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Lifestyle

6 indoor plants and their upkeep

While almost all green plants can be kept indoors, some plants need more attention than others. Here best indoor plants for home in India.

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best indoor plants for home in india
Source: @Safer Brand

While almost all green plants can be kept indoors, some plants need more attention than others which can be cumbersome if you have a busy schedule. But that doesn’t mean you can’t surround yourself with greenery. Let’s look at some best indoor plants for a home in India.

Rubber tree plant

It is fairly easy to maintain but is fussy when it comes to the amount of water it needs. Here is what you need to know if you have this plant. Rubber plants are rainforest specimens. While they need consistent moistness, they don’t want it to be soggy. Ensure that the pot the plant is in has adequate draining holes.

Use a dish under the pot lined with pebbles to catch extra water. This will keep the roots from sitting in water but provide the humidity as the water evaporates.

Croton plant

Its beautifully patterned leaves can brighten any space. Now that the rains are here in full force, it is important to ensure that you take care of all your plants. Overwatering can lead to root rot. An important thing to keep in mind is that the pot is well-drained. There is moisture in the air, overwatering will harm the plant. Croton also needs at least six to seven hours of sunshine but excess heat will damage its leaves. Try and keep the plant either East or West facing to make sure that the leaves don’t lose their colour.

English Ivy

It looks pretty and while it may look like it is an easy plant to look after, it is not the case. Like any other plant, this plant too will rot and its leaves will turn brown if you overwater them. Before you water it, check the soil. If it is moist, don’t water it. Make sure that the soil is loose and is kept in a well-drained pot. The plant grows in bright light but it is away from direct sunlight. It is a beautiful plan that can be kept inside the home; potting it in a hanging basket is an excellent way to enjoy the beauty of this plant.

Fern

The delicate curled leaves that unfurl into long, lacy fronds look pretty. Go into the forest and you will find ferns carpeting the floor. They also make a great houseplant. They can grow in any kind of pot — clay to hanging baskets to ceramic and don’t require full sun to thrive.

But Indian weather is different. A plant that may live happily in any other environment needs a lot of care here. They love moisture. During the rainy season make sure you don’t overwater the plant or the roots will rot. You can even spray water on the leaves to lock the moisture in. You can keep this plant in the bathroom or even the kitchen.

Green Aralia

One of the most important things to keep in mind if you have a green aralia is that it has to be kept away from cold drafts and windows during the winter months to ensure that it thrives. It needs a feed once every other month during the spring. During the summer months, the plant needs liquid fertiliser. However, be careful if you buy this plant; it is mildly toxic to humans and pets. Ingestion can lead to gastrointestinal irritation, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

They are best as landscape plants. While watering aralia which is indoors, deep water is only when the soil is nearly dry. One of the most important things to keep in mind if you have a green aralia is that it has to be kept away from cold drafts and windows during the winter months to ensure that it thrives.

Pitcher plant

It is not always possible to ensure that the plant that you bring is going to live. Hence, it is important to take care of it properly. Let’s take the pitcher plant. So how does one take care of it if one wants to keep it indoors even if it is a carnivorous plant?

Depending on the species, some require full sunlight and those that originate in the floor of the rainforest may need filtered light. It requires moist soil, and keeps the potting soil moist, but not soggy. Allow the pot to drain thoroughly after watering and never let the pot stand in water or the roots will rot.

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Lifestyle

Mother’s Day 2022: Significance, history, and importance

Being a mother is a full-time job and gets no appreciation-one day where their worth is truly appreciated. Here’swhy we celebrate mothers day.

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why we celebrate mothers day
Source: @TOI

Most of us know that Mother’s Day is celebrated every second Sunday in May. But did you know why we celebrate mothers day? The whole idea behind Mother’s Day is to honour the mother of the family, to celebrate motherhood, maternal bonds, and the important role that they play in shaping society.

Why we celebrate mothers day?

It is said that the need to celebrate this day arose in the 1900s. Back then a daughter – Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis – to honour the sacrifices made by the mothers made for their children started this holiday.

It is said that Jarvis organized the first Mother’s Day service of worship and celebration at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia, the US which serves as the International Mother’s Day Shrine today.

Did you also know that different countries celebrate this day in different months? Some countries celebrate this day in March. Mother’s Day in Egypt is celebrated on March 21, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. In Georgia Mother’s Day is celebrated on March 3.

In some countries, the date is adopted to signify religion, like Virgin Mary Day in Catholic countries. Other countries selected a date with historical significance. For example, Bolivia’s Mother’s Day is a fixed date, commemorating a battle in which women participated to defend their children. Or in Russia where it is celebrated as International Women’s Day instead of Mother’s Day.

In India, the concept of celebrating Mother’s Day is new. This could be because we have traditionally been respectful of our mothers and have been revering them for generations.

We didn’t need to set a single day aside for them. But then, we (Indians) tend to ape the West and what the West does needs to be done back home.

Irrespective of how and when Mother’s Day is celebrated worldwide, children go out of their way to make this a special day for their mother. Lunches, treats and gifts are part and parcel of this day’s celebration.

What can you do? Here are some mothers day 2022 gift ideas

For the foodie mom

If your mother is a foodie a last-minute gift can be a meal subscription box that speaks to your mom’s interests. The subscription boxes are becoming popular across India as they select the finest and latest products every month and ship them across to their clients.

As a gift, you can opt for ingredients, or complete meals, including gourmet food and global cuisine. Innovative subscription boxes share recipes and exquisitely packaged boxes that can be used as a collector’s item.

If your mother is all about fitness

If your mom has been looking to shed some weight, a gym membership is a great gift! There are several gyms in each city that offer membership. This would help your mother work.

If your mother is all about looking good

A woman’s body goes through many changes, and protein is quintessential to cope with it. One can gift herbal products to the mother for that perfect skin that will keep her young at heart forever!

 

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Lifestyle

5 health benefits of dancing, you might not want to miss

You see it on TV or in films. But did you know that the art form has several benefits of dance movement therapy as well? Read on

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benefits of dance movement therapy

Dance is the purest expression of emotion. World over, dancing has a different meaning for different people and cultures. But there is one thing that is common across the board — it is an expression of one’s emotions through movement. These movements are not always graceful or beautiful and most people don’t even understand them, it’s tough to see a perspective on one’s dance.

What Dance Symbolise:

But dancing is extremely therapeutic. Dance therapy can use various hand movements and creative expressions to promote socio-emotional, cognitive, and somatic integration.

This is based on the idea that the body and mind are inextricably linked. It aids in self-expression, resulting in a shift in an individual’s overall functioning.

One has to remember that dance movement therapy isn’t just for dancers, and it’s certainly not a dance class. A dance lesson emphasises style and form, whereas dance movement therapy does not. In the latter, people aren’t judged on how well they execute the steps or how they appear while dancing.

 

In dance movement therapy, people are encouraged to communicate their feelings and thoughts while moving during dance movement therapy sessions.

Dance treatments are used in a variety of settings, including health, education, and social services, in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

It may be recommended as a primary service or as a complement to other forms of ongoing treatment, rehabilitation or education. The therapy can be short- or long-term. Engaging an individual does not require any dance skills or training just the willingness to move. The focus is on the therapeutic process.

Here’s how it can help

Help differently-abled

Dance therapy can help individuals, with different abilities, capacities and life conditions since it works with their bodies at that particular phase of life.

Benefit kids with autism, ADHD

People with developmental, medical, social, physical, and psychological problems benefit from dance movement therapy.

It has been used to assist persons with learning impairments, and neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, and ADHD, among others.

Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, mood and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, mobility disorders, sensory processing disorders, trauma, and even violence prevention are just some of the conditions that can be treated.

Dance movement therapy can help those who are battling communication challenges, body image issues, chronic pain, and adjustment issues.

Communication tool

As language is not a barrier to movement, it can be used in individual, couple, family, and group therapy forms with people of different ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds.

Leads to self-awareness

Self-awareness, self-perception, confidence, producing a sense of peace, relational talents, and mindfulness are all benefits of dance therapy. It has been shown to reduce pressure, anxiety, and nerves, as well as feelings of disengagement and body strain.

Faster recovery

Dance movement aids in the learning of how to transform nonverbal movements into insights that can be applied to one’s recovery process.

Each one of us can move, each one of us has a movement language — we call it body language. All of us can dance! The idea of this therapy is getting aware of your body, feeling, accepting, and working on yourself.

People in dance movement therapy are not required to start dancing as soon as the music starts, unlike in a dance class. It’s all about the journey, not the destination!

Disclaimer: The idea of this article is to create awareness and is not meant to be followed without a doctor’s proper advice.

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