Plant coriander in your shoe, hang a fern from your window, throw in a duck or two, and there’s your unique green space.
Gnomes aren’t the only creatures in your garden anymore. With many new stores offering quirky accessories like suncatchers, birdbaths, shoe planters, table fountains and more, you can make your garden into a unique little world, even if it’s just a little space on your balcony or terrace. Here are a few ideas.
Santorini pots, anyone?
My Sunny Balcony aims at bringing gardens back into the city. While they began by selling online, the growing demand for their planters, pot-holders and knick-knacks has pushed them to recently open a store in Koramangala, Tesserae. “The accessories are mainly locally created and sourced. This lets people create gardens that suit their budget, choice and aesthetics,” says Shailesh Deshpande, director and co-founder, MySunnyBalcony (MSB). The material they use varies from terra-cotta, wrought iron, bamboo and mosaic to upcycled material, that is, recycled throwaways. With options for terraces, window boxes and backyards, MSB breaks the stereotype that a garden is only possible in large spaces. “Items that save space or allow for greenery in a small space are the fastest moving items at our store,” says Deshpande. These include their Santorini pots (blue wall-mounted terracotta pots), metal window boxes and planters for vegetables and herbs. The section devoted to upcycled products is interesting, with everything from glass and plastic bottles to tyres and recycled wood. They work with Second to None, a group that has pioneered the idea of recycling and reusing in urban spaces.
Find it at www.mysunnybalcony.com
Suncatchers and snails
The Little Green Shop turned one last December and aims to create green spaces in people’s lives. Accessories range from garden ornaments in terracotta, galvanised metal and papier-mâché to large planter boxes and sun-catchers in stained glass to garden tea lighters, hanging planters and quirky planter designs. “As living spaces get smaller, people try their best to include some greenery in balconies or terraces,” says Rajani Sashikanth, co-founder. Customers want large holders that can be used for terraniums, while the shop’s balcony railing planter is a bestseller. They even have wired holders for window grilles for those who don’t have even a balcony. Smaller accessories like the attractive sun-catchers and the terracotta frogs, turtles and snails are perfect for those tiny lawns and sit-outs. Many of the products here are recycled, especially those made of glass, and most are handmade and eco-friendly.
Find it at www.facebook.com/TheLittleGreenShop
Say it with water
This garden store in Bangalore concentrates on ceramic planters and water features. But look around and you’ll also find stone Buddhas, hammocks, and garden animals. Hybiscus’ range of glazed earthen planters in vivid colours is popular, as are their water features, which include floor and table-top fountains made of stone, pebbles or sandstone. We love their birdbaths! Hybiscus also has tumbling composter bins that make your garden self-sufficient. “Garbage management is a big problem in cities and so we launched this product. It is easy to decompose the wet waste we generate and use it in our gardens,” says Anita Shah, owner. “The tumbling composter is versatile and can be placed on balconies too.” The store also has special wooden pots for palm trees.
Find it at 32, Cunningham Road in Bangalore.
Garden in a shoe
A love for gardening and a Facebook page later, Minette Ranjit quit a full-time job and opened shop. Green Thumbs provides landscaping and gardening solutions, with a focus on individual homes and apartment balconies. Ranjit believes that the smallest places can be used to start a vegetable garden. “People now understand the importance of organic fruits and vegetables, and urban gardening is taking a step in the right direction.” Chillies, tomatoes, mint, thyme, oregano, or rosemary — your list is long and lovely. Ranjit’s terrariums are a hot item. “These self-contained eco systems are very low maintenance and ideal for people who travel a lot,” she says, pointing out that they can be kept indoors and need watering only once a month. Creating wealth from waste began with a shoe! “My husband didn’t want to throw out a favourite pair of shoes that were in terrible condition. So we planted a beautiful fern in them and they are growing beautifully,” says Ranjit. They also have upcycled bulbs, alcohol bottles, jam and pickle jars, milk packets, cloth bags, tyres, bath tubs, wash basins…
Find it at www.facebook.com/GreenThumbsBoutique