How to turn your terrace
into a garden
You bought a new house or a second place you go to escape your day-to-day surroundings. You’re happy. There’s a terrace, maybe a pool and a shared garden, but no private green spot of your own –you think. The terrace might just be the most underused spot of the house out there. While most people only use it to dry clothes or to put the classic two chairs and a table, the terrace can be so much more. It might even be the garden you always dreamed of.
Much like the dining area and salon, the main purpose of a patio or terrace is to have a place to relax and entertain. Turning the terrace into a green and beautiful spot will make that a lot easier and enjoyable. A terrace does more than just providing a view; it is part of the living space, almost like a room without walls. As such we can carry the interior design outdoors and use the patio as another extension of our home, ready to be enjoyed and customised according to your taste and wishes.
There’s a trend arising within the field of interior design with people wanting to put a plant in every corner of their house. Our need for green and buying plants and flowers stems from the human urge for being in nature, even though contemporary urban living traditions have distanced us a bit from exactly that. A terrace can be the solution here, following a general architectural trend; a return to and reimplementation of nature in the city. Urban gardening and farming is happening; we are turning cement into plants and natural materials, moving the outdoor space from grey to green. And so can you.
A garden is healthy for the mind. It colours the patio into a soothing range of greens and flowery life, while providing relaxing and mindful activities such as planting and visiting the flower store. A garden terrace can be a realisation of your imagination, yet it is easy. A terrace garden isn’t that much of a compromise as having a big garden, there’s no digging involved, garden pots limiting weed growth, and no grass to be mowed. Nice results can be created with little effort.
For the green conscious, a terrace garden is also a means of growing organic fruits, vegetables, and fresh herbs, ensuring seasonal, healthy and delicious food on the table at any time. Generating zero plastic waste and seeing plants and their fruits grow slowly in their pots, we might also learn how to appreciate the process of nature, the time it actually takes to grow something edible and the unsustainability of our current industrial, and often hurried, food chain. It’s fun to watch, too.
With trends like vertical farming coming in, we have seen the possibilities of growing things upwards. Projected onto the private home, optimizing vertical space goes beyond saving space, as it is also probably the nicest way to generate garden and terrace privacy through the creation of height. Upwards growing plants and vines like beans, squashes, gourds and tall tomato varieties can provide natural fencing, near the walls and railings. This way they’ll not only get support but grow outside and upwards. They’ll also save you a lot of space.
The first thing you are going to need is soil, and the right gardening equipment; gloves, watering cans, a hose, rakes, spades, trowels, and pots. Keep in mind the room you will need for a seating area and arrange plants accordingly. According to The Spruce, “you’ll want at least 3 feet on every side of a table, for people to get into their chairs. Use some judgement when choosing plants, and consider their rate of growth and their mature size”. For warm Spanish summers, considering constructing a shaded lounge might also be a good option to top it all off.
Planting on a patio or terrace can be a means to an end, a garden for enjoyment, not toil, or it can be a work of art that’s within reach. In any case, a garden terrace might be exactly what your home still needs; the perfect place to relax on a sunny afternoon with a group of friends or family, which is probably all we look for when being at home.