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While the UAE is replete with all things grand on the residential front, what with the ever-present palatial villas in most high-end premium projects, having the luxury of space is a privilege enjoyed by a chosen few. Most of us need to make do with having just enough space to house only the necessaries that make urban living both tolerable and possible.
If all your stuff is in a tiny studio apartment or even just one room in a residential unit, and you want to have a little bit of greenery to enliven an otherwise mundane home corner, there are ways and means to go about it so you satisfy your green thumb longings in the midst of your rather cramped urban existence.
For starters, it would be nice if you have a window and a window sill to match, or a little bit of wall space for hanging up some of your green pets. If you’re planning on cultivating seeds yourself, you can use empty ice cube trays and used egg cartons for seedlings. This way, there is no need to ‘traumatize’ the roots and disturb other plants once you transfer the seedlings to their proper pots. Egg cartons and ice cube trays would also be narrow enough for window sills. If you only have space for two to three pots, try mixing things up. You can have a different plant for each pot, or combine some with similar watering needs. Lucky bamboo requires minimal sunlight and can be placed in tall, narrow containers; the golden pothos or money plant can be placed in used water bottles.
Planting vegetables will require more planning as you need to see first which vegetables thrive in specific weather conditions. In the UAE, edible plants you can grow in a limited space include mint, lettuce, green onions, Tiny Tim tomatoes, radish, rocket, coriander, basil, baby carrots, and pak choi. Seeds are available in gardening centers, and sometimes, you will also find seedlings in plant nurseries like those in Satwa, and those featured in limited numbers in some hypermarket chains. To enjoy your edibles, ensure you familiarize yourself with the plant food each variety requires.
Aside from reusing containers, products like mobile garden containers that are both light and portable, modern plant hangers, and bespoke wall planters are already on the market.
• The window sill and a little bit of wall space can be used for indoor gardening
• You can use empty ice cube trays and used egg cartons for seedling cultivation for your home garden
• Edible plants that grow in a limited space include mint, lettuce, baby carrots, etc.
Source: Lovely Claire CD, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer