Cool off with a terrace garden

By TheHindu on 05 Mar 2017 | read

People living in top floors bear the brunt of the scorching sun as the heat seeps in through the roof in the afternoons and has a telling impact till the late hours of the next day. Developing a garden on the terrace is a sustainable panacea to the problem, says S. Adinarayana.

Air-conditioning offers only partial solution to the heat, explains Mr. Adinarayana who has a successful business of maintaining and repairing air-conditioners and refrigerators. He himself has developed a terrace garden with a variety of plants, shrubs and creepers. An aquatic water lily is the attraction in his vast collection.

His love for nature resulted in the terrace garden but one of the wonderful by-products is that it has lent a cooling effect to the top floor where he lives. “Because of the garden, the terrace cools quickly after sunset and it is a wonderful place to spend in the evening,” says Mr. Adinarayana.

The maintenance is by no means an easy task, he admits, adding: “But there is great joy in seeing things growing.” The garden is not only a means to be in touch with the nature, but it also provides him and his wife the physical exercise they need. “Hiring a gardener to take care of your garden is like putting your children in a hostel,” he says.

“Frequent watering of a terrace garden cools the ceiling and the top floor,” he says. His love for nature is understandable as he lives in a highly-built up area near Siddhartha Arts and Science College.

Andhra Loyola College Botany department head B. Sivakumari says there are four different types of money plant creepers that can be made to climb on to roof, made of chick wire mesh to absorb the rays of the summer sun. Any shrub with lot of foliage (leaves) will be ideal for the terrace garden,” she says.

“More and more people are buying plants for terrace gardens. Some prefer ornamental, while others buy vegetables like tomato and lady’s finger,” says Mr. V. K. Durga Prasad, owner of a nursery at Tadepalli village across the Krishna river.