Joleena Gonzalez


Whether you have a big lawn or a pocket garden, landscaping produces a huge impact in beautifying your home. And choosing the right plants is the key to effectively utilizing your space. Factors like clients’ vision and lifestyle, as well as terrain should be defined in determining your plant selection.

Filling in a Big Yard

The client: Bachelor with no children, with household help
The terrain: Big front Yard
Plants used: Mothers tongue (espada), Eugenia, Yellow pandan, picara, Spider lily, licuala and Peanut plant.
Project duration: 1 week
Rationale for plant selection: Since there are no children to use the space for recreation and given its sloping terrain, the idea is to turn it into a small field of plants to fill blank space and accent house design.

Designing big spaces is a landscaper’s dream come true. The idea is to turn it into a vast garden. To achieve this, plants of various colors, shapes and textures were added to create a lush landscape. A dedicated household help to maintain the garden is needed, as this requires a lot of tending and TLC.

A rainbow of colors– Mother’s tongue (espada), licuala, spider lilies provide the gradients of green while yellow pandan provides contrast.

Tip: Always consider plant growth when grouping them together.

Maximizing small spaces

The client: A family of 4, with household help
The terrain: A small front space
Rationale for plant selection: This space was made to have easy access from the garage to the front door, a mini zen garden was planned to soften the modern design of the stairs
Plants used: Dragon ball of different sizes, Horsetail on vases
Project duration: 2-3 days

The client: An extended family, with household help
The terrain: A medium sized garden at front of house
Rationale for plant selection: Client on a budget, wanted to maximize space with minimal plants
Plants used: Dragon ball of different sizes, selloum, maki
Project duration: 1-2 days

Dragon balls are fun to use. You can have it potted or on the ground. They are practical plants that can fill a space with minimum cost.

Putting selloum plants in your garden is the easiest way to maximize space and create dimension while flat stones add curves and contours the landscape.

Maintenance of this plant selection is stress free. Water the plants once daily and a monthly visit from a gardener will do.

Tip: Limit your plant selection to a few that go together as a group. Avoid filling your garden with one of everything.

Plants are making a comeback. Indoors. Because Millenials. Thanks to the growing popularity of succulents, plants are stepping into the limelight and making their way into your homes. So I have shortlisted my Top 5 most popular, widely used indoor plants.

1.  Succulents

These tiny green babies have won hearts in parties/events as table centerpiece decors or guest souvenirs and now they have invaded your home space. These potted cuties are most suitable in areas with the highest sun exposure.

Best placed on: Living Area coffee table, Foyer console table, office desk, side table

Maintenance: Low. Maximum sunlight, sprays of water.

2.  Selloum

These are versatile plants that can fare well both indoors and outdoors.  Selloum are low lying plants that can be placed in a planter box or if you had them planted outdoors, you can cut a stalk or two and put it in a nice vase. Due to its unique-looking leaf, these plants send off a tropical vibe.

Best placed in: If in a planter box – as accent to a corner of room; If in a vase – Console Table, shelf

Maintenance: Moderate sunlight. Water plants twice daily

3.  Sansavieria Bacularis

This long and spikey type of succulent plants are best accessorized with a trendy planter. Bacularis’ edgy aesthetic adds a modern feel to your home.

Best placed on: A book shelf, bathroom counter

Maintenance: Moderate sunlight, sprays of water

4.  Herbs

Basil, mint or alfalfa sprouts are nice touches to perk up your kitchen. They serve a double purpose: 1) for cooking, 2) as décor. These add life and freshen your kitchen area.

Best placed on: Kitchen counter

Maintenance: Moderate sunlight. Water twice daily

5.  Faux Flowers/Plants

Faux flowers if used correctly, will not look fake at all and add to the beauty of your space. This is very tricky, since you have to source flowers/plants that look natural. Stick to whites and greens and less on the more colorful flowers. Get your creative juices flowing for this one, as you need to mix a combination of flowers to pull this off.

Best placed on: Living area table, Foyer console table, bookshelf, dining table, side table, office desk

Maintenance: Low. Dust once in a while.