Hello spring, long time no-see …
I find it hard to be a landscape designer in Fethiye. Gardening is a culture obviously and its’ not common Fethiye, not even in Turkey actually…When I first started collage in 2001 – Istanbul University, Landscape Architecture – all my friends, people I know, even my family were not quite sure what my course was about and they were feeling sorry for me because there weren’t enough job opportunities for us for when we graduate.
However in 4 years, until I graduated, things changed fast in Istanbul and other big cities in Turkey. Landscaping became more popular, and in particular commercial landscaping became very important.
All the big shopping centers, malls, coffee shops, big brands in the streets understood how important it is to put a little make up to the front of their shop with plants and flowers, and with a good choice of pavement, lots of new garden centres opened up and there will be more! I was working in one of the big companies in Istanbul in 2006 to 2007. We were designing gardens mostly for celebrities and very rich business people. The company was making tons of money for sure but our salaries were not good enough to survive on in a place like Istanbul. For those who haven’t been there yet I can describe it to you, its’ like London but more crowded and untidy. Travelling from my home to the garden centre was taking 1.5 hours and coming back home was the same. I was spending all my day working for somebody else and there was no time left for my-self. Which kept me thinking, why don’t I just open up myself a business? I decided that in Istanbul I probably wouldn’t make it, as everything is so expensive. But Fethiye was a nice, quiet and cheaper place to work. So in 2008 i opened up my own business as Melissa Garden Design.
It’s been 4 years now, and as I mentioned I find it hard to be a landscape architect in here, because Fethiye is like 12 years ago what Istanbul was, local people do not know anything about landscape architect – except than having fruit trees and vegetables in their garden. So when they come to my garden centre they ask just for a lemon or an orange tree. Maybe in the future when it’s more common in here, I will be able to design some gardens for local people also. For now I enjoy designing for foreign customers, and I feel I’m actually doing my job and expressing myself.
We had a really tough winter and had frost for the first time in 12 years in Fethiye. Luckily I had my plants in the green houses so they are healthy and alive. If you live up in Uzumlu, Nif, Ciftlik, Kaya I’m sure you had some problems in your gardens as well. What can be done next year is to wrap up the more delicate plants such as bougainvilleas, cycas, lantanas, solanums, sterlitzias with bubble wrap for at least 2 months. This year January and February was the worst 2 months. So next year we should be more careful in those months. I am tracking the weather forecast and publishing it on my pages facebook account. So you can follow me there. Like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Melissa-Garden/198619720238006
When we have an agricultural frost I will write it down. Also im always publishing new arrival of plants and the prices so you can have a look at what’s new, ask me questions about anything.
What to plant in our balconies this month is geraniums, helychryssums, verbenas, osteospermums and violas for now. I like geraniums better in window boxes to be honest I don’t use them much in the garden. You can also use verbenas in window boxes as well as ground covers. Helychryssums flowers are like dried flowers.
And finally I’d like to mention about our invention; we call it flower pillows. The idea is coming from hanging baskets, but instead of a classic hanging basket, the flowers are inside a plastic narrow tube with a handle on. There are 12 flowers in each pillow. We call it flower pillows because it looks like a narrow pillow full of flowers.
See the picture below;
Soon the plants will cover the plastic and only the flowers can be seen. Well that’s it for the week.
See you all next week!
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