Each element in their garden reflects this couple’s philosophy towards life : The Tribune India

Neha Saini
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, October 12

As followers of the Mother (Mirra Alfassa) and Sri Aurobindo, Geeta and Sumant Sud have created their home, and the garden in it, with a passion for elements and perception of inward and outward beauty. It resounds with a meditative-like quality. Their sprawling yard has a lot of striking features, most of all, a fine example of striving towards creativity and creating balance with nature.

The entrance has a Ganesha engraving, carved out of a single piece of granite. “It was carved by a French artist in Auroville and weighs 300 kg. We also have basins in our garden that have been carved out of single piece of granite,” informs Geeta, 62, who runs a fashion boutique in city.

Healing green space: An aesthetically designed garden of the couple Geeta and Sumant Sud. 

When they built their home in 1997, they handpicked every element used in aesthetics to reflect their personal philosophy toward life. “We believe that every element, including every tree we chose to plant in our house, is an expression towards humanity. So, when we designed our garden, we had no architects or landscaping artists,” she says.

Their sprawling yard has a lot of striking features which is a fine example of striving towards creativity and creating a balance in life.

“So, when we designed our garden, we had no architects or landscaping artists. My husband is fond of wood and he sourced it from Balharshah forest in Nagpur,” she adds. Her husband, Sumant, 70, is an electrical engineer from IIT. Their garden also has murals of two swans and bird, done in granite. The red tiles used in outer structure and the house, have been made from mud sourced from Kerala. It has lots of trees including palms, harshingar, species of champa and more. “Every tree represents something, some special emotion or feeling that we strive to achieve,” Geeta said.

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Hirshhorn garden brought back to life

For many years it would have been difficult to imagine a building less in favour than the Hirshhorn Museum. The concrete tub on Washington DC’s National Mall was often derided as a disaster, a relic from the Brutalist years; a work by architect Gordon Bunshaft, who was once responsible for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s best and most refined buildings but was, by then, past a prime which saw him tailor exquisitely refined corporate landmarks such as New York’s 1952 Lever House.

How things change. Today the Hirshhorn is seen as a sculptural object in its own right, a hardy survivor from an architectural era which has lost so many monuments. Its sculpture garden, though, has fared less well. Its opening in 1974 coincided with the capital’s lowest ebb. A city still scarred and blackened from the riots sparked by the death of Martin Luther King, the downtown was emptying of wealthier, whiter residents, neglected, almost war-torn. Bunshaft’s conception of a radical public openness and a subterranean entrance was marred by a perception of urban threat, an underpass of the type that was held to represent everything bad about modern architecture. Now all that is set to change. The lost entrance and connection to the Mall is being revived and one of the city’s great free public spaces is coming back.

Architect, photographer and artist Hiroshi Sugimoto has already intervened into the building with a well-received lobby design completed in 2018 and he was chosen earlier this year to redesign the sculpture garden and entrance. I speak to the architect from his studio in Tokyo and ask him, frankly, what he thinks of the Hirshhorn, a building that had been controversial for so long.

Computerised rendering of Sugimoto’s design for the sculpture garden, located on Washington DC’s National Mall

“Over 20 years,” he says, “as an artist, I’ve had huge shows in major museums all over the world. I became a user of the spaces designed by star architects. I even published a book, in Japanese, in which I gave a score to all these buildings. So [Frank] Gehry in Bilbao scored very low as there was limited space to make my art look . . . beautiful. [Daniel] Libeskind in Ontario, nobody there knew how to turn the lights on. The opening was a nightmare. But I had a show at the Hirshhorn in 2006. I gave Bunshaft five stars.”

What exactly is it that makes it work? “The space might not be friendly for all artists,” he replies, “but for me it was a new challenge, not just a white cube. I had to hang the seascapes along the long, curved wall. Most architects think their spaces look better without any art.

“When the lobby redesign was completed,” Sugimoto says, “I thought that was the end of my job. Then Melissa [Chiu, director of the Hirshhorn] asked me to redesign the garden and I thought it was a joke. If I’d have known how huge this job was, dealing

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Kitchen Garden: When life gives you lemons | The Canberra Times

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Following reference to a peach tree grown from a seed by Betty Cornhill and still producing a good crop of peaches in the Canberra Organic Growers’ Society garden now named after her in Curtin, Sue McCarthy of O’Connor said the photo of the tree by Minh Chu (Kitchen Garden, September 22) “resonates with me because, just like Betty Cornhill, all of us gardeners have limited time to leave a more lasting impact. Trees do that.” In a local nursery recently a young man from Downer was consulting a book while looking at trees for sale. His choice was between the tulip tree (liriodendron tulipifera) and the sugar maple (acer saccharum). Both need extra water in Canberra and tulip trees suffer from hot winds. There is a sugar maple forest at the National Arboretum planted in 2009. The sap from mature trees is used for making Canadian maple syrup. Original property owners in this district often planted bunya pines (araucaria bidwillii) near their homesteads. There is also a bunya forest at the Arboretum, historic trees at Lanyon homestead, one on the corner of Kings Avenue, another in Weston Park’s English Garden. In March, below a tree near the gates to the Australian National Botanic Gardens was a fallen cone with its edible seeds. On September 23 in a letter to The Canberra Times, a woman from Belconnen wrote, “What blissful rain washing the stench of our flowering plum trees out of the air. A pity we missed the hail, it might have knocked their flowers off as well. Why do we continue to plant these trees which smell of rotting fish in so many Canberra streets?” Do flowering plum trees have an unpleasant smell? I have not noticed it. The blossoms have been described as having a “fantasy floral note with a fruity nuance”. Jo Malone London created a scent called plum blossom, “a floral, woody, musk fragrance for women”. However I have been guilty of saying white blossoms of the double row of Manchurian pears beside Lake Burley Griffin smell like “fox’s urine”. Ridiculous because I have never smelt urine from a fox. It reminds me of a Canberra woman who says the pinot I drink “tastes like cat’s piss” . Last year I read The Overstorey (2018) by Richard Powers which went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. It is a novel about nine people in America and their experiences with specific trees. It led me to a grove of the western yellow pine (pinus ponderosa), in a heritage forestry/CSIRO precinct in Yarralumla, just to smell the bark. In four seasons on sunny days there was a warm kitchen scent of butterscotch and vanilla. The tree has “plates” of bark which are beautiful and aromatic. In America the fragrant resin of P. ponderosa has been used in perfume, candles and soap. For home gardeners the most often planted tree with edible fruit must be the lemon. This winter has

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Make the most of your home improvement dollars | Suburban Life

Home improvement projects provide homeowners with a chance to put their own stamp on their homes. In addition, many such projects make homes safer and, in some instances, more eco-friendly.

The opportunity to make a home more comfortable, safer and/or more eco-friendly entices many homeowners to open their wallets. In fact, the Home Improvement Research Institute estimates that the home improvement products market will grow by more than 5% in 2018.

Homeowners might experience some sticker shock when researching home improvement projects or receiving estimates from contractors. But there are ways for budget-conscious homeowners to transform their homes and still make the most of their home improvement dollars.

• Do your homework. Each year, Remodeling magazine publishes its “Cost vs. Value Report,” a comprehensive study of 21 popular remodeling projects in 149 United States markets. The report notes the value each project retains at resale in 100 markets across the country. Homeowners who want to get the strongest return on investment can access the “Cost vs. Value Report” (remodeling.how.net) to see which home improvement projects are best suited for them.

• Do some of the labor yourself. Homeowners willing to swing a hammer also can stretch their home improvement dollars. For example, the home improvement resource This Old House® notes that homeowners willing to do their own demolition before the contractors arrive can save substantial amounts of money. A professional contractor may charge $1,000 to demo a 200-square-foot deck, but This Old House estimates that homeowners who demo their own decks may spend only $450 (for the dumpster rental and parking permit).

• Hire a consultant. The DIY movement is incredibly popular, no doubt thanks to television channels such as HGTV and the DIY Network. Homeowners with DIY experience may be able to complete projects on their own with little consultation from professional contractors. Some contractors may not offer consulting services, however. The consultation route, which typically requires paying licensed contractors hourly fees to offer guidance, should only be considered by homeowners with legitimate DIY skills, for whom this option can be a great way to save money.

• Schedule renovations during homeowner-friendly times of year. Summer and fall tend to be contractors’ busy seasons, and homeowners will likely pay more for projects during this time of year. If possible, delay starting projects until right after the new year, when contractors aren’t so busy and might be more flexible with pricing.

Budget-conscious homeowners can employ various strategies to make the most of their home improvement dollars without sacrificing quality.

Story courtesy of Metro Creative Connection

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L.A. Angels star Albert Pujols, wife start new cafe concept that helps equip adults from vulnerable situations with vocational training, life skills

COSTA MESA (KABC) — The Los Angeles Angels missed the playoffs this year but Albert Pujols and his wife, Diedre, are keeping busy. The couple launched Open Gate Kitchen, a new cafe concept fueling social good, which equips adults from vulnerable life situations with vocational training and life skills.

Fernando Escobar is now head cook and manager of the restaurant; but a few years ago, he didn’t know where his next meal would come from. Open Gate International helped turn his life around through culinary school.

“My life was in the place of darkness and addicted to meth and alcohol and I ended up in the streets homeless,” said Escobar.

Making food takes Escobar back to days in the kitchen with his mother; Christmas with his family. It now gives him a feeling of empowerment.

“To be a part of something that could possibly help another single parent out there and another single dad to be able to get back on their feet and to provide for their kids is such a humbling experience,” said Escobar.

Diedre Pujols is the founder of the non-profit Open Gate Kitchen. The Costa Mesa restaurant offers life coaching, culinary training and job placement programs to people like Escobar.

“I couldn’t be more proud,” said Diedre.

The mission is a personal one for Pujols. Her own past struggles with addiction and bad choices help her connect with the students here.

“At 19, I didn’t even want to live anymore and so I feel like there’s a way that I can identify with a lot of these individuals who come in,” said Diedre.

Her husband, L.A. Angels first baseman, Albert Pujols, says he worked hard for his own dreams, and he’s helping his wife do the same for their community.

“Their teachers, they get the best of their students, you know, and I think, on the other side, the students put in really hard work, day in and day out, because they know that this is an opportunity or a chance and they don’t want to pass on it,” said Albert.

“Here I am you know, catering for the Los Angeles Angels and all these important people, it’s such a blessing. It is,” said Escobar.

Open Gate Kitchen is now open for dine-in, delivery and take-out options, serving up handcrafted healthy, fresh, cuisine with an international flair.

Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.

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Is minimalist decor a new thing for a decluttered life? Here are a few tricks to clear your living space

If you’re someone who loves hoarding stuff, is a compulsive buyer and craves a need to re-decorate empty spaces only to regret it later, here are some ways to minimize all that and simplify your life for a mindful living space.

 

In order to stop feeling anxious, you need to declutter your house, organize them and add only the essentials. The benefits of decluttering your house are many as it often leads to decluttering your mind in return. You feel more in control of your possessions, and less stressed. Here are a few ways to declutter your house and get rid of all the unwanted stuff that doesn’t belong to your house.

1. Buy more plants than furniture



a vase of flowers on a kitchen counter


© Provided by Pinkvilla


A simple step to declutter your house is by actually buying less furniture, getting rid of the old ones and replacing it with more house plants. This way, you’ll feel more relaxed, calm and composed. Plants are said to release more endorphins in your brain and hence, produce more positivity in the house.

 

2. Paint Your Walls

 

Instead of purchasing wall hangings and wasting money, you can simply use your skills and art to paint walls and draw subtle murals that will amplify your room and make it look simple. You can also add fairy lights to make it look more elegant.

 

3. Donate clothes that you never wear



a small child sitting on a bed


© Provided by Pinkvilla


Now, this should be a part of your monthly routine while cleaning your room. We always have too many clothes and still feel the need to buy more. Start by decluttering your wardrobe and donate clothes that you never wear to the needy ones. 

 

4. Get rid of all the unnecessary beauty products

 

The trick to this is, buy one makeup product that will serve all purposes. You can reduce one step in your skincare or makeup routine. Some products that you own may not be of any use and they must be lying in your drawer for months, simply get rid of them!

 

5. Throw away all the expired canned food

 

How many times do you do a thorough check of all the food items lying in the kitchen, on your dining table, or in your refrigerator? Check their expiry date and throw them in the trash can before you or anyone else in the house gets diarrhea.

 

Also Read: 6 Bathroom flooring tips and ideas to revamp the area

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Life with a kitchen novelty





© Provided by Hindustan Times


It is taking so much space in the small kitchen. But Babua Singh won’t crib about that. “You stack the bartan (dishes) in it, go to office, and when you come back in the evening everything is spotlessly clean and dry,” she says.

A textile designer, Ms Singh is showing her newly acquired dish-washing machine in the Ghaziabad flat that she shares with her husband and college-going daughter. Like many middle-class households, Ms Singh used to depend on the services of a part-time house maid for washing the dishes. The coronavirus pandemic changed that as visits from the outside now involve fears of getting the virus. Ms Singh says she nevertheless supported Asha, her long-time housemaid, until she left for her village in Bihar a couple of months ago.

While her family would give a hand in household chores during the ongoing pandemic, Ms Singh would still find herself too involved in the kitchen duties. “I leave for office at 9.30 in the morning and come back around 6pm, so there isn’t so much time to relax.”

The house always had a washing machine to take care of the laundry “but the idea of getting a dish washer came after Mukul Bhaiya and Anita Bhabhi got one for themselves,” she says, referring to a couple who couldn’t stop gushing about how easy their life had become after getting the admirable appliance.

Following a brief discussion with her husband, Ms Singh ordered the machine online “and the company’s people helped us install it… they came in mask.”

The new machine seems the most ostentatious object in Ms Singh’s kitchen. A simple two-burner gas range reigns over the counter. “Lakshman Rekha” chalk is drawn around an aata jar to keep off the ants. The microwave is in the corner and the spices and lentils are stocked behind wooden closets.

“Even the pressure cooker cleans up very well… the only thing I have to wash in the sink is the kadahi and the tawa,” she says.

Dishwashing machines are novel to Indian homes — during the harshest days of the lockdown, some of the more popular online videos were of Hindi film stars trying their hand at washing the dishes in the sink.

Ms Singh confides that some of her friends also got the machine “in dekha-dekhi (got inspired) but they use it rarely, as if too much handling might spoil it… just like during the early days of the washing machines (for clothes), when we would use it only on Sundays!” Native of a UP village, Ms Singh reveals that nobody in her circle of immediate relatives has ever used a dishwasher.

And now she playfully poses with the machine, making sure that her face is not visible “because of shyness.”

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Delhiwale: Life with a kitchen novelty – delhi news

It is taking so much space in the small kitchen. But Babua Singh won’t crib about that. “You stack the bartan (dishes) in it, go to office, and when you come back in the evening everything is spotlessly clean and dry,” she says.

A textile designer, Ms Singh is showing her newly acquired dish-washing machine in the Ghaziabad flat that she shares with her husband and college-going daughter. Like many middle-class households, Ms Singh used to depend on the services of a part-time house maid for washing the dishes. The coronavirus pandemic changed that as visits from the outside now involve fears of getting the virus. Ms Singh says she nevertheless supported Asha, her long-time housemaid, until she left for her village in Bihar a couple of months ago.

While her family would give a hand in household chores during the ongoing pandemic, Ms Singh would still find herself too involved in the kitchen duties. “I leave for office at 9.30 in the morning and come back around 6pm, so there isn’t so much time to relax.”

The house always had a washing machine to take care of the laundry “but the idea of getting a dish washer came after Mukul Bhaiya and Anita Bhabhi got one for themselves,” she says, referring to a couple who couldn’t stop gushing about how easy their life had become after getting the admirable appliance.

Following a brief discussion with her husband, Ms Singh ordered the machine online “and the company’s people helped us install it… they came in mask.”

The new machine seems the most ostentatious object in Ms Singh’s kitchen. A simple two-burner gas range reigns over the counter. “Lakshman Rekha” chalk is drawn around an aata jar to keep off the ants. The microwave is in the corner and the spices and lentils are stocked behind wooden closets.

“Even the pressure cooker cleans up very well… the only thing I have to wash in the sink is the kadahi and the tawa,” she says.

Dishwashing machines are novel to Indian homes — during the harshest days of the lockdown, some of the more popular online videos were of Hindi film stars trying their hand at washing the dishes in the sink.

Ms Singh confides that some of her friends also got the machine “in dekha-dekhi (got inspired) but they use it rarely, as if too much handling might spoil it… just like during the early days of the washing machines (for clothes), when we would use it only on Sundays!” Native of a UP village, Ms Singh reveals that nobody in her circle of immediate relatives has ever used a dishwasher.

And now she playfully poses with the machine, making sure that her face is not visible “because of shyness.”

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The Cambridge family join Sir David Attenborough for garden screening of A Life On Our Planet

From Good Housekeeping

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, met up with Sir David Attenborough last week, as they all attended a very special outdoor screening.

The Cambridges and Sir David met up in the gardens of Kensington Palace to watch the environmentalist’s upcoming feature film, David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet.

Alongside lovely photos taken at the outdoor event, the official @KensingtonPalace Instagram caption posted in the caption: “With a shared passion for protecting the natural world, they continue to support one another in their missions to tackle some of the biggest environmental challenges our planet faces.

“This includes working together on The @EarthshotPrize, the most prestigious global environment prize in history – further details of which will be shared in the coming weeks.”

The caption also revealed some lovely details about the meet-up, including the fact that Sir David gave Prince George a tooth from a giant shark, called a carcharocles megalodon or “big tooth”.

“Sir David found the tooth on a family holiday to Malta in the late 1960s, embedded in the island’s soft yellow limestone which was laid down during the Miocene period some 23 million years ago,” the caption explains. “Carcharocles is believed to have grown to 15 metres in length, which is about twice the length of the Great White, the largest shark alive today.”

We’re sure that Prince George loved looking at the tooth, as his happy smile in the second photo shared in the Instagram post proves!

The whole of the Cambridge clan, and Sir David for that matter, were wearing smart outfits in coordinating shades of blue for the occasion, with the TV veteran in a navy suit, Princes William and Louis in blue jumpers, George in a blue checked shirt, and Charlotte in cute blue shoes.

The Duchess of Cambridge looked stunning as usual, in a light blue denim shirt dress, which appears to be the Marley Belted style by designer brand Gabriella Hearst.

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How original is the great British garden? | Life and style

“Britain has led the world in gardening for centuries” is a line often used dozens of times in gardening media. Judging by how frequently it has come up in TV scripts I have been asked to present, it seems to be a concept baked into the DNA of how British gardeners see the world and our place in it. It is a line I am uncomfortable saying.

It’s not that I doubt the enormous influence UK horticulture has had, or that I mind a good bit of flag-waving now and then. My greatest gardening passions – terrariums and aquariums – are arguably two of a tiny handful of uniquely British contributions to the horticultural world. But this “led the world” narrative can only be made if one is very selective about the evidence. If your view of “the world” of horticulture is projects in countries with a history of British colonialism, when the British Empire was at its height, then the narrative works brilliantly. But this quickly becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and the only types of gardens we regard as worth considering are the ones that follow our model of what gardens “should” be.

Often, in order to be called a “garden” at all, designs must be made to fit our pre-existing cultural ideas. It’s rather like saying Britain has “led the world” in language when you only speak English. Sure, it’s enormously popular, and that’s greatly reinforced if you live in a world that self-selects for hearing it, but does that make it true?

This Anglocentric world view means that when I have filmed in Malaysia on garden design, producers have made an enormous effort to find the few remaining outposts of colonial British horticulture: going to highland retreats, filming extended sequences in mock Tudor houses; but showing far less interest in the village herb and forest gardens in the lowland tropics – which are unlike anything else in the world. When I pitch magazine pieces on the incredible high-rise “sky parks” and multi-storey living walls in 21st-century Singapore, I am asked to include more US, European and Australian examples, often more “historic” ones that are more “relevant” to readers.

Even when making documentaries on Japanese gardens, rather than exploring the industry of nurseries dedicated to growing moss (considered a weed in British horticulture) including dozens of named cultivars we instead have to film subjects such as camellias which, frankly, could have been shot in Cornwall.

Japanese camellias: they’re lovely, but frankly they could have been photographed in Cornwall.



Japanese camellias: they’re lovely, but frankly they could have been photographed in Cornwall. Photograph: Alamy

This subconscious filtering process works like a social media algorithm, to remove novel or unconventional ideas that challenge perceptions of what gardens are, presenting us with a vision of the world that matches our prejudices. For a creative form, this is a dangerous path.

The UK is brilliant at food, fashion, music and art because of its successful magpieing

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