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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She quit her job for full time rooftop kitchen gardening : The Tribune India

Deepkamal Kaur

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 28

Till a few months back, Vandana Walia Bali, a former scribe, was working at a private firm but she finally chose to quit her job and take to what had been her passion over the years.

Residing at Ekta Vihar Phase-II in Mithapur, this ardent nature lover is now not just growing her own seasonal vegetables, but also maize, lemons, mausami, loquat, amla, guava, narangi, mangoes and medicinal plants such as tulsi, aloe vera, ashwagandha, moringa, kadi patta and stevia – all on her rooftop and through an organic mode.

“We all need safe and fresh vegetables to stay healthy and build immunity, especially in the ongoing pandemic situation. But most of us do not have space to grow them. I have myself experimented and found that rooftop kitchen gardening can be the best solution since it gives a lot of space and allows plants to trap more sunlight. So, I am spreading this message across to everyone in my circle by frequently posting pictures of my harvest on the social media,” she said.

She shares more advantages, “This is also the safest and the shortest food chain as we just have to pluck the vegetables and bring them to the kitchen ourselves. So no extra hands touch these vegetables and hence no chance of any contamination.”

Bali shared her experience, “I have been growing vegetables for almost a year now on my terrace. I use soilless medium which is highly nutritive for the plants and light in weight for my roof. The plantation is done in portable farming systems made of high density polymer which is UV protected. They have a proper drainage system fitted in them, a frame on which we can install a green net to keep our vegetables safe from too much heat during summers or frost in the winter. I use drip irrigation system to water the plants and save about 75 per cent of water. While I am saving on water, I am also sure that my vegetables are completely free from pesticides and are 100 per cent safe.”

Now an entrepreneur running franchise centre for Jaipur-based company ‘The Living Greens’, she added, “During Covid, my terrace garden became a boon for me. I could feed my family with these fresh and safe vegetables even when there were no vendors coming. I also did not need to wash my vegetables with soda etc and keep them untouched for a day or so.”

Attempting to do some eco-friendly things, she has also been trying to make use of household waste as planters. Besides using bottles for setting up vertical planters, she has also used worn out tyres, old shoes, broken cups, etc as planters and decorated various corners of her living area quite aesthetically.

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Garden of wellness: 55-year-old Jalandhar resident grows his own herbal remedies : The Tribune India

Avneet Kaur

Jalandhar, September 14

Amanjit Singh Bakshi (55) discovered his green thumb as a child. He further honed this hobby over the period of time. Tending to his home garden for six—seven hours and seeing his plants bloom keeps him thriving. He believes that surroundings have a great impact on one’s personality, so he made the plants his companion. “They are just like living creatures, which demand all the care, love and regular cossetting.

A proud owner of a large variety of fruit plants, ranging from peach, plum, guvava, imported guvava, apple, mango, grapefruit, sapodilla (chikoo), mitha fruits (Citrus limettioides which fights against viral fevers) to vegetable plants, almost each variety of plants are planted at Bakshi’s garden here in Pholriwal. He says he used to live in the Urban Estate Phase I, but the house did not have much space for the garden, so three years back, he decided to shift to a place where he could dedicate a good portion of land towards gardening. “I now have my garden set up on an area of 1,400 sq ft,” he said.

He shared, “My daughter is married and my son lives in Gurugram, I live here with my wife. I carry out my business activities from home only so that I can work amid nature. Besides, Amanjit said his garden was also home to two hens. “As we are now used to eating only home-grown fruits and vegetables, we have kept two hens too, so that we do not have to buy eggs from outside.” Amanjit first said he had no gardeners to tend to his garden and he alone managed to take care of each plant. “It’s been a decade that I bought fruits from outside. We eat fruits that are grown in our garden,” he said.

With a variety of medicinal plants such as insulin, tulsi, gilloy, amla, aloevera, shatavar and ashwagandha and vegetables, including bitter gourd, ridge gourd (tori), brinjal, chillies, mint, coriander, drum stick, and many more in his garden, Bakshi said, he has got remedy to every ailment and that he never took any antibiotics.

“My wife is diabetic, so I make sure she eats the leaf of an insulin plant, which is good for maintaining blood sugar. Besides, we are very fond of ‘Mitha’ plants and we eat that every day, this fruit is not commonly found outside, so even my neighbours too visit me to have this fruit from me,” he added.





Amanjit Singh Bakshi
A bird house
Anjeer

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