How does your garden grow?

Not with silver bells and cockle shells, but this Chennai woman plants everything from strawberries and bleeding hearts, to brinjals, beans and kale

It all started with the hibiscus.

Walking her way flanked by rows of adeniums on the terrace of her two-storied house at Besant Nagar, 58-year-old Sujatha Ravi narrates how she turned her terrace into a veritable garden. “About three years ago, I wanted to grow hibiscus flowers, because we needed them for our pujas.”

Today, it’s not just hibiscus flowers: cabbage blooms invite you onto the terrace while banana trees stand sentry. The spinach rest under a pale-coloured mosquito net, protected from squirrels, while baby carrots are nestled inside the soil. The brinjal is not the usual round and purple, but white and long.

Sujatha takes us around the garden, the sun winking at her through the criss-cross grid of the bamboo shed. From this grid, hang bottle gourd, elbowing their way through the more decorative pots of bluebells, cosmos, bleeding hearts and ivy. The guavas are ready, the strawberries still green, getting ready to be plucked, while the grape vine has a while to go.

As she runs her fingers through the tulsi, I take a whiff of the adjacent basil plant, the aroma enveloping us. She plucks a single ‘mint-tulsi’ leaf, and offers it to me. Rolling it around in the mouth instantly cools the tongue down. “One leaf is enough to act as a mouth freshener,” she says.....Read more


Source web page: The hindu

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