A terrace can be for garden too
Gardening enthusiasts in Mangalore connect with nature by turning their roof tops into gardens, writes Sandhya C D’Souza.
Mangalore which was once a carpet of lush green is now turning into a concrete jungle. High rise buildings and space restrictions have taken away the pretty gardens which once adorned the homes.
However, a few gardening enthusiasts in Mangalore are not deterred by this. They have displayed their creative skills and shown their concern for green by turning their terraces into beautiful gardens.
Dr Bharathi Nirmal from Ullal is probably one of the first green crusaders in the city to start off with a terrace garden. Speaking to City Herald, Dr Nirmal reveals that she started off with the concept 30 years ago.
“My terrace used to heat up and the temperature in the house used to increase. I wanted to make my terrace cool. Hence, I shifted some of my plant pots to the terrace. This made the terrace look more beautiful and hence I decided to continue with the concept,” she says.
Dr Nirmal has grown beautiful flowers on her terrace. “I have many rare varieties such as jasmines, daises, bougainvilleas, desert rose among others,” she says and adds that plants are like little children, it needs good nurturing.
Terrace garden belonging to Anupama Bhat from Manjeshwar has been declared as a demo model plot by Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA).
Anupama tells that she was inspired by a documentary on terrace gardening she saw on youtube four years back. “I thought even I could do the same and then there was no looking back,” she says.
Anupama has grown almost all varieties of vegetables in her terrace kitchen garden. “I have grown almost 16 varieties of vegetables on my 1,200 square feet terrace.
I have grown cabbages, cauliflowers, carrots, beetroots, ladies finger, gherkins, radish, chilies, leafy vegetables among others,” she says. “The Kerala government is supportive towards green initiatives. Through ATMA, a Central government scheme, I have received Rs 4,000 to maintain my garden,” she adds.
Rajkumar, Officer in-Charge of Panambur Metrological Department has turned his terrace into a kitchen garden at Hosabettu. Rajkumar tells that he has not gone to the market to purchase vegetables since the past two years as he has grown almost all varieties of vegetables.
“I always wanted fresh vegetables. As they were not availbale in the market, I decided to grow my own,” he says and adds that everytime he sees the fruits borne by the plants, he gets motivated to continue with his hobby.
“The Karnataka government should support such green intiatives. There is also a need to start a seed bank, where one can buy the seeds he wants,” points out Rajkumar.
Kamala Kanapady who grew up in Coorg says, she missed nature once she moved into Mangalore. “I wanted a big garden, but space was always a constraint, so I turned my terrace into a kitchen garden,” she says. Kamala grows brinjal, tomato, bittergourd, gherkins, spinach and other leafy vegetables on her terrace in Bejai.
“In today’s compact cities, terrace garden is probably the best solution to connect with nature. It adds a touch of green to the most ignored corner of house,” says Rajendra Hegde.
Hegde who works as Project in-Charge in Vittal Mallya Scientific Reserach Foundation has conducted several workshops on terrace gardening.
“Awareness on terrace gardening is picking up in Mangalore. However, people have several apprehensions,” says Hegde. Most of the people are worried if their terrace can sustain the weight of the garden and the water content may cause leakge.
In case a person’s terrace can sustain the rains, then growing a garden may not cause the leakage, says Hegde.
If weight is the apprehension, one can grow plants in thermocol pots, plastic bins or bags, he says.
“There is no particular design for a terrace garden. It is left up to the gardeners creativity and ability. However, any garden needs good nurturing. Good compost, healthy soil and regular watering is a must,” he adds.