Miniature wonders help balconies breathe...


Bonsai is usually confused as dwarf trees, but it is growing small trees from regular stock and seeds, which need a lot of patience and tolerance, writes Gayathri V Raj

Clusters of Hibiscus, roses and a whiff of jasmine and champa planted in the spacious garden surrounding the huge house and the heady smell of the freshly watered soil... All these which was once a reality can now only be visualised as the concept of a huge garden has vanished.

Only a very few houses in Laxmipuram and other areas can still boast of such gardens even today. 

M C Ahalya Devi is one of the few women who are nurturing these plants with passion.

Speaking to City Herald, Ahalya Devi who is an ardent lover of plants and a proud owner of more than 40 bonsai plants at her residence said, the plants need the same love and care we shower towards the children.

At a time when the land value has skyrocketed and various builders and contractors utilising the available vacant space to the maximum, gardening which once used to be the cynosure of all eyes around decades ago has lost its value. It is at this time the bonsai plants gives you the immense pleasure and satisfaction and also add aesthetic look to your home, said Ahalya.

A minimum space is enough to start a bonsai collection, only that you should have the genuine love towards nurturing plants, she adds.

She has more than 40  bonsai plants at her residence in Brindavan extension which includes, fig, mango, bamboo, lemon, curry leaves, coffee, neem, gulmohar, guava, ‘Basiri mara’, orange and a lot more. 

By contrast with other plant cultivation practices, bonsai is not intended for production of food, for medicine, or for creating yard-size or park size gardens or landscapes. Instead, bonsai practice focuses on long-term cultivation and shaping of one or more small trees growing in a container.

Ahalya said that she is not very rigid in following rules of bonsai cultivation and takes it very comfortable in her own stride. She does not leave the house without a pair of clippers, so that she begins pruning plants at the place of visit and sometimes even luckier to get some rare species of plants which she turns them into bonsai form. 

A guava plant at her residence was nurtured from a seed, said Ahalya who says a person needs a lot of patience and tolerance to be successful in growing bonsai.

Ahalya has participated in a lot of competitions that is held during Dasara and won many prizes in the home garden category.

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