In search of greener pastures

In search of greener pastures

In search of greener pastures

If you thought Bangalore was wrongly named ‘The Garden City of India’ due to the number of trees being cut down, think again.

At the edge of the City, in Kengeri near the Big Banyan Tree, there are over a 100 nurseries in Ramohalli and Kethohalli selling several types of plants as wholesalers and retailers.

The owner of Sri Vinayaka Rose Farm Nursery and Biotech, Manjunath Reddy, owns a tissue culture lab as well. “We specialise mostly in ornamental plants. There is a lot of demand for roses and anthuriums on our farm. We started off as a big family. Now, we have branched into many nurseries on the same road.We sell as wholesalers but don’t neglect other customers. However, we face a lot of problems regarding the labour. Today, labourers are not ready to work. When certain schemes are offered by the government, people become lazy to work though we pay them a minimum wage of Rs 200-250 per day. As a result, we are banking on migrant labourers. Luckily, we don’t face the problem of water shortage.”

He adds that since the temperature of Bangalore is no more what it used to be, it’s a problem to grow some plants.

Darshan, a helper at TMK Rose Land Nursery Farm, explains that their sales are at their peak on Mondays.

“In our nursery, hibiscus flowers are in demand the most. We grow all kinds of flowers except roses. Regular customers visit us once in three days. Per day, we sell plants worth Rs 4000.”

An avid plant-lover Siddharth, a chartered accountant by profession, visits these nurseries at least once in six months.

“I have been a regular customer at these nurseries from the time they started. I have a few favourites and feel they are better than the ones in the City. I don’t have to bargain here as these plants are available at a reasonable rate.”

Jagadeesh, a landscapist, takes these plants to various places such as Madikeri and the like.

“We have our own landscaping company in Kushalnagar called ‘Geetha Nursery’. We visit these nurseries once a month to take plants for landscaping in many apartments and other buildings.”

He says that the period between June to August is the best time for business because the flowers are in bloom.

But rather disappointed by his business is another Manjunath Reddy, owner of Rose Farm and Nursery, who says, “Seventy five per cent of our business is down due to water shortage. We specialise in ornamental plants and supply them to places like Mumbai and Delhi. We also sell these plants for landscaping. But the demand for these plants is reducing drastically. We now have stocks from four years. Even if we go down into deep levels of borewells, we find no water. Our nurseries are under a huge loss as we have to pay heavy electricity bills. We migrated here 20 years ago from Hosur, Tamil Nadu with the hope that we will do well in this line of business. But that hope is dying,” he concludes.