A flower lover’s paradise, this garden

A flower lover’s paradise, this garden

Mysore garden - M A Siarj

It’s over a month since Dasara festivities came to an end in Mysuru but Hashmath Fathima’s home garden continues to receive ceaseless streams of visitors. It is for the eleventh time in a row that this garden received the top honour in the home garden series at the Dasara flower show organised by the Mysore Horticultural Society. 

Fathima’s home turns a cynosure of all eyes by the middle of October every year with hundreds of flowers blossoming in unison, bushes turning green and vines and creepers casting a mesmerising spell with their emerald sheath around her cottage.  

Embracing a passion

Passionate about flowers and birds, Fathima has been growing flowering plants, creepers and trees around her house in Kalyangiri, an eastern neighbourhood of Mysuru for nearly three decades. Even though gardening is an all-time engagement for Fathima, she goes about the task more meticulously with a new arrangement of flower pots, cages of birds and a plethora of statuettes towards the end of monsoon.

Come September, the garden reaches its prime with thousands of flowers swaying in the breeze. While most passersby sneak a look, several others find the temptation to peek a look inside hard to resist. Most are welcomed with a smile and even offered useful tips and clues to go about the task of gardening.

With only a small portion of the 40 feet by 70 feet plot having a pucca structure, the tastefully laid out garden envelops Fathima’s house from all sides.

A science postgraduate, she had no formal training in gardening. Do-it-yourself (DIY) manuals were the main source of guidance since her youth. On an average day, she devotes well over three to four hours tending to the plants, watering them, taking out dried parts and giving them a tidy look.

Altogether, nearly 40 varieties of flowering plants are grown in several beds along the fencing walls or in more than 800 mud pots. Spliced bamboo, used tyres, old shoes, and discarded plastic bottles of beverages come handy to grow ornamental plants like cacti and xerophytes, which are either hung over the walls or hang by brackets of pillars. A couple of stuffed animals, mud statues of flamingoes and weaver birds’ nest hung from a frangipani and the mango tree, add a delightfully authentic dash to the ambience. 

Fathima says she had decided to dedicate the most portion of the plot to raising a garden around the house and maintaining an aviary in the backyard ever since she moved into this home in the early 1990s.

As days passed, she began growing dahlia, marigold, zinnia, hibiscus, begonia, daisy, dianthus, verbinia, petunia, anthurium, zenobia, geranium and gladiola. Walls are covered with creepers. She uses only organic manure to nurture the plants. 

The ample space in the backyard is however shared by a small aviary with over 50 lovebirds, two fish ponds, a vertical garden and a sit out with stone benches. Gurgle from a small fountain and the cacophony of twittering birds add sound to the shades, sight and scent of the tiny plants. Visitors who come to her place return inspired and feel that it is not easy to maintain a garden in such a manner. Hashmath Fathima can be reached on 73376-69030.