A Green House For Mr & Mrs Das

By Times Of India on 25 Dec 2017 | read
The Garden of Eden may have seen the loss of innocence but the Garden of Das's has only seen blossoming of love. Over the last 25 years of their marriage, this green-fingered couple not just weeded out the many hurdles that came their way but also nurtured the seedlings with as much care as they have their relationship.
Today, the over 5,000 square feet of land at Adarsh Colony (near Katol Road) with over 5,000 types of plants is a testimony to that.

It all started in 1985 when as a bride Shanil Das, along with her belongings, brought a love for plants into her new home. She soon sowed this passion in her husband Sahadeb and reaped for themselves a lifelong calling for gardening.

While Shanil was an avid gardener since a child, Sahadeb was initially not a big fan. "I would often fight when the dinner was slightly delayed because she would be tending to the plants. Around 1990, I started participating in gardening competitions just to get media attention. We would win many prizes and championships," says Sahadeb, who retired as a government servant some months ago. Shanil is vice-principal of a college.

As their finances kept growing, they started investing in plots. "We started gardening on our terrace but in all these years, we have managed to buy three plots adjacent to our house. It's an addiction," says Shanil. All the non-working hours of the couple would be spent in growing rare species of flowering and non-flowering plants.

Their garden is no ordinary one. In thick old books and used bottles, drums, pipes and walls — plants are growing everywhere. "Instead of throwing away the tattered books, we made a whole in its middle, clapped its pages and sealed them with a waterproofing agent," says Sahadeb, who is growing species of cactus and aloe vera in the books.

The couple keep researching about different techniques of growing plants. One such method which they have adapted is Hydroponic system in which strawberry plants are being grown in old water pipes without using soil. "The roots are present in around 2 millimetres layer of water. With a pumping system, nutrient-filled water gets supplied to the roots. The remaining water goes back to the system again to avoid wastage," says Sahadeb.

To grow species that are rare for the city's climate, the couple have set-up a misting system. "It ensures that the required temperature and humidity is maintained. We have successfully grown pitcher plants which are insectivorous species that feed on insects," he adds.

While they have been continuously participating in competitions, their sixth flower show was inaugurated at their residence near Katol Road on Saturday and will ke kept open for public on Sunday.