M.S. Muralidharan has given a new spin to terrace gardening. His house in MRC Nagar is crowned by a cluster of green — an eight-ft-tall mango tree that has grown out of a thick and broad patch of earth placed on the terrace. Bearing an abundance of fruits at present, the tree is the wow factor of the house.
This quirky exercise in horticulture was not taken up on an impulse. “Even when the house was under construction, provisions were made for growing trees on the terrace,” says Muralidharan. “All engineering solutions, including high-tech waterproofing, were incorporated into the structure of the building.”
Every season, the tree — which is of a short variety and has grown to its full height — yields 300 to 400 mangoes and attracts monkeys. “Have you ever seen monkeys in Santhome? They come for our tree, from nobody knows where,” says Muralidharan. “The simian interest in the tree is probably the greatest compliment for the effort.”
Muralidharan, who also grows short-growing guava and sapota trees on the top, believes terrace gardening should not be restricted to flowering plants. The rich yield of mangoes makes him happy, but he is also touched by the beauty of the tree, when seen against the backdrop of the sea and the Adyar estuary. Muralidharans' neighbours are equally charmed by the mango tree.
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Even when the house was under construction, provisions were made for growing trees on the terrace. All engineering solutions, including high-tech waterproofing, were incorporated into the structure of the building