Saturday, July 29, 2006

Go green!

Go green!
Deccan Herald

There are many beautiful gardens in Bangalore. After all, Garden City must live up to its name! But there’s one garden near Richard’s Park area that stands out for the unique distinction it enjoys - it has been a prize winning ornamental home garden for 30 years.

No prizes for guessing who the proud owner of this plot of green is - Priya Mascarenhas. Most people have heard of Priya’s garden , which has been tended with the same kind of love and care that is showered upon children. It is this love for plants that has helped Priya reap numerous awards, including the Javariah rolling shield for outstanding ornamental garden for several years.

Ask her about it and she will tell you, “I don’t do this for awards. I am very passionate about my garden and I take care of it myself. I don’t have a mali to help.”

Priya loves working with tropical plants and has quite a collection. “Each year I make different arrangements for the competition. I try and mix tropical plants with few flowering ones. I also add objects such as terracotta items and figurines, which bring an aesthetic appeal to my arrangements,” she told Metrolife.

Enter the garden and you feel like you’ve stepped into a different world. Despite the humdrum of traffic on the main road behind the house, you can hear birds chirping, squirrels on the fruit trees and a variety of butterflies flitting about.

We ask Priya about her favourite patch and she says, “I love ornamental plants, ferns, asparagus and heliconiums, which are my speciality and I’m proud of my collection. It’s not very easy to grow them. I also have lovely Jacobians in red, yellow and pink and some spider lillies. Then there are 25 different fruit trees including bread fruit, figs, rose apples, mando, chikoo, custard apple, bull’s heart (ramphal), etc. This is an abstract garden, where every corner has a surprise. People tell me my garden is an extension of my home.”

The garden boasts of a water cascade and bright painted benches that lend charm. A Japanese theme corner, a grotto for meditation, a nursery for the garden that has over 1,000 varieties of plants and soft illumination at night are some of the other highlights here.

So does Priya think her garden is the best? “Not really. It’s unfair to say mine is the best garden in the City. I come under the tropical ornamental garden category and all my awards have been in that segment,” she says quickly.

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