Wednesday, February 12, 2014

For the Love of Green (Garden Tour)

Bangaluru known as the "Garden City of India" seems to have lost it's title to the innumerable sky scrapers being painted across the cities horizon, resulting in greener territories being pushed to extinction. But there are some Bangalureans (after the name change I guess that's how you refer to Bangaloreans now, right???) that beg to differ. Orchestrating a garden symphony that's abuzz with the sound of leaves rustling in the wind, the buzzing of the bees and the tweeting of the birds, can be a daunting task in the heart of  a Metropolitan city like Bangaluru. But ask plantaholics Padmini and Chandra Mohan Singh (my wonderful parents), it's what comes to them naturally and is the core of how they define themselves. With no formal training in horticulture or the likes, the now retired couple take immense pride and joy in their green oasis, that's home to more than a 160 varieties of flora.


The Singh's private residence is cradled in the midst of a landscaped sculpture created by integrating their favorite plants and their desire to wring beauty from each planted space. More often than not, the plants are allowed to take on their own course of design, as the Singh's believe that the garden looks better when not corseted with stakes and twines. But none the less, to keep the garden looking it's very best,their Sunday's are spent in maintaining the space like mowing the lawn or guiding a branch or limb of a plant to lean on it's fellow neighbor.



Waking up to a ritual of having tea in the garden, followed by an hour of watering and tending to her plants, Padmini says the benefits from gardening are far beyond just visual appeal, "Gardening is like yoga to me. The color green said to be associated with it's positive ability to rejuvenate and bring a sense of tranquility sure does wonders for me. It helps bring a wonderful rhythm to my breathing, my eyes feel relaxed and the feel of the lush green carpet under my feet is pure indulgence. But it's the sight of a new leaf or flower that's most rewarding and empowering and it's what get's me through my day."



What makes the garden visually interesting is the use of plants to create texture and layers. Foliage with different colors are mixed in to vivify and create engaging garden borders. Treating their garden no different than the interiors of their home, the Singh's have accessorized their garden with brass bells, terracotta containers, stone statues and decorative metal bird cages and lanterns.


Chandra Mohan is to be given full credit for the architectural details that you can see in the garden. A huge undressed granite slab has been re-purposed as a bench, where the Singh's enjoy their Sunday morning brunch. More undressed granite slabs have been roughly etched to create a pergola for another quiet seating.With pillar palms guarding the privacy of the Singh's residence, the couple is able to make the most of their outdoor retreat and particularly enjoy alfresco style entertaining with their family and friends .

Little pockets have been created through out the garden to be able to sit and enjoy a good read, a cup of tea, bask in the sun or occasionally knit. The Singh's agree that gardening is not for someone who wants instant gratification. Chandra Mohan say's, " Nature has it's own agenda to unfold it's splendor.You and I cannot speed that up." He further adds that it's an activity that tutors you in the field of hope and optimism, "it get's me up and out of bed each day with the anticipation of the next bloom in my garden."  


A covered patio with comfortable seating, spruced up with cushions from time to time is a popular spot during the monsoon seasons. It's where the Singh's enjoy the falling rain accompanied by deep fried fritters and hot cups of tea. 

The lush greenery  is also a huge attraction with the feathered friends. Wanting their share of this retreat, they seem to be perched on branches at all times of the day. Fondly calling them " Chi-chi babies", Padmini makes sure that the bird feeders are stocked every morning and there's plenty of water in the bird bath for a quick splash or drink. Come mango season, her chi-chi babies are spoilt rotten with the juicy fruits cut and hung on branches of trees.
Frequent visitor's to the Singh's garden include the Red-whiskered Bulbul, the dove and the great sparrow. (clock-wise from left)
Here are a few close up's of the jewel's from the Singh's garden. It's a constant battle for the Singh's to keep a check on their plant collector's impulse, as they head out every now and then to their favorite nurseries in search of new varieties to add to their green treasury.
The best tip from them : "Patience is truly a forte when it comes to gardening. Give it time, effort and love as you would to a child and don't be afraid to experiment and learn along the way."


Inspired to get your own green patch started ??? Well what are you waiting for then, get down and get dirty. If you happened to enjoy the garden tour, do drop us a line and let us know what's your favorite corner in the garden. 

I'd like to thank Padmini and Chandra Mohan Singh for willingly agreeing to let us tour their wonderful garden.Their home tour required a dedicated post and will be coming up next. Make sure that you are willing to sit for a while cause the home tour post is going to be a picture heavy post;)

You'll have a wonderful day !!!

Images:Clicked by Padmini Singh. Please do not use without prior written permission.
Images are the property of Padmini Singh and subject to copyright. 

23 comments:

  1. This is such a refreshing post. The post has rejuvenated me to start working on my thesis now :D . Loved the patio corner where your parents have pakoras and chai during the rains or chilling winters. LOVED the birds too!

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    1. Hello Neha, so happy to hear from you. The patio is a favorite place of mine too. Glad you stopped by and good luck with the thesis.....

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  2. Absolutely amazing pics!!! Love, love, love :) Can't wait to go home for my next vacation to make maximum use of that amazing garden!!!

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    1. You got to wait for me too......can't cash in on all the fun all by yourself;) Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful day!!!

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  3. Great pictures of a lovely garden!

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    1. Thank you Beloo, appreciate you stopping by.

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  4. Oh what a beautiful outdoor space...loved how they accessorized the garden. Such s treat to the eyes!

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    1. It is a visual treat Nirmala......thank you for stopping by and make sure your back for their home tour;)

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  5. Fantastic article and amazing photography ! Missing Bangalore

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    1. Well, Hello Hello !!! Thank you Mayur. I can't wait for the next trip back home, when all of us are together like old times........

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  6. A truly beautiful garden - love the cosiness of it

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    1. Neena.....was just thinking of you. The last time I did a garden feature, it was your beautiful garden. Appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to connect.

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  7. Beautiful Garden. Made me more home sick. Looking forward to my next Bengaluru trip.

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    1. I empathize with you Arathi.........it's tough being away from home. But on the brighter side, I'm glad you enjoyed the feature. Hope to see you here often.

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  8. How lovely Sruthi. Your post is a treat for sore eyes for sure. It's spring time at our end and even I was planning to do a couple of garden posts on my blog. You have set the ball rolling and I'm all inspired to do the same :) Lovely garden. Always nice to have greenery around. It's so soothing for the nerves :)

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    1. With winter being rather difficult this year, I'm done and can't wait to enjoy spring followed by summer. I could sure use some happy garden posts, so look forward to what you have instore. Thank you Reshma for reading.

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  9. Thank you for sharing this beautiful home. I'm from Bangalore and it was a real pleasure to see this home!

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    1. It's always wonderful meeting a fellow Bangalorean.........glad you enjoyed the tour Reshma.

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  10. What an absolutely beautiful garden. I want to curl up with a good book and enjoy - the photos are beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Marie thank you for stopping by.........it is a very tempting little green oasis.

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  11. What a beautiful garden your parents have, Shruthi. Now I know how you do what you do, it's in your
    genes :-)
    This is a very beautiful post and it was pleasure to read about your parent's love for the plants. Thank you for sharing with us.

    Vijaya

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    1. Thank you Vijaya, appreciate the kind words.

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  12. Stunning! And this is your home?? Just wow! My mom loves to garden too and had a lovely, thriving one till she contracted chickenguniya 2 years ago,. Her doctor and the area muncipality forced her to get rid of the lush greenery as they were attracting mosquitoes! My poor mother's heart has ever since remained broken....she still has some, but imagine! The city corporation wouldn't clean the city, went around homes forcing them to cut down on greens, have you heard of this heartless madness? I loveee this post!

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Thank you for visiting The East Coast Desi. I'd love to hear from you.