GREEN FINGERS

Revelling in nature’s bounty

Digging Out Joy: City-based professor’s garden is indeed a feast for the senses

Revelling in nature’s bounty

Dr Kanwaldeep Kaur, a professor, with a variety of flowering plants and colourful pots in her front garden and terrace in Jalandhar. Photos: Sarabjit Singh

Aparna Banerji

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 19

‘Nurture nature and nature will nurture you,’ is her eternal mantra. For her, these aren’t just words but a way of life, a visit to her home in Jalandhar is a ‘breathing’ testimony of this fact.

Dr Kanwaldeep Kaur, Dean Academics, head of the Commerce Department and NAAC coordinator at the HMV College, is indeed a proud owner of an exuberant garden. Verdant bushes of curry leaves and ashwagandha greet one at the entrance of her home. Stepping inside, one sees an entire row of oxygen-generating plants. A narangi tree with its refreshing green leaves and orange tangerines peek out cheerfully at the entrance portico. A reclaimed shoe rack with ornamental crystals, tea cups serving as pots and a Zen Buddha corner serves as a tranquil resort.

Fruits and veggies galore

While her greens exude a wellness-retreat-kind-of-vibe to her home, every niche, corner, gallery and space, both on the inside and outside, is tastefully decorated with her plants in mind. In the shade of her narangi tree, rests potted plants ready to be given to friends when she retires later this year. Packed into her front gardens, hedge gardens, entrance portico and two terrace gardens is a variety of trees, plants, flowers, fruit and veggies so diverse and fertile that every year she gives out many of her plants to neighbours, friends and colleagues - planted in pots herself - propagating the green goodness. She has at least five varieties of Basil tulsi.

Of exotic flowers & herbs

Her frontal flower bed is rich with pervasive and choicest flowering plants, herbs, ornamental trees and her loved tulsis. It has button flowers, hibsicus, football lillies, crepe Jasmine or chandni plant (Tabernaemontana Divaricata), the night flowering coral Jasmine (Nyctanthes arbor-tristis), various varieties of periwinkles (sadabahar plant), Nerium Oleander or Kaner and a verdant varieties of herbs such as Niazbo (or sweet Basil), indigenous basils, with a number of fruit yielding trees too — moringa oleifera (or drumstick tree), papaya, Mango tree, lemons etc. At her top terrace garden is her vegetable garden which yields the family’s bountiful supply of guavas, pomegrenates, brinjals (3 varieties), okra, green gourds, and another hedgeful of Basil dancing in the rain.

Switching to organic way

Dr Kanwaldeep says, “Collection of plants kept my stress and illness at bay. The garden has cured me of all my ailments. We cook chutneys with five different herbs, live on the supply of our own veggies and our drumsticks are much sought after in the neighbourhood for their medicinal value. I propagate my own plants and rarely buy from outside. We also make our own compost which provides rich soil for our produce.” Her husband Omkar Singh Bedi, a retired banker, also lends a helping hand to her.

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