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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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my garden

If one is not careful walking into Dipti Banerjee’s driveway, one’s head would hit the many Pomegranates hanging from a tree there. Also peeping out of the driveway and the front yard are Nayantara, Hibiscus and several other flowers that she says get plucked and taken away by passersby. But the pilferage does not discourage Banerjee from working tirelessly on the blooms.

Thanks to my husband’s transferable job, we’ve lived all over India and nurtured gardens in every house. Finally when we moved to Salt Lake we drove in with one truck full of furniture and another full of plants that I had collected over the years. The truck driver had been requested to water the plants in the rear every time he stopped for a break during the drive from Bilaspur. So they arrived in good health.

Today we have 280 pots of some fruits, some vegetables but mostly flowers, as flowers are my weakness. I have Nayantaras of rare colours, Rajanigandhas which are my husband’s favourite and winter delights like Gladioli, Gerbera and Chrysthemum.

There’s an Amprapali Mango tree which I hope will start bearing fruit in a couple of years. I wanted to plant grapes too but our gardener says grapes grown in the Salt Lake soil turn so sour that even birds refuse to peck at them!

My family members have all been bitten by the gardening bug, especially my brother-in-law Partha. Even in this heat, Partha goes to the terrace at noon to tend to the plants and we have to scold him to keep him indoors. And my daughter and her cousin have compiled a video on the garden and put it up on YouTube for all to see.

As told to Brinda Sarkar