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My garden

Abhishek Banerjee/AD 160 

Abhishek Banerjee tends to the Tulsi in his Rastafarian-themed garden. (Prithwish Karforma)

Who says gardening is a post-retirement hobby? Abhishek Banerjee, a young IT sector employee, is as passionate about plants as he is about rock and reggae and has in fact done up his garden thematically to gel with his taste in music. So Marigolds and Dahlias keep posters of Bob Marley and Pink Floyd company on his terrace.

Our garden is inspired by the shacks of Goa. While the basic design is mine, everyone at home contributes.

So if I guided the labourers to paint the terrace borders in Rastafarian colours of green, gold and red, my brother Atreyo put up band posters. My mother got cacti from Kalimpong and my father designed a barbecue set to have parties up there. And yes, my daughter waters the plants.

Right now the garden is full of seasonal flowers like Marigolds, Snowballs and Petunias. On my mother’s birthday this January she had received some Gladioli. We got them grafted and now they are growing in a pot too.

As the heat sets in, we’ll have to return to Hibiscus, Bougainvillea, Togor and Jasmine. We also have some “9 o’clock” flowers that bloom at 9pm and fade away by dawn. The garden produce 50-60 flowers a day in summer but one never sees them in the garden as they get offered for puja.

This winter, we relished a homegrown Gourd and the Broad Beans (Sheem) are nearly ready too. Our Tomato plant would bear lots of vegetables but we couldn’t eat a single one. Turns out that squirrels would run up a Radhachura tree on our pavement, hop over to our terrace and gorge away on the tomatoes.

One of the decors in our garden is an abstract tree that I have painted on the wall. There’s much to learn from trees, especially how its roots, leaves, branches work together to provide for one another. To me, a tree symbolises the ideal family.

As told to Brinda Sarkar

If you have a garden you are proud of and tend to yourself, send your contact number to The Telegraph Salt Lake, 6, Prafulla Sarkar Street, Calcutta 700001 or call 22600115 after 4pm or email to saltlake@abpmail.com

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