Amrita Bharti from Pune transformed her balcony into a green garden during this lockdown due to Covid-19.
|Amrita Bharti in her garden|
The year, 2020, has brought lots of changes in everyone’s life, moreover many people around the world have started realising the importance of the nature. After seeing many footages of wild animals roaming on the streets on well developed metro cities we can realise that because of our activities we have limited the growth and development of nature in the cities.
Before lockdown wherever you saw while standing on a busy road in a city, there was buses, cars, motorcycles, noise, pollution, and little plants not in good condition.
But lockdown changed everything, people started seeing wild animals on streets, quality of air improved, distance between family members reduced, and while people got valuable time in their life rather than running in a rat race, they started growing and caring for plants.
One such beautiful person is Amrita Bharti, a mother of two cute and smart kids and tied in a pure connection with her loving, caring and supporting husband. She had enthusiasm for plants since her childhood but this lockdown made it intense!
She left her job 10 years ago, in her previous workplace she worked as a training co-ordinator in General motors. At present she runs her own business of steel utensils.
She has more than 300 plants in her balcony, not limited to only ornamentals, she has flowering, vegetables, succulents, indoor plants, and many more that can add lots of value and positivity in life.
When someone says that they do not have space for growing plants then share Amrita’s balcony gardening story with them. It will make them realise that space is not the limitation, it is the poor mind stopping them to buy a plant.
Plants can grow anywhere, you just need to provide them a little care and they will give you lots of gifts in return, the connection with plants is similar to the connection with mother. They both love us without any condition, it’s a pure form of love.
Its a story of a small girl who grew and become an active gardener. So come, let me take you to her journey.
Now let’s read the story sent by Amrita Bharti to Agriculture Review in her own words, if you are also in gardening and you think that your gardening story can inspire and help people to grow plants then do share with Agriculture Review.
|Amrita Bharti won in Quarantine Gardening Fest in the category |
I am not from any farmer’s home nor we had a big place for garden. But still I saw my mom and dad planting many veggies and flowers in that little home. That was really fascinating when I plucked a guava from my backyard and ate. I think that was the time when the gardener inside me was born.
During those days along with my parents I started showing interest in gardening and that was when my journey started.
I got my dream home with a small balcony in Pune. I started planting many plants but due to some reason I had to gift all of them to my friends.
After few years when my kids became little independent, I wanted something where I could get engaged and I realized that nothing could be better than gardening.
Three years ago I started growing flowers in my balcony garden but soon I realized that just growing plants is not enough, related knowledge was also important. This led my urge to learn about plants. Moreover COVID-19 and lockdown gave me the perfect opportunity as well.
I started reading many articles and watching videos. I started absorbing everything but still I was not satisfied. I wanted to do something different. After being successful with few plants, I thought of sharing my knowledge and tips with my friends.
One fine day I started my WhatsApp group dedicated to gardening for my housing society which has around thousand flats. People were very excited to join my group and soon it grew to 150 members in a matter of days.
|Amrita Bharti’s balcony comparison|
Soon I realized that there are many people who wanted to grow plants but due to lack of knowledge and failures they were reluctant. So, I started sharing my gardening tips. And soon I started sharing my plants as well to many of them.
Gardening Tips From Amrita Bharti
The biggest challenge we face in garden is a good soil. Our plants health depends a lot on the soil we are using. So here is a lightweight ideal container mix almost for all Sun loving/Outdoor plants.
- Garden soil: 30 percent
- Cocopeat: 30 percent, It holds the perfect moisture for our plants and is very light weight.
- Organic Compost: 30 percent, it makes the soil rich with many nutrients .
- Leaf mould compost: 10 percent, It has lots of nitrogen. Helps the plant to grow fast.
- Bone meal: 1tea spoon, full of calcium for plants.
- Neem cake powder: 2 spoons, Neem cake is used as antifungal agent and it will prevent root rot in your plants.
Mix them well and our soil potting mix is ready.
This is the universal light- weight soil mix mostly for all types of plants (except succulent and few indoor plants). Indoor plants have a little different requirement as they are less exposed to sun and their watering requirement also varies.
Indoor plants like Anthurium, Orchids have completely different needs compared to other indoor plants.
Foliage plants care and tips
Water them very carefully. Overwatering can rot your plants. If kept indoor then don’t forget to give them early morning or late afternoon sunlight once in a week.
For good growth we can give onion water as it’s high in nitrogen. Non organic fertilizer NPK is also good for them. Few foliage plants performs well with few hours of direct sunlight. Like- Crotons, rubber plant, etc.
During monsoon let them also enjoy under rain once in 15days. It will make them happy and also simulated their growth. Fertilizer requirement once in a month is enough.
Indoor plants generally gathers lot of dust and other undesirable residues and become unsightly. Misting or wiping foliage with a soft moist cloth make them look shine and beautiful.
Hope this will be useful for all plant enthusiastic people. Let’s come back to my story.
|Amrita Bharti’s Garden|
Next, I arranged garden related needs like- organic fertilizers, identifying nursery, pot stand etc. Most of it were delivered at home at minimal price. All these initiative motivated my friends to grow and maintain balcony garden.
I was happy to see that my knowledge and help was supporting everyone and making everyone’s home and society greener. In the mean time I also joined few gardening related WhatsApp groups and came across many experts. They all were very kind to share their knowledge and experience.
The more I was understanding my plants and their behaviour, the more I was getting attracted to newer variety of plants. Now it was a time to introduce vegetables, ornamental plants, herbs, succulents and many more.
But it was a very big challenge to fit them all in my small balcony garden. But little bit of planning and rearrangement did wonders. Now I have around 300 or more plants of various types.
During lock down due to Covid-19, I saw many people getting frustrated, restless, impatience; including me.
But gardening turned out like a hope and strength – not only for me in fact for all my friends. Now its a life line of a small girl who grew and turned into a Gardener. My motive of life is to inspire as many people as possible to grow a garden where balcony size is no longer a constraint to have a great garden.
I do not want to limit myself to my society now. I am expanding my wings to reach people of different cities and countries through Facebook and WhatsApp.
My aim is also to guide and help people to make their own compost using their kitchen waste. This will be a little support for our mother nature to keep it green and clean. I believe that there is a gardener inside everyone. I just helped them to find the same.
Someone said…In the middle of difficulty lies opportunities.
If you liked the gardening story of Amrita Bharti and you think that it can also lighten the mind of people to start growing plants in their home then do share this story with everyone by clicking on the share buttons given below.
If you are already into gardening and you think that you also have an interesting gardening story then do not forget to share with me on my Facebook page Agriculture Review.
Aditya Abhishek is an Agriculture Science student who focuses on learning and delivering knowledge on Agriculture and Home Gardening. He created Agriculture Review as a common platform for all nature enthusiast to learn better practices of agriculture and gardening.