People generally make excuses for not having time for gardening और plants. They say they have other works to do but do not have time for plants that supported life on Earth.

But Suman Das, an advocate by profession practicing in Gauhati High Court, Assam made the decision to convert her terrace into an Urban Jungle. 

She has studied law in National Law Unversity, Delhi. She is actively managing her professional and personal life. She has started growing vegetables from February 2020 and has converted her 400 square feet space on terrace into a garden which she calls “Urban Jungle.”

I recently saw her post on Facebook and felt very good about her interest in gardening. I wanted my readers to read and learn from her marvelous gardening story. 

She could have stayed in Delhi but because of her love for nature and home, she decided to stay in Assam. This single decision, later on, made a huge difference. 

She is growing sunflowers, Beans, Brinjals, Capsicum, Spinach, Sunflower, Bittergourds, Pumpkins, Capsicum, Mint, Chillis, and other plants. Her neighbors by seeing her efforts and results got inspired and now they are adopting her method of growing plants organically at home.

Advocate Suman Das had a conservation with Agriculture Review that you will love to read and share.

1. How and when you started gardening?

Suman: Gardening is a fancy term that we use to imply anyone willing to indulge in beautifying their homes by planting plants as a pass time or hobby. But for me, planting crops has a whole different meaning. 

I come from a society that has a repute for being self-sufficient. An Assamese house-hold will have a big backyard where several fruit/medicinal trees and vegetables will be planted. 

Then there will be a place for chickens and ducks followed by a pond for fish. So I didn’t start gardening all of a sudden. It is something that has always been an integral part of our lifestyle. 

Although my grandparents moved to the city yet they held these ideals close to their hearts. My mother who designed my house ensured that there is sufficient space for us to grow our food and plant as many useful trees as possible. I therefore learned about gardening from them. 

But it was only during my law school days in Delhi that I realized how important it is to live a sustainable life. The pollution of Delhi was a harsh reality which made me move back to Guwahati and it was somewhere in December 2016 that I gave a serious thought about growing my own food and creating my green space. 

In an attempt to expand my product and to maximize the available space I started terrace gardening in February 2020.

2. What is the meaning of gardening for you?

Suman: My understanding of the word garden is different from the rest. Most people use the term to define a specific hobby. But for me, it’s more about doing my bit for a sustainable living

The growing population, diminishing land followed by depleting green cover and the rising number of deadly diseases caused due to overuse of inorganic fertilizers/pesticides and insecticides should act as an alarm bell for the upcoming difficulties that we might face. 

We will soon have a shortage of food and water. If we do not learn to grow our own food organically, have an adequate system of drip irrigation, etc then we will not be well equipped to handle the future. For me, gardening is not just an expression for my love of nature but also my way of safeguarding the health of this planet and my family.

3. What is your favorite plant in your garden?

Suman: This is a particularly hard question. It is similar to asking parents which is their favorite child. My plants are like my children and I love all of them equally! I can’t really tell which one is my favorite.

4. How do you care for your plants?

Suman: My busy schedule doesn’t allow me to indulge in gardening as much as I would want to but my minimal care comes on the weekends. I routinely add organic insecticides and fungicide on them like neem oil, add calcium like eggshells and lime water, vegetable scraps, etc. I also add bonemeal to my plants once they start fruiting.

5. What are the mistakes that new gardeners do?

Suman: Gardening is all about experiments. Most new gardeners make the mistake of not studying their environment before planting anything. When I use the word environment, I wish to elaborate and include the soil you use, the amount of sunlight your area will get, the weather conditions required for your plants and most importantly planting in the wrong season.

6. What’s your message for everyone?

Suman: My message to everyone is that you need to start planting as much as you can. It doesn’t matter what you plant as long as you grow something. The pleasure of being around nature will bring immense joy to you. 

It’s is all about having a spiritual fulfillment. Nature will always reward you back. It is one of the best stress-buster of all time. If you want peace in your life then get involved with nature.

7. How gardening has helped you? 

Suman: Gardening is my style of meditation. I lose track of time when I am in my garden. I simply watch it grow and feel amazed to see how much life I have given single-handedly. It has given me hope that someday we will all be together in this and build a greener world for ourselves. 

My plants have taught me resilience. In tough and troubled times plants fight the most and a little care bears a lot of results. This now gets reflected in my work. 



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