Saturday, June 5, 2010

Go Green starts from home :)

When in my mid twenties in my materialistic pursuit I have always dreamed of a pretty decent spacious house with a lawn in the front, a servant quarters in the back yard, a kitchen garden and a lotus pond in the side :). Ripple effects of having been brought up in Krishnaswamy Nagar Coimbatore !!.

Once I came to Chennai ten years back I was still innocent!, my views still remained the same as I stayed in my aunt's place which was an independent house. After my marriage and once the house hunt started his Chennai friends used to tease me "Madam you have the house while we will take the servant quarters”. Hmm.. Reality sank in to me quite late....The darker side of living in a metro for middle class family like us!

After the house hunt we settled in T Nagar for a 3rd floor flat without a lift :( as much as we could afford in 2003 being averse to high risk appetite.

After almost 6 years of settling down since we had a baby the next year, my old passion for my dream home returned back. The sky rocketed prices were huge and I was sure we would not be able to invest in Cs ;) any sooner. But I still wanted to stay positive and motivated of my sweet home. So what if we have a flat. We have it in HOT Bazullah Road and IT does have 3balconies :)

Now on how Going Green starts from home !

On two balconies on the west we kept medicinal plants such as Thulasi,curry leaves,Pirandai(useful during bone fractures, good for digestive troubles etc) and Karpoora valli(good for cough and cold). These are plants that are commonly available either with your neighbour ! or at any nursery.

Thulasi and a kind of pasalai keerai

Lemon Grass and Karpoora valli plants

Also we got flowering plants such as shoe flower,Nithya malli and Kanakambaram. This we purchased from the "Rajen's Pooncholai" nursery in Bazullah Road.

Shoe flower along side with Bottle Gourd leaves just growing up

On another balcony with almost NIL Sun 's blessings it was indoor plants such as money plant and couple of crotons.

Now my interesting part! This summer after serious contemplation I decided to go in for a Kitchen balcony garden instead of my kitchen garden concept :) I sowed the seeds of Greens(Mulai keerai/Gongura leaves), bitter gourd, Bottle Gourd, Avarai(a type of beans) and Ladies finger. Apart from the keerai which I have been able to cook with the "Organic Made at Home" brand and which tastes ever delicious to me in particular just because it is from home the rest of the poor vegetable plants found the summer too hot. While some of them did bloom I have not got any vegetables so far (Would come in my part 2 possibly winter time this year!!), apart from the fact that it has made by balconies Go green.

Mulai keerai and Pirandai on the side

Gongura and Avarai plants

Guess what next - The lotus pond :) ....Did you know that the Chepankelangu leaves resemble the texture of Lotus leaves though the shape is a little oval in shape. My urli got transformed into my lotus pond with these leaves from my balcony garden and lotus from my flower seller....:)....

Lotus Pond Visualisation exercise !!

Here’s another feast for the eyes - Once when I sowed coriander seeds (one cannot deny the freshness when it’s from our own home) squirrels were regular visitors in the balcony.

Our visitor squirrel

Also I have a pair of love birds in the same balcony and it makes our small 2 * 4 balcony just perfect.

Love Birds - Sivaji and Jhansi

All in all my own small way of balcony biodiversity :)..


  1. Nice one ka..Actually motivates other to use the little space in the house in a better way.. Hearty congrats!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Wow !! I am both impressed and motivated. I hope to get started ...

  3. hi kavitha

    this is anusha from The Hindu. I'm writing a piece on balcony gardens and would like to talk to you about it. Please shoot a mail to



    it is this small step that when we start we grow along with the plants. nice info, well i too have a small pasalaikeerai and manathkali plant on roof top, along with rose plant which gives wonderful flowers. truly inspired.keep up the good work, i saw your writing in the hindu today.

  5. Nice work Kavitha. i have just moved back to my home in adyar and i feel fortunate to have space around the house. while karpooravalli, thulasi and nandhyavattai are the existing occupants, am planning for some more very soon. thanks for sharing this.

  6. Best portrayal :) First part of your blog speaks about dreams of every middle class person and it needs more courage to agree and stay happy with what we have :) I guess your dream should have been inspired from nice movies as well ;)

    Adding to your idea If at all we have Floral plants more that will reduce our cost for buying them during Pooja days which will have rocket prices and importantly we cannot avoid buying them because rates may wait not the festival

    Beautifully potrayed :) true portrayal doesn't need an expertise if it comes from heart

    Inspiring Blog :) :) :)