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 :)..