15 October 2013, New Delhi
Who could imagine in a 50 square meter terrace, there would exist more than 20,000 varieties of plants. Madan Gopal Kohli, a resident of Keshavpuram, North Delhi makes it believable, a four time Limca Book of Record winner for his plants on terrace gardening.
A treat for anyone who loves gardening, thousands of plants speak volume about the effort that Mr. Kohli puts into nurturing and saving them from the scorching heat. With 4-5 hours daily dedicating his day in plantation, he maintains the accuracy of water and sunlight intake with the special needs of different plants. “Every plant to blossom is a difficult task but I have seen Kohli uncle take extra measures and his passion for its beauty drives him to take utmost care,” said Mrs. Smitha Sharma, his neighbor.
Mr. Kohli called as “Gardenwala” is known for blossoming of summer flowers during winter and vice-verse. He follows the process of uprooting summer plants and using it as fertilizers while he replaces the empty spot for winter plants. This way his plants are not wasted but creates a natural and healthy process which he calls as organic farming. “I feel there is nothing better than organic natural farming that gives a mouth watering taste of the fruits and vegetables which cannot be felt with the chemical mixed food sold in the market.”
Ever since he was a child, gardening fascinated him. He would visit Mughal Garden after his school to view beautiful flowers. He started to plant different kinds of roses in his garden and his passion continues till date. “I participated in many shows; All India Kitchen Garden, Pusa Delhi Agriculture Show, for which I have won many awards.” This did not satisfy him and so he started his own “Mini Flower Show” which will be the 21st in 2014. “Taking selected flowers for shows was hectic and justice to my other plants was not served and so I decided rather than me going, I wanted people to come to me.” He claims to have invited every Delhi mayor, several MP’s, including Shahnawaz Hussain, and the late Sahib Singh Verma to his terrace garden show.
Kirti Sharma, a regular admirer said, “On one hand you will be able to find plants of strawberries, mango leaf of 16 inches long, grapes, guavas, tomatoes, beans, lemon while on the other hand you will be able to see the beauty of roses, even lotus, sunflowers, wall flower , medicinal plants.” Indian Agriculture Research Institute Official said, “ Few extinguish plants are found at Mr. Kohli terrace with an amazing feature of not grown from ground but kept in sacks of cement bags, polythin bag or rubber baskets.” Mr. Kohli believes in best use of waste and so he uses ice-cream cups, glass, broken vase, clay tea cups, and big sacks as base of the plants to be grown. “I have mango tree, kerela tree and mint tree growing from one cement sack”, said Mr. Kohli.
Mr. Kohli, former defence personnel spends most of his time with his green friends and believes that it has cured his respiratory disease. His grandson Ajay Sachdeva said, “He is a One Man Army”. Mr. Kohli adds that if more people feel motivated to grow plants in their homes and neighborhood, it would make every city a beautiful place to live in.