January 26, 2021

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Transforming open space into sprawling garden : The Tribune India

Aakanksha N Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, November 23

A 40-marla farmhouse here is widely known as the ‘green house’ in Mand Maur village. Situated on the Kartarpur Road, the house does complete justice to its name. Enter the house, and the vast green space is likely to sooth your nerves.

A pavement leading to Singh’s house

Trees laden with fruits and blooming plants greet the visitors. The owner of the house advocate Gurmit Singh Shugli (73) enjoys the luxury of having tea under the calming shelter of trees. It is this corner of the house where all family members sit together. The couple, nearly in their 70s, looks after the green space and both of them ensure that every plant and tree remains healthy.

A bougainvillea climber adorns the entrance.

“I transformed my home into this ‘greenhouse’ around 45 years ago. This inclination towards growing trees is hereditary. My father had a keen interest in growing plants. People would come to our place and have jamuns and mangoes tended by my father. I have dedicated my space, time and effort towards looking after the plants and now even my son and grandchildren are into the same,” he says with great pride.

There are more than 300 plants with bright and beautiful flowers. The couple has grown litchi, mango, kinnow, grapes, papaya, rama tori, methi, brinjal, spinach, coriander, radish, lemon, garlic in their home. The main attraction of the house is a long bougainvillea climber that has grown till second floor and looks resplendent as it adorns the top of the house.

Advocate Rajinder Singh Mand, son of Gurmit Singh, said jokingly, “We are so emotionally attached to our plants and trees that it has now become our weakness. Saareya nu pata hai ki asi fruit mul leya ke kha skde haan, kisi nu todan nahee de skde (everyone in our village knows that we can buy and eat fruits, but we don’t let pluck either fruits or flowers from our farmhouse). We just admire the beauty from a distance,” he said. “Even the children in the house cannot touch any of the plants. Our plants are very much like our family members,” he added. Some of the new saplings he had got from Lucknow and the newbies in the house are attracting a lot of colourful and beautiful birds. Mand said he is in habit of collecting flowers from every place that he visits.

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