Home Gardens in the City

Home gardens are wonderful things. Modest or grand, they’re places of calm retreat- patches of land that connect us to the earth and a natural way of living. Featured here is a back garden in Delhi. The driveway of this home is shaded by Madhumalati, Hibiscus, Palms, Mango, Kachnar and Champa; it makes way for a patch of green, circled by seasonal flowers and trees of Moringa, Curry Leaf, Banana and Sweet Lime.

At different times of the year you’ll find Oriental White Eyes, Bulbuls and Purple Sunbirds among other creatures feed on the nectar of these abundant flowers and fruit– a comforting, urban ecosystem to live with in a city. Despite the urban trend to build-up wall to wall today, there is yet a primal part of us that lights up when we find ourselves in natural surroundings. You  might remember  a childhood living in a home with a garden or near a field.  Mornings spent perhaps gathering fallen jasmine flowers or joyous evenings running around in that part of nature that families created and cultivated.

That was a time when city homes with gardens were not a rarity or a luxury. Neighbours would exchange home grown saplings, vegetables and fruit of the most exhausting variety- a way of community living. Let us celebrate home gardens—the rare sanctuary we have in cities against the outpouring of concrete. The place—no matter how small—that honours nature and our own lives.

Words: Sugandha Das and Shivani Dogra

Photos: Shivani Dogra

Garden tended by: Sujata Madhok, Late Santosh Madhok and the Mali (Gardener)


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