BENGALURU: Nothing’s better than the Lord’s creation and nobody can compete with Him,” says Leena George, whose gardens reflect this thought. The 66-year-old, who retired as the administrative officer at her husband’s firm, has been gardening for quite some time now. However, it became a full-time job after her retirement. The one thing that sets George’s gardening style apart from others is the zero use of pruning shears. “There might be beauty in a symmetrical or pruned style. But that is not natural.
I believe nothing can beat the raw beauty that a forest presents. All the colour combinations and the sheer profusion of plants have a cooling effect on the eye,” she said. According to her, pruning is only necessary when you want to size a plant. “I always tell my helpers not to shape any of the plants.
The success of a natural garden lies in getting the plant combinations right,” she added. Even for the hedges, George uses plants instead of artificial materials. “I use bamboo as a common hedge. However, a disadvantage the plant has is that it needs to be replanted after three to four years,” she said.
According to George, some of the techniques she applies in her gardening are loosely based on the Japanese style. “I had lived in Tokyo for 10 years, so I took to the Japanese style of setting up a garden. However, my gardens are not 100 per cent based on the Japanese style,” she said. The trick to achieving a forest-like look, she says, is to apply the camouflage technique.
“I plant both in the pots and also the soil. I make sure the flower pots are hidden from view. Besides colour, the beauty of the garden lies in the manner in which the texture, length and height of the plants are coordinated,” she said. George also has a fruit and vegetable garden on the 20 cent plot.“I have over 20 varieties of fruit trees in my garden,” she said. According to her, plants will thrive if they are watered and given the right manure. “I use only organic manure and pesticide. However, the flowering plants can be treated using the usual fertilisers,” she said.