BENGALURU: It was a childhood among greenery that made Sandhya Janak a lover of gardens. Having spent a larger part of life living in bungalows with gardens across India, it is no wonder that she started missing them living in a high-rise in Hyderabad. That is when she turned her balcony into a green haven.
Janak, who is an actor, artist and former journalist, says: “Gardening is a part of me. Even as my kids were growing up, I would keep potted plants in my house,” she says.
Janak, however, never had a garden in her own home till a visitor came calling when she was out on a two-week vacation. “A black, needletail made a nest in my balcony and a creeper that bore a small, round fruit sprang from it. I didn’t have the heart to pull them out when I returned. So I decided to turn the balcony into my personal lung space in the house,” she says.
Her balcony garden has bougainvillea, tulsi and aloe vera. She swears by aloe vera, as it is a fruit-bearing wild plant that is her favourite.She sourced most of her plants from a nursery and friends. Janak says that her garden has not only added to the aesthetics of her home but also made her more environment conscious, with her recycling water too. “I keep a bucket in the kitchen in which I collect all the water that I use for washing vegetables and lentils. I then use it for watering the plants,” she says.
Janak is also a firm believer of respecting all forms of life. She says one should learn to empathise not just with humans but also with plants. “Research says plants grow better if there is music around and if one talks to them. Though I don’t do either, I do touch the leaves and spend time with them,” she says and adds that, “And I feel this is why my plants are healthy and grow faster”.