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GREEN MATTERS

Terrace garden amid concrete jungle

Sham Prasad stands out among other terrace garden enthusiasts in that he grows it in an apartment complex, says Swathi. V

PHOTO: P.V. SIVAKUMAR

Eco-friendly: The terrace garden of R. Sham Prasad and Sridevi at Kacheguda. -

One could dismiss the five-storeyed building as yet another among the myriad apartment complexes invading the horizontalness of Hyderabad. A second glance, albeit, will sure interest the onlooker and goad him/her to stare on. Up on the third floor, a tiny way a la the sky bridge of the Petronas Towers could be seen connecting the building with an adjoining complex that is yet to be occupied. Glancing along the link, one would enter a green heaven created by R.Sham Prasad ( Ph. 9885766737), the proud owner of a terrace garden in Kacheguda.

Marketing professional and an occupant of Gayatri Sadan in Kacheguda, Sham Prasad stands out among other terrace garden enthusiasts in that he grows it in an apartment complex-- something that many would not dare to do.

“I have always been passionate about greenery. My father was a farmer and before giving away this very plot for development, I owned a spacious courtyard where I grew many kinds of trees,” he said.

However, he had to reconcile to the urban reality and sell off his property. Nevertheless, the green charm did not leave him and he decided to have a hanging garden.

“The idea of terrace garden struck me few years ago when I read a column in the Property Plus supplement of The Hindu. Immediately, I decided to bring it into action,” he said.

Memory of a friend’s son who had to be kept in incubator due to respiratory problems related to pollution, and children from the present generation who do not have any opportunity of associating with nature played their part in encouraging him to throw his lot with the campaign against global warming.

“I visited nurseries, interacted with gardeners and tried to know the distinction between the sun-loving and shade-loving plants. I am also a regular visitor to the horticulture exhibitions,” Mr. Prasad says.

About 300 plants of 100 species fill the garden now. They include flowering varieties such as rose, lilies, chrysanthemums, hibiscus, and chameli, apart from many kinds of ferns, ficuses, crotons, basil, bougainvillea and others.


Notable are the trees with high growth potential such as mango, anjeer, chikoo, and pomegranate grown in large baskets.

“We made Ugadi pickle with the mango grown in our garden,” says Sridevi, wife of Mr. Prasad.

She went a step further and made bonsais of Ficus and Jade. A workshop by Agri Horticultural Society equipped her with the required know-how.

“A watchful eye does not need training in gardening. It all comes with practice. I can estimate the shade and water requirement of the plants without any formal training,” says Prasad.

Lawn grown in a small patch adds to the size of the garden by giving a sprawling look.

“Many warned me of seepage due to terrace lawn. But I had taken enough care to grow it on a tarpaulin sheet. It has been four years and there is no seepage,” he says.

Mr.Prasad’s future plans include expansion of the lawn and shifting to organic cultivation. Also, he plans to replace the polymer sheet used for shade with a climber. Another proposal in the offing is to grow a garden on the terrace of the apartment.

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