Living in a big city is like living in a forest, but a concrete forest! Cities remind us of vehicles, dust, traffic, buildings, crowd and what not. When it comes to living in a city, it is nothing but living away from the serene nature. But still many nature lovers tend to find a solution so that they can be in the midst of Mother Nature.
Here is one such beautiful home-garden near Yadavagiri. Shahanaz Mushtaq Sharif, a resident of Yadavagiri, has converted her residence into a beautiful garden house. The house is built in a 60X40 plot and it almost covers the entire plot. But in the sideways of the house, Shahanaz has successfully made a beautiful garden over the years. More than 300 varieties of plants in a small space, which is organised in a way near to perfection never fails to mesmerise visitors.
Shahanaz has been winning first place in ‘Best Gardener’ competition held by Dasara Flower Show since many years and even this time she has bagged the Best Gardener award.
She was interested in gardening since she was a young girl. Born and brought up in Chennai, Mysuru was new to her. She started gardening to pass time and the journey went on to make a blistering garden at home. A small replica of a banyan tree, one of the most favourites of Shahanaz is 30 years old! And the little tree, shows the beauty of Bonsai world and her care and affection towards the plant.
Shahanaz has been a member of a Bonsai Growers Ggroup, named ‘Srishti’. They introduced the Bonsai plantation to seer Ganapathy Sachidananda, who created a beautiful Bonsai garden at his ashram. The team Srishti had only six members at the time of its inception. They thought of introducing Bonsai to Mysuru and succeeded in their efforts. Now the team has more than hundred members. New members keep joining the team. They get together once in a month and discuss regarding the plantations.
Shahanaz does not just plant the saplings, but makes them unique in nature. She plants them with some landscape concepts such as riverside, forest and many more beautiful ideas. She made use of grinding stone in order to work out on a concept. “With the technological advancements, no one got time to use the grinding stone. Instead of putting it aside, I made use of it to work out a landscape,” says Shahanaz.
Every year, during Dasara, the authorities conduct the individual garden competition. The garden of the Shariffs has been winning the best garden award since the last 10 years. Every year, the beauty of the garden goes on improving along with the collection of plants. The collection includes, varieties of Cactus, Cycas Bonsai, Orchids, Anthuriums of various colours, Hibiscus, Ooty Roser, Ivy from Nainital, Jasmine, Pepper, Astomary, and the list goes on.
Shahanaz is a travel enthusiast. She has been travelling to various parts of the country. Wherever she goes, she brings a special plant of that region. She has got the collection of rare plants from Ooty, Nainital, Chennai and other parts of the country. Her family has been very supportive for her gardening. Her son, Faizy Sheriff, who looks after their 70-year-old electrical appliance shop, has inherited the interest in gardening from his mother. Mushtaq Ahmed Shariff, Shahanaz’s husband has been full of support throughout.
She is an inspiration to many who live in the cities. To create greenery, it doesn’t take much space, but willingness and dedication. The Shariffs are now planning to have a terrace garden soon. It will be one of the finest terrace gardens covering a vast area of the plot, says Faizy Shariff, gardening enthusiast son of Shahanaz. The beautiful little garden is worth a visit for the gardening lovers of Mysuru.
-Shrithi Joyappa K