Gardening in Urban India

Book Review

Sharon DSouza owns and writes this blog. A mother of two, she is based in Pune, and works as a content strategist. She is a coffee-lover and writer, so it is but natural that she is a regular at her writers' club which meets in a coffee shop every Sunday. She is also a home baker, and loves to travel!

Most Indians keen on gardening buy gardening books, but they are authored by non-Indian authors, and meant for end-users in other countries. They are of little use, save for their visual appeal and adornment on a coffee table. I own some of these too, and I haven’t gleaned anything useful from them, because the plants they talk about are not native to India, and impossible to grow here. The soil conditions are different, as is the weather!

When I was approached by Dorling Kindersely (DK Publishers) I was pleasantly surprised to hear that here, finally was a book meant for the Indian gardener. I already knew that a gardening book is usually a decor accessory more than a useful addition to the library, but since I am a decor blogger, I did not mind another coffee table book! However, I was intrigued when I was told that the book is in fact useful, and written specifically for the Indian market;  I now couldn’t wait for the book to arrive.

The basics are covered A comprehensive book, starting with the basics – analysing your soil type, knowing which specific climatic zone your city or town falls under (India has 6 distinct climatic zones) and by that, identifying the plants that grow best in your climatic zone. The most interesting thing for me in Chapter 1 was learning how to identify your soil type! I found that my soil was alkaline, and it needed regular supplements of acidic nourishment. Never one to dally, I started nourishing my dull-looking flowering plants with used tea leaves, and sure enough they started to revive. For someone who didnt think they had green fingers, this was phenomenal encouragement. And so, I read on!

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