Vriksha nursery

Vriksha nursery is a second generation nursery based in Mumbai where we strive to change the face of urban gardening in India with over 25,000 gardens executed in Maharashtra/Goa/Gujarat. We have a team of dedicated professionals who will leave no stone unturned to give you gardens of the utmost quality. Vriksha nursery has been synonymous with innovation in our field be it set landscaping(over 15000 teleserials/movies/adfilms), temporary landscapes (over 2500 exhibitions and weddings),ikebana flower arrangements, urban farming, rooftop gardens,living walls etc.
contact us :9820704069 Email: shaan_lalwani@hotmail.com
or better still
Drop by at: 1 ganga apts ,
irla railway soc(2nd last bungalow lane opp papilon hotel )
mumbai 400056.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cannon balls (to you)....one of natures weirdest plants.

Botanical Name : Couroupita guianensis

Family : Lecythidaceae
Hindi : Nagalinga नागलिंग , Tope gola तोप गोला
Kannada : Lingada mara, Nagalingam
Marathi : Sivalingamhori
Malayalam: Nagalingam
Hardiness: It will only grow in tropical zones and is very susceptible to frost.

Growing Environment: Provide lots of water and humidity for optimal growth.

Propagation: By seeds.

Uses: Fruits are edible and are occasionally eaten, but the smell of the white flesh discourages most people from trying them. On the other hand, the flowers have a wonderful smell and can be used to scent perfumes and cosmetics. The hard shells of the fruit are sometimes used as containers.

Native Range: Native to rainforest of the Guiana's in Northeastern South America.

This has to be one of the weirdest plants iv encountered as a horticulturist these awesome beauties are seen all over our country abundantly planted near various Buddhist/Shiva temples , considered a sacred tree among Hindus because the flower resembles a nag or a sacred snake on the central large shiva lingam .

The tree is deciduous and large, 50-80 feet in its native lands. It is said to have special significance in the Buddhist religion. Flowers (followed by fruit), grow directly from the trunk. Fruits are soft and very fleshyhe seeds are embedded in a six-segmented, fleshy pulp that oxidizes bluish-green and emits an unpleasant aroma when exposed to the air
Why i find this tree particularly weird is the peculiar fact that the flowers of the tree have no nectar within them. They do, however, contain pollen, carried mainly by bees, which is so abundant that the bees use it as a ready source of nourishment.

These fabulous trees are well worth looking for, though it is hardly advisable to be standing below them during the time when the ripe fruits, which can weigh several kilos, come plummeting down to the earth below. Warning signs are often posted near cannonball trees, to keep people at a safe distance. The wonders of the natural world are endless and inspiring, and this wonderful tree is indeed a wonder. Keep an eye out, if you are ever in the areas where they grow.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bonsai - 4 easy steps to creating this stunning miniature.

My obsession to bonsais started when i wast in the 4th standard ...id go behind in the nursery post school hours armed with a scissor snipping chopping any plant that came my way. In the process i many a times pisssed my dad of tons of times. But through all the so called destructive behavior he saw through ...and the very next bonsai village( a yearly exhibition in jamanabai narsee school) i was a proud owner of a ficus retusa...:
Though i chopped of one of its main stems she still is a beauty. I appropriated a beautiful Bougainvillea bonsai then ...which was given to mrs jolly kuriakose (The awsomesst English teacher ever).Now at 25 i own more than 500bonsais of more than 65 varieties. Though iv done my courses (bsc in horticulture,Ma in landscape management ) the only knowledge i had about bonsais was of the practical type and some of these methods though

unorthodox the results were second to none so i thought of telling yo guys about them:::

1) Plant selection:
When selecting a tree species its important to consider your geographic location. Some trees lose their leaves in the winter and require the temperature to drop below freezing so that they can enter a dormant state and prepare for the spring. Other trees will not survive long in the freezing weather. Some trees will require a lot of water during a hot summer while others are heat hardy. Research the kind of trees that do well in your area Select plants that are hardy. The 5 varieties of tree most commonly used for bonsai are: 1) Ficus; 2) Juniper; and 3) Chinese Elm.4)Bougainvillea 5) Brazilian rain tree. And though yo may like to think a coconut tree could be made into a bonsai....IT CANT...(iv got tons of people asking me if iv got a coconut bonsai...still looking for how best to answer them)

2) Visualize :Each and every plant has a character of its own .When it comes to choosing a training bonsai i strongly suggest a plant with a distinct stem formation(easier to start up this way)When choosing a plant, look for leaf color to make sure that the plant is healthy. Then look around at the selection of plants and imagine what each plant would look like after it is pruned. It's important to visualize the bonsai before you buy the plant and bring it home. You do not want to bring a plant home only to decide that it isn't immediately suitable to be a bonsai.
3)Selection of the pot:

In Mumbai there aren't very many ceramic pot options plastic bonsai pots are freely available in the markets. Your plant will then have to be planted in a suitable pot. Select the pot keeping in mind that it should be able to hold enough soil to cover the roots of the plant. At the same time, the pot should not be too small or it will not be able to give the plant the support it needs.Remove your tree from its bindings or container and gently place the sapling tree on a clean, flat surface. Remove the excessive soil from the roots and inspect the roots thoroughly.Look for damaged and wilted roots. Use your sharp, sterile pruning shears to remove those damaged roots. Trim the taproot, or long downward growing root, from the system. Cut the taproot with a flush cut, avoiding ragged cuts and edges.Plant your newly pruned bonsai in a shallow, well-drained potting container.
4)Training & pruning :

this is what i love...there are 3 basic ways to tran a bonsai:
1. Bonsai styling by pruning. An occasional thorough styling as well as regular maintenance pruning are essential to create and maintain a miniature tree. When shaping a tree, deciding on which branches fit the design and which ones need to be removed can be very tricky. Take the tree’s basic shape as given (do not try to make radical changes) and decide what should be the tree’s front. From this position on start thinking about which branches need to be pruned in order to improve the tree’s overall shape. After having styled the tree regular pruning is crucial in forcing the tree to grow a dense foliage and branch structure, while remaining its shape.

2. Bonsai training by wiring.

Like pruning, wiring is an essential technique to style Bonsai trees. By wrapping copper-wire around the tree’s branches you are able to set the shape and angle of the branches. When wiring a tree, start with its main branches. Thick branches need thick wiring; as a rule of thumb use wire of about 1/3 to 1/4 the thickness of the branch. Try to wire two branches of equal thickness with one piece of wire. It is important to maintain an edge of about 45° when wrapping wire around the branches, providing some room for growth.

3. Other Bonsai styling techniques. Many other Bonsai styling methods have been developed, including defoliation, creating deadwood and planting rock formations.
There loads of training bonsais ,and bonsai materials are now for sale at the nursery do drop by and pick up your own very own starter bonsais.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mr Fukuoka"s rice and citrus orchards.

any of the agri/horticulture graduates/urban farmers out there pls watch this ...this man has changed the face of organic farming .

Monday, May 9, 2011

Urban edible garden sollutions 2: HERBS.

Estimates show that as many as 20 million people are engaged in urban agriculture all over the world. Half of Latin American cities, 72% of urban - house holds in Russia and 14 largest cities in China produce 85% of the vegetables/herbs not only from terraces but also on empty sites, unbuilt areas, parks, etc . Sadly in India we depend on the paltry packets we get in the super markets which have been grown on farms that use all kind of pesticides,herbicides,insecticides...chemical fertilizers the question you need to as is do you really want your pizza topped with carbaril or ur pesto made of roger.
Words can't describe the flavors that come only when cooking with fresh cut herbs and how they enhance your culinary adventures.There is a whole lot of herbs on sale at the nursery namely::

8. DIL
10. SAGE
13. MINT

Herbs can be annuals growing only for a season such as basil, dill etc or perennial, those which come back year after year for eg. thyme. Most of them require little care and are nearly pest free. They can be grown in the garden in containers out doors or indoors. They require well draining moderately rich soil, ample air and sunlight, except a few which prefer shade. There is no need to fertilize herbs too often. Too much fertilizers or organic matter can lead the plant to become large and leggy and loose its actual flavour. If herbs are planted for their flavour or for seasoning with their leaves, pick the tender leaves before they bloom for best results.

1)Do you want herbs mostly for culinary,aroma or medicinal purposes?

2)How much space do you have to plant your herbs?

3)Will you plant them with vegetables or ornamentals? If so, you may want to consider texture, height, color, fragrance, and any other factors that affect the appearance and attractiveness of your garden.

4)Where do you plan or planting your herbs? Is it a sunny or shady place? Note that most herbs need at least six hours of light, and others like shade.

5)Do you plan on growing herbs in containers or in the ground?

As a general rule, the bigger the seed, the deeper you should sow them. Some herbs such as coriander and fennel don’t transplant well so it’s best to sow them directly in your garden.
As far as pests are concerned, there are only a few you need to worry about with most herbs. Be on the lookout for red spider mites and aphids particularly. If you plant mints, check periodically for rust. You can mix a little castor soap with water and use a fine sprayer to wash off your herbs periodically to prevent these common pests

What you need to know is one plant cant feed your family forever( i get clients buying tomatoes ,brinjals who think that that poor little sapling is their life time supply of the vegs) its the experience thats rewarding...
Dont finish the whole plant in 1 meal...i know ur hungry n the herbs taste good but leave some behind for the plants to grow back...
Always wash the herbs thoroughly before cooking them.
and when ever you cook pls feel free to drop in to share your food with the hard working nursery-boy who has worked hard to help you get those tasty little plants.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Common home plants that get you...HIGH!!!!...

Since the time i decided i wanted to be a horticulturist i kept getting asked 1 question" So do u grow anything special" .I always wondered what answer were they expecting" yea yea iv got a 100 acre farm in the hills ...feel free to come n have your way with the so called special plant".For a while i wondered were there any alternatives to Cannabis any plants that could produce the same or different desirable/undesirable effects and with time iv found quite a few plants that are not banned and oh so commonly available...id love to write a disclaimer but sadly im a horticulturist not a lawyer( phew!!!...i dun have 2 wear funny wigs ,a gay tie or a black night gown!). I'm in no way promoting that you go and eat/smoke/or do what ever the hell with these plants...all im trying to do here let you guys know of the other sides of these commonly used plants::

1)`Morning Glory

The next two seeds are very similar to LSD, both morning glory and Hawaiian baby woodrose seeds contain LSA (lysergic acid amide), a psychedelic similar to LSD but about one tenth of the strength. Most seeds sold at stores are coated with a substance designed to make you feel ill and the best way to consume it is to extract it or find untainted seeds. The effects can last up to 14 hours and produce a dream like state.

2)Amanita mushroom

a mushroom that grows in abundance all over the south of India Amanita mushrooms contain the psychoactive ingredients ibotenic acid and muscimol. It is believed that the Viking berserkers ate these mushrooms before battle as it was thought that they would increase strength. These mushrooms are not to be confused with psilocybin mushrooms which produce a pleasant high. These mushrooms produce effects ranging from synesthesia (the smelling of colors) to perceived dramatic changes such as increased strength and muscle twitching. Amanita-Muscara mushrooms are easy to identify by their red color and white spots, but the genus Amanita contains some of the deadliest mushrooms currently known (so don't try unless you are prepared to die).


In India the dhatura has found a highly revered place of honor as one of Shiva's sacred plants. According to the vamana purana it grew out of Shiva's chest and the garuda purana gives instructions for ritual offerings of Datura flowers, which should be made to Shiva on the 13th day of the waxing Moon in January.imson Weed, is a leafy herb that can grow up to 2 meters high, produces seed pods and can be identified by large white or purple flowers. This inconspicuous looking plant contains atropine, scopolamine, and hyoscyamine, chemicals which are located mainly in the seed pods and flower and when ingested can cause effects ranging from hallucinations and euphoria, to confusion and delirium. The effects of this plant can last up to 3 days in large doses.

4) Nutmeg:

This spice is one of Indias largest exports ...but it as a dark side .Eating four to eight teaspoons of ground nutmeg causes mild hallucinations, warmth in the limbs ...but the side effects are there dizziness, nausea, cottonmouth, paranoia, difficulty urinating and, the coup de grace, a hangover that feels like God taking a dump on your soul.
Some users compare the nutmeg "high" to a hellish case of the flu. To make things worse, nutmeg consumption is easily the most inconvenient way to get high--its effects kick in five to six hours after ingestion. That's like the early morning after downing a neat bottle of JD.

5) Salvia divinorum

Salvia divinorum, a psychedelic plant that contains Salvinorin A. which can produce an intense 10-30 minute trip, with effects ranging from radical perspective shifting to an extremely intense experience. Many people who try Salvia Divinorum do not want to try it again.It can be legally bought online on many websites and grows like a weed in mumbai.


ingesting large amounts of unripe mulberries can cause moderate hallucinations.Your foremost reaction to unripe mulberries would be the urge to puke your guts out.another point about mulberries you dont want to forget that mulberries are also a potent laxative! Given all the shitting, vomiting and flightiness unripe mulberries induce, it's a wonder super models aren't addicted to them yet.

7)Poppy Seed:

Yes, these are the seeds of the opium poppy, the very same flower that has fueled much of the world's drug trade through history. Thus poppy seeds contain minute amounts of the opium alkaloids morphine and codeine,And if you eat enough of them, you could get high (theoretically).

there are more than 42,0000 plants in the world that would have many such effects ...but the plants are quite rare so not bothering to mention them .Im ending this article like the weekly soap opera on Indian television called WWE...
pls dont try this at HOME!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Living walls: wall gardens simplified.

I first saw this concept on a random walk in Sheffield.I was simply blown away on how absolutely stunning these gardens looked . Though the gardens were made in India since the late 90s green walls has just started to catch on as an effective,sustainable and stunning landscape feature. Wikipedia defines green walls asA green wall is a wall, either free-standing or part of a building, that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and, in some cases, soil or an inorganic growing medium. .
History:The first trials of its plant walls Patrick Blanc started in his own home ,later he created these wonders in some of his friends place and here the concept gained popularity. After many years of experimentation, the botanists found the optimal solution for buildings to be provided with a plant life. Its substrate-less design is so simple and successful. On the wall to be planted, a metal frame is attached and foam panels are installed, which in turn are covered with fleece?

I was sure this wouldn't work in Mumbai due to our temperatures/humidity and market conditions.So we at Vriksha nursery made minor modifications to this near perfect design to make it more suitable for the Indian markets.
Benefits :Benefits of Vertical garden
1)It helps in hiding less attractive portions of your landscape.
2)Growing plants in this manner generally avoid a lot of problems with pests and diseases, since many pests can't even reach the plants. Vertical gardens thus promise fewer insects, disease, mildew and fungus due to the additional sunshine and air circulation.
3)You can grow more plants with limited space.
4)Many materials used for vertical gardening can be used in ground-level gardening or raised beds, such as trellises and stakes.
5)Hanging baskets and grow bags are a great way to grow both flowers and vegetables in a small vertical space.
6)It will help in keeping your plant away from soil- borne diseases

How its done:here are some basic pointers you need to keep in mind while setting up the green wall:

1)Decide if the living wall is to be set up indoors or out.
2)Choose the appropriate plants
3)put up the mounting strips.
4)Set up your drainage and irrigation(drip preferably)
5)Choose your rooting media mixture carefully(make is as light as you can)
6)Carefully plant the plants on the panel and let it rest laterally for plants to be stable
7)keep panels vertically for a week before mounting
8)Arrange the lighting for the plants.
9)Mount frames corner to corner and make sure its mounted just right
10)Water and fertilize the plants.
There are other ways to do the green walls fabrications,growing bags etc but there is a big question mark when it comes to sustainability.Prices of this wall vary from about rs1200-1500 per sq ft depending on the quality of work done /plants/rooting medias and fertigation systems.A surprisingly large variety of plant species suitable for the vertical city gardens: small shrubs, perennials, ferns and mosses, including many known species that grow in the otherwise conventional bed in our gardens.For any queries/Additional info you need on living walls, feel free to drop me a line id be more than happy to help you with more details.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The royal flower bouquet:: the symbolism behind Kate"s wedding bouquet

5.30 on my weekly monday morning in dadar...i found myself gazing upon the vast array of colors arranged shabbily on both sides of the roads . A mist the early morning hustle while trying to pick up some beautiful daises for my girlfriend ,i chuckled about the million articles she showed me about the royal wedding. What they wore,ate what they did everything was look at in such crazy details. In all this madness,i noticed the flower bouquet was quite very personal...flowers from the royal garden from bushes planted by queen Victoria
Some really smart florist back in the day decided the best way to sell flowers was to assign so called significance/meaning,as if to say each flower stood for some deep seated meaning/feeling(marketing genius i say).Roses were given love,buttercup stood for riches the the lamest was coriander which signified lust hahahahahah.i decided to look into the meanings behind the new princess's flowers.what i found was quite interesting.
Let's decode the message of her fragrant, shield-shaped bouquet:

Sweet William (aww!) -- The Prince of course, and gallantry

Lily of the Valley -- Return of happiness

Hyacinth -- Constancy of love

Ivy -- Fidelity (it's certainly faithful to the fence in my garden), marriage, wedded love, affection

Myrtle -- Emblem of marriage and love
Now Kate Middleton has gone off the deep end with the Language of Flowers. This indulgence in flora was probably brought on by her researches into the meaning of the oak tree she chose for her coat of arms.

Actually it's affected all the Middletons and at the wedding they wore custom jewelry based on their oak and acorn theme. Kate's wedding earrings are oak and acorn too.(i sincerely thank my princess for the never ending list of articles where i spotted these)

Every bride gets a little obssesed about something, and this at least will give Kate something to talk about with her garden-obsessed father-in-law, Prince Charles.