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, September 26, 2011

Plants in the office environment

Over the last decade Mumbai's infrastructure has rapidly changed.glass towers,sky scrapers,multinational complexes have made the Mumbai skyline an absolute stunner.the office spaces in Mumbai occupy a large chunk of the sky line and the twinkling lights in the night sky is testimony on the long working hours the city puts to rightfully call itself the commercial hub of India.With most of the population spending hours at their desk the office surroundings have come under increased scrutiny .Plants office do more than just look pretty. They help clean the air that we breathe as well as make us feel less alienated in the artificial environments that pass for offices now. Modern office buildings spew out hundreds of chemicals from the new carpets, paints, upholstery, computers and plastics.one of the many researches into this the Researchers found that one potted plant per 100 square feet of floor space can help clean the air.


the most effective plants and the poppular Areca Palm which is known to remove ammonia, and formaldehyde (found in many cleaning products) from the air and releasing moisture into the air. Peace Lily which removes acetone, then the Rubber Plant, then

Ficus Benjamina
(weeping fig) then the drachena eliminates mould causing asthma, boston ferns,spiders are highly rated for improving air quality.philodendrons look stunning and are excellent at removing formaldehyde, especially so at higher concentrations.Devils Ivy, or Golden Pathos, is an excellent air cleansing plant. Its decorative marbled leaves and easy maintenance make it very popular amongst indoor plants


now this a concept developed by us at Vriksha Nursery with my natural need to experiment with plants iv found several plants that work well in the air conditioned surroundings and keeping pests like:rats,lizards,mosquitoes,flies,mites,roaches at bay. cloak rooms,rest rooms service passages are ideal for these plants and over the last few years we have realized its an effective way to keep the office insect free without the use of highly toxic chemicals that have devastating side effects not just for your surroundings bot for the health of the employees as well.

Plants/Terrarium/landscapes/bonsai's give the office the clean professional looks that your office table tops deserve.Plants like Anthurium,Phalaenopsis Orchids are visually very appealing and though they cost a little more they compensate the same in pure beauty.Terrarium is a collection of compatible plants grown in an enclosed, or partially enclosed, clear container.Creating a terrarium filled with ferns and other small plants is a practical and fun way to have a miniature landscape inside your home. Their easy care is ideal for people who are too busy to spend a lot of time caring for plants
Table top landscape:many people have thier own version of these here at the nursery the landscape tray has been a best seller for over 15 years first made by the best landscape designer ever to have walked the face of this earth:DAD...a simple symbiotic collection of plants in a flat handmade ceremic tray decorated with marble chips and goa rock...as a kid i used to be round his n rajus(my head gardener) neck n i still cant make them as neat as them.Bonsai
is a Japanese art form using miniature trees grown in containers,,,and its not as hard as it sounds but it looks second to none if the right variety is trained well in the right container.

4)Basic maintenance practices:
what you must always remember is the plants are in an office atmosphere and the maintenance practices need to be effective swift and precise. the work can be basicly divided in 3 basic categories:-


a)removal of yellow leaves.
b)cleaning/wiping of planters.
c)watering(there are exceptions)
d)emptying coasters of excess water.


a)trimming/pruning of bonsai and cleaning of Terrarium
b)shifting of plants in dark spots to places with more light and visa versa.
c)re setting of decorative ornaments marble chips,etc


a)re tiding of moss sticks.
b)take the orchids out of the premises and do the feeding(addition of liquid fertilizers)
c)addition of mud manure in plants to be done outside the office premises.
d)re trimming of landscape tray.
if these steps are followed i assure you that the plants will be maintained in top condition for a long time.
At the nursery we offer many attractive hiring schemes in which every month your office gets a fresh set of plants trained gardeners ,visits by horticulturists ,plants dat dont suit your requirements are changed in 48hours etc.give us a call on the numbers mentioned above ...or better still drop by to know more.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

10 common edible wild plants of Maharashtra (India)

--Be sure of your identification of the wild edible plant BEFORE you eat it! Some wild edible plants have very poisonous look-alikes.
--You may be allergic to some wild edible plants. If you are at all unsure if you will be allergic to a particular plant, eat just a little bit at first.
--*YOU* are 100% responsible for properly identifying and properly preparing wild edible plants that you eat. NOT me!

I sat back last night to watch an all time fav movie Into the wild tells the story of a 20-year-old college graduate who cashes in his law school fund and, in the words of Mark Twain, lights out for the territory. He drives west until he can drive no farther, and then north into the Alaskan wilderness. He has a handful of books about survival and edible wild plants, Months later at the abandoned bus, life for McCandless becomes harder and he becomes less discerning. As his supplies begin to run out, McCandless realizes that nature is also harsh and uncaring. In the pain of realization, McCandless concludes that true happiness can only be found when shared with others and seeks to return from the wild to his friends and family. However, he finds that the stream he had crossed during the winter has become wide, deep, and violent due to the thaw, and thus he is unable to cross. Saddened, McCandless returns to the bus, now as a prisoner who is no longer in control of his fate and can only hope for help from the outside. In a desperate act, McCandless is forced to gather and eat roots and plants, but he confuses similar plants and becomes ill as a result. Slowly dying...i had to make a list iv forayed into the wild several times to be true i feel most at home there... among the wild trees the bird sounds the freedom...heres a brief list of plants that you could keep an eye out for if you ever decide to foray into the Indian wild...

Hers a brief list of plants that could be eaten....

1)Cattail (Typha)
the typha genus of plants is usually found near the edges of freshwater wetlands. Cattails were a staple in the diet of many Native American tribes. Most of a cattail is edible. You can boil or eat raw the rootstock, or rhizomes, of the plant. The rootstock is usually found underground. Make sure to wash off all the mud. The best part of the stem is near the bottom where the plant is mainly white. Either boil or eat the stem raw. Boil the leaves like you would spinach. The corn dog-looking female flower spike can be broken off and eaten like corn on the cob in the early summer when the plant is first developing. It actually has a corn-like taste to it.

2)Clovers (Trifolium)
Lucky you-clovers are actually edible. And they’re found just about everywhere there’s an open grassy area. You can spot them by their distinctive trefoil leaflets. You can eat clovers raw, but they taste better boiled

3)Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium)
This pretty little plant is found primarily in the moonsoon. You can identify fireweed by its purple flower and the unique structure of the leaves’ veins; the veins are circular rather than terminating on the edges of the leaves. Several adavasi tribes included fireweed in their diet. It’s best eaten young when the leaves are tender. Mature fireweed plants have tough and bitter tasting leaves. You can eat the stalk of the plant as well. The flowers and seeds have a peppery taste. Fireweed is a great source of vitamins A and C

4)Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia)
Found all over the ghat regions beed,vidharba,pune highways, the prickly pear cactus is a very tasty and nutritional plant that can help you survive the next time you’re stranded in the desert. The fruit of the prickly pear cactus looks like a red or purplish pear. Hence the name. Before eating the plant, carefully remove the small spines on the outer skin or else it will feel like you’re swallowing a porcupine. You can also eat the young stem of the prickly pear cactus. It’s best to boil the stems before eating

5)Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)
While considered an obnoxious weed in the books of horticulture, purslane can provide much needed vitamins and minerals in a wilderness survival situation. Ghandi actually numbered purslane among his favorite foods. It’s a small plant with smooth fat leaves that have a refreshingly sour taste. Purslane grows from the beginning of summer to the start of fall. You can eat purslane raw or boiled. If you’d like to remove the sour taste, boil the leaves before eating.

6)Abelmoschus ficulneus (L.) Wt. & Arn. ex Wight. (V. Ran Bhendi). Fam. Malvaceae
Young fruits used for making vegetable. Fruits are covered by tubercle based hairs, which become strigose as fruit matures, making it unfit to eat. However, in a short time capsules become hard and woody; seeds from mature capsules used to make curry.

7)Chlorophytum tuberosum (Roxb.) Baker (V. Safed Musali, Turshi, Pulum Musali). Fam. Liliaceae.
Tubers eaten raw, supposed to be very nutritious. Now a days tribals do not use them personally, but collect to sale to the traders. Young leaves used as vegetable.

8)Mangifera indica L. (V. Amba, Aam, Marka). Fam. Anacardiaceae.
by far my favourate wild tree wild mangoes have such a pure taste...takes me back to the college days where we went insect hunting in the jungles and feasted on these small yet delicious mangoes.Though fruits are well known, tribals, in addition use tender leaves (when still reddish in colour). Tender leaves are made intochutteny. It tastes like young fruits and has very pleasant aroma.

9)Dendrocalamus strictus (Roxb.) Nees. (V. Basa, Velu, Keltha). Fam. Poaceae.
Young shoot sprouts produced above ground after first rains are collected and cut into pieces. These are boiled in a pot, without covering the pot, so that steam is released free. Boiled shoots prepared into vegetable, pickled or cooked with rice

10)Agave vera-cruz Mill. (V. Kekti, Kektad).Fam. Agavaceae
Flower buds and young flowers are eaten raw. They are made into chuttney. (In old days chuttney was made with red ants. This is not now in practice). Flowers are also made into vegetable.The raw root is supposed to be caustic - so one needs to be careful when handling it.
A root this size needs to cook for a couple of days in a fire pit.Once cooked it is actually a little sweet and quite tasty

Plants to Avoid
If you can’t clearly identify a plant and you don’t know if it’s poisonous, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Steer clear from a plant if it has:
1) Milky or discolored sap
2) Spines, fine hairs, or thorns
3) Beans, bulbs, or seeds inside pods
4) Bitter or soapy taste
5) Dill, carrot, parsnip, or parsley-like foliage
6) “Almond” scent in the woody parts and leaves
7) Grain heads with pink, purplish, or black spurs

Thursday, September 15, 2011

biological solutions of getting rid of ---- lizards !

This article has been written for my adorable girlfriend who is terrified at the sight of a lizard...I keep reminding her of an old saying; you're more afraid of it than it is of you?yet some how she lets out a screech...and jumps straight into my arms..not that im complaining . Even though most people are well aware of how ridiculously beneficial lizards are to our homes, yards, and environment (they eat a staggering amount of pests like insects and spiders), it just doesn't matter. The fear and disgust for these animals has a tendency to far outweigh any benefits we could derive from having lizards in the house. They just aren't wanted. At least not anywhere people have to see or think about them. And so...this article.
They may seem cute and friendly when you're watching the Animal Planet or Discovery, but not all find them cute.Even though lizards are considered good luck in Hawaii, most people don't like having the small lizards in their homes.

A female gecko can lay up to two eggs in a six week period, which can become a big problem if she's laying those eggs in your home. If your home has one or more lizards living in it, there are some simple things you can do to get rid of them without harming them.While geckos only reach a maximum size of about 8 inches, several chameleon species can grow over a foot long. Both are classified as small lizards, meaning that they feed primarily on pests like cockroaches, mosquitoes, small rats and centipedes. Though these reptiles are generally harmless, you can avoid the mess they leave behind by repelling them using safe, friendly methods.
Most commercial snake repellents use the chemical naphthalene, which causes liver damage, anemia and is classified by the EPA as a Class C possible human carcinogen. So, those will definitely repel or even kill snakes,l...other animals, including you!eave alone a lizard.

Here are a few plants that you can plant that will keep them away

1)The Common Rue Ruta graveolens is a native of Southern Europe which has naturalised itself in India. It is calle Nagadali here , as it is believed to deter lizards from entering the garden. Most gardeners grow it at the entrance of their gardens/homes.
The Rue has an unpleasant oily smell, but its leaves are an unusual blue-green. Its lime yellow flowers bloom in summer. It was used in European cooking before the 20th century, but now tastes have changed. Its leaves and oil are used in Ayurveda for curing chest related diseases and Arthritis.

2)The Pencil Tree Euphorbia tirucalli is a native of Africa, which has naturalized itself in India since thousands of years . Probably brought to India by the Arab traders in the distant past, its name Tirucalli is an Indian name given to it by Linnaeus. The name Euphorbia is in honour of the 1st century physician Euphorbus, who practiced in the court of King Juba of Mauritania.
Tirucalli has very few leaves, since its pencil like green branches photosynthesise its food.The flowers are yellow and insignificant. Its latex is poisonous, so animals do not eat it, making it a favourite hedge plant in the countryside.
The Pencil Tree has many uses in folk medicine. It is also used to make bio- diesel.
In south India, villagers use it as a plant of good omen in all their auspicious ceremonies.
this awesome plant not just keeps lizards at bay but keeps moles,rats,fleas,aphids at bay.

3)Catnip is a perennial plant growing to a height of approximately 24 inches .
It is known to bring butterflys into a garden and keep harmful ones out.Not only do the flowers smell good but the leaves have a nice aroma.Many people grow it for their cats who are known to roll their bodies on the leaves. This plant will grow in poor soil and return each year without much care. Herbalists have used it to produce a relaxing effect also others have used for toothache, corns and hives. The oil of this plant has been used for insomnia, reduce gas and a digestive aid. Studies indicate that the chemicals in Osage Orange and Catnip repel cockroaches and a few other insects.

4)Eucalyptus :this is a super plant has a million medicinal uses and is an absolute brilliant plant to repel mosquitoes/lizards/rats/termites/white ants....Eucalyptus has long been used in traditional herbal medicines to treat a variety of conditions, including diabetes. The essential oil, derived from aromatic fresh leaves, is also a component of several well-known, over-the-counter cold and chest congestion rubs and treatments. It is also an ingredient in some mouthwashes

5)mint:he perfect way to keep snakes out of your yard is to plant mint around the border. lizards hate it and you have a wonderful plant for cooking and teas. spearmint's ,peppermints are beautiful ground covers and are oh so easy to maintain and with absolutely delightful aroma...they also keep ants at bay but are highly susceptible to rats .

some other ways to repel lizards are:

1)The cat effect:
Become the proud owner of a young cat. Geckos are not fond of cats. If a cat moves into your house, lizards will most likely move out.0ne of the only way to get rid of lizards is to dispose of them in nature's way. Common house cats are natural predators of lizards (because cats can be vicious and lizards are just the right size). You may want to let a cat prowl the area where lizards have been spotted. These natural feline hunters will do a lot more to get rid of lizards than you ever could.

2)Scent tactics:
Many people are convinced mothballs are effective for repelling lizards and snakes; other people are concerned that other birds or wildlife can be harmed by them. Mothballs can be toxic, so it is best to use them where they will not be found by small children, pets or other animals.

3)Home Made insecticide:
It is easy to make your own with ingredients you're likely to have in the kitchen.
The best thing about this is not only is it easy, but it's safe and non-toxic.
Mix Together:
• 2 cups of vegetable oil
• ½ cup of dishwashing detergent

When you shake it, it goes a really milky colour and that's where it gets a name 'White Oil' and it will actually store safely for a couple of months.
To use it, add 2 tablespoons of the concentrate to a litre of water and it's ready to go.
Horticultural Oil works by suffocating the insect pests, so it's really important that you get good coverage, making sure you get the oil covering all over the insects. It is also effective in the control of lizards,aphids, white fly, leaf miner, mealy bug and mites on roses, other citrus, stone fruit and most house plants. Care should be taken not to spray this oil in hot weather as it can burnt the foliage and avoid spraying soft-leafed plants like lettuce and fern. You should also avoid using oil sprays within a month of the applying a sulphur-based fungicide
Horticultural Oil is a safe and effective insecticide and it will certainly kill off scale insects

4)Scratchy Things
Scratchy things such as crushed eggshells, sandpaper, cinders, wood chips work well as a barrier.this method has been used in the villages forever...though it creates a mess its worth a try ...the egg shell method smells but the wood chips are extremely effective...