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.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Honey i cooked the Cactus & the Succulents!!!

      Our nursery is a testimony to our love for cactus and succulents we have one of the largest collections of them in mumbai....they work so well in creating tabletops landscapes and terrariums one of the most easiest plants to maintain iv come to fall in love with this family of plants....as a child one chapter of my favourite cartoon moments was when silvestre or the wolf in road runner or tom from tom and jerry smacked or landed on cacti....jevenile humour yes i know ...but i fell in love with the cacti the plant somehow came across as a symbol of karmic justice to me...hahahha....funny but true... So when i came across an episode of master chef australia where one of the mystreybox ingredients was "prickly pear" cactus i was beyond thrilled it opened up a whole new world of plants that i just had to eat!!! So lets dive down to the varieties of plants that you can eat and grow easily in mumbai :-
1) Prickly Pear :-
           Commonly called prickly pear, Opuntia ficus-indica is perhaps the most common edible succulent. The name refers to the juicy, reddish-purple fruit that develop atop the leaves in summer. While wholly edible, the fruit is filled with seeds that prove difficult to digest for many people. The flat, spiny pads of prickly pear are also edible and are widely eaten across Latin America as a vegetable called nopales. Both the fruit and pads of prickly pear must be cleaned of their spines before consumption and both can be eaten raw or cooked. However, the pads are more palatable when cooked since they have a slightly soapy taste when eaten raw.

2)Night-Blooming Cereus:-
     Night-blooming cereus is the common name for several species of epiphytic cacti within the genus Hylocereus You may commonly know these guys as Bhrama kamal. The plants bear fragrant, showy flowers during the summer months that later develop into edible fruit called pitaya, or dragon fruit. Each fruit is filled with creamy white flesh that has a subtly sweet flavor and scent. Many gardeners grow night-blooming cereus as an ornamental and most will never see a fruit develop, but you can greatly increase the likelihood of the plant developing a fruit if it is kept under warm, bright greenhouse-like conditions.
  3)Aloe Vera :-
        The clear, mucilaginous sap found inside the leaves of aloe vera plants is widely used as an herbal remedy for skin irritation and burns, but it is also edible and sometimes consumed as a drink to relieve digestive upset. Extracting the edible sap from aloe vera is simple and takes only a knife to cut the leaves lengthwise and a bowl to catch the sap as you squeeze it out. No special preparation is required before consuming aloe vera sap, but its thick texture and slightly bitter taste is unpleasant to many people and can be greatly improved by mixing it with an equal measure of filtered water. 

    To the indigenous people of the American Southwest, few plants are as versatile as the yucca. Species such as Spanish bayonet (Yucca baccata) and Mojave yucca (Yucca schidigera) are of particular value since most parts of the plants are edible and can be eaten fresh or dried and stored for later use. The young flower stems, fruit and seeds all provide a palatable source of nutrition, and the leaves can be eaten steamed or lightly sauteed when still young and tender. It is best to avoid eating the older leaves and roots of yuccas since they contain a high concentration of saponins, which possess a soapy taste and can cause gastrointestinal upset if eaten in large quantities.

5) Dragon Fruit :- Yes that wildly cool look fruit thats taken the market by storm grows on a cactus,i could go on and on trying to describe the fruit to you but then again we all know what the beautiful dragon fruits taste like. They come in two types one with the red flesh and one with the white flesh .

6)All of the Sedum species (also called "stonecrops") are edible (. They are used in salads and are said to have a sour or peppery taste. Eat these sparingly; some can cause indigestion if eaten in large amounts. Purslane is my favorite of the edible succulents, being useful as ground cover in moist areas, easy to grow, and quite pretty -- not to mention extremely tasty when cooked. In the US, purslane is considered a weed, but it is excellent in stews and soups, as well as tasty fried and reasonably good in salads.

10 Plants we have at Vriksha that will make you fall in love with nature all over again !!

      #Mumbai has a host of Plant nurseries , Jhadwalas ....hawkers who sell plants when a 6 years back i came back from the Uk post my degree i questioned myself what do we need to do that sets the store apart...One of the 1st things that came to mind was ..." Have different plants" so over the years we hunted the length and breath of india and even abroad to get in some unbelievable plants...This is by no means my last article on this subject cause we are on a quest to keep adding new and different and plants that will make people come visit us from far and wide .

10) Sorrel :- A New addition to our plant list is an interesting  salad leaf a plant that looks like lettuces but tastes like  a kiwi fruit or a strawberry !!! The plants got quite a fan following at the nursery and urban farming enthusiasts , naturalist and foodies aloe have been smitten by this little guy

9) Heirloom Purple corn :-  We 1st displayed these seeds at an exhibition in my school and the reactions from parents and kids alike were couldn't believe that corn is purple . We  had several question like " How did u colour them" to "did you genetically modify them" and each time we had to explain how corn is not just the white and yellow genetically modified "bhutta"you see at your local vegetable vendor.

8) Stag horn ferns :- These were my favourite plants as a kid i remember my dad took me for a plant exhibition and i had stomped my legs rolled on the floor...and i think refused to eat till he go me this beautiful fern. This plant is quite unique it looks as the name suggest as the horns of a stag and what i find most amazing is how it creates its own pot with its leaves...you will find several of these beautiful ferns all over the nursery on trees on the walls or just hanging around .

7) Edible roses :- My wife finds it hilarious how i love rooafsaa (rose drink) that was the main reason for the hunt for the perfect edible rose i think....we found this rose with an amazing lady who has been growing roses for over 50 years After an interesting conversation about what she thinks about some of the new hybrid teas being mass produced in the market she took me to this guy..."the flavour and the smell is unequal" the taste ...oh the taste guys is so beautiful i actually ate 7-8 flowers on my way back to the nursery!!!!

6) The repellants :- mosquitoes , rats , pigeons , fleas , ticks ,bed bugs ...you name the pest and we have a natural repellant for the same . These came by when we noticed that the Bmc started an ill informed campain against house plants dissuading people to grow plants in their home!!! yes they actually ran adds , put up posters saying that house plants cause dengue !! On 1 hilarious morning we had a BMC we had a Bmc fumigation guys come and served us a notice cause they claimed that mosquitoes were breeding in one of our plants...The pitcher plants to be precise ...

5) The candle light Tree :- this one was left to me by my dad...i was 10 i think and i wondered wht this wierd drumstick like fruit was hanging from our bonsai...he sat me down and explained " this is called a candle tree...why candle tree cause the fruits look like candles and when the fruits dry they actually have natural wax in them that enables them to burn as wax candles !!!

p.s this plats als amazing cause they have flowers on their barks not in the foliage amongst the leaves make a very very beautiful bonsai.

4) The glow in the dark fern :- This beautiful fern we spotted on one of our treks up north where i saw amongst all the weeds this beaautiful blue fern no that dint survive the trip well but i went on a hunt for them and found them with one of my favourite nurserymen supprised to see it with her i asked her if she was selling them...she replied ya but that plant is something nobody buys ...i got 100 from her in the 1st go and since then iv sold more than 5000 of them in the last 3 years !!!!

3) The magic berry :- These little red berries like the names suggest are truly magical...also called miricle fruit when consumed will basically alter your taste buds into believing everything sour is sweet!!!

2) The lithops :- They are also called " The Living Stones "
Popularly called "Living Stones", Lithops are some of the world's most fascinating plants! Since their discovery by John Burchell in 1811 when "on picking up from the stony ground what was supposed a curiously shaped pebble, it proved to be a plant", Lithops have been avidly sought by the collector of succulent plants.

1) The #carnivorous plants :- The #Venus fly traps , The saracenia pitchers , The nepenthis all alavialbe in fully matured condition the joy of watching these guys eat mosquitoes fruit flies and othe rinsects in absolutely something else.