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.
WHY GO GREEN...WHEN NATURE HAS SO MANY COLOURS TO OFFER!

Friday, April 7, 2017

A Brief History Of Vriksha Nursery.


Over the last seven years we have put up daily updates on our Facebook page and documented the happenings at Vriksha Nursery. On our 37th birthday I'd  like to tell you guys about our roots.
   
Vriksha Nursery was established on 7th April 1979 by my dad Mr. Ashok Lalwani. On his very own Birthday, he quit his job as a waiter in the Oberoi and started working on plants in his backyard. His family mocked and laughed at him. They thought he had lost his mind for quitting his stable job and instead choosing to work in the mud. He hired 2 gardeners Marriappa (worked for us for almost 25 years) and Raju (still works for us).
     He started producing plants by cuttings and basic grafting techniques which he read about in second hand books that he purchased from raddiwalas. Within a few months he made a formidable stock of plants and became a go to wholesaler in Mumbai. His name became synonymous with plants like Lantana, Agloenoemas and Durantas. Soon the toil paid off and he landed a lucrative job for Thomas Cook India to landscape their head office. From there he never looked back.
    Dad started working on massive projects like when he planted large avenue trees outside the domestic airport and landscaped projects for Hindustan Lever to name a few. A couple of years later he married the love of his life in true filmy style. And the wheels of Vriksha kept moving.
    An unfortunate family incident got this momentum to a grinding halt. The contracts dried up so did
the money and as the couple got ready to welcome their first born the situation looked bleak. Thats when dad decided to do something different. He got on his Bajaj Chetak and rode from set to set in film city offering plants on hire and sometimes even delivering plants on that very bike. He would spend 14-15 hours a day working hard and he eventually made a name for himself in Bollywood. Things were looking up again and this ambitious young couple now with 2 kids decided to take the next step. They bought a small piece of land on the outskirts of Alibaug. But with all their savings invested in buying the land, developing it was a distant dream. They worked hard but somehow that dream never materialised.
   Now this is a part where my dad made a deal with the devil ! A family member offered to invest money and my dad would give him a chunk of the profit. The idea was to create 'India's first one stop garden mall'. Vriksha's then sister concern was born. Dad finally had the capital and he left no stone unturned. I once saw him carry 30 cans of paint from Mumbai on a bike all the way to Panvel, I've seen him sit in a truck and travel cause he dint want any confusion.
  When dad was busy with this project mom took over Vriksha. She learned Ikebana from the Sogetsu school and gave the nursery a whole new wing - Flowers. Vriksha provided ideas, jobs, plants, money, handwork and literally blood, sweat and tears. And one fateful day the bubble burst ! Forgery, deception and outright cheating ensued and everything that my father worked for went up in smoke. I saw my dad break down. (This Nursery still exists. won't name them ,won't shame them but Karma is a bitch)
 
Dad slipped into depression and it was heartbreaking to come home from school and watch your dad just hold you and sob. What he had built with his ideas and hard work was taken away from him (I, as a very young child though was secretly happy....i got to see him more !) Mom all this while slowly and steadily grew Vriksha. She made small changes making the business more sustainable. My mom used to read to us every night when putting us to bed, often my father would eavesdrop. I remember the night when she read a quote "Falling down doesn't make you a failure, not getting up does.What defines you is how well you rise after you fall."
   Something about this line struck a cord with dad and from the ashes like a phoenix he rose. The very next day he sat on this red bike he had and started meeting old friends, acquaintances and associates and soon enough something clicked. A local MLA who dad went to school with let him work on a small public garden in the area. Within 6 months dad was all over the place doing what he did best. He was working with all the major MPs, MLA, agencies like BMC, MHADA and was setting up public gardens across the length and breath of Mumbai that exist even today. At that time I was an 18 year old fresh out of JR college happy to drive him to his meetings. Somewhere on running his errands I realised this was all I wanted to do, Vriksha became my dream too.
   We lost him suddenly, way before his time. Financially things were tough again, Suddenly we had court cases, people harassing us to shut down Vriksha. Most people thought and hoped we would shut shop, sell the space and move abroad. But we weren't going to let his dream fizzle out so easily. They tried to bury us, little did they know we were seeds !!
   I moved back from the UK, started this very blog, typed every word on our Facebook page, work diligently and honestly and with each passing day we try our hardest to live up to the green legacy he left behind...And as I always say "We are only just getting started !!"
    Vriksha today has 65 workers. We manage more than 90 garden spaces in Mumbai. Have set up gardens all across India. Our blog has more than 1,00,0000 views and we have over 32,000 people on our Facebook page .

1 comment:

  1. More power to you and your family.

    ReplyDelete