“Gardening is a costly hobby, and the only real return on all your investment is the happiness in seeing a plant flourish under your care,” says Ragothaman Narayanan, a native of Trichy, to The Hindu.
Narayanan is the unofficial head of the Trichy Organic Terrace Gardens (Trichy OTG) group, a Facebook group whose members share a keen interest in sustainable horticulture. The group currently has about 3,200 members.
This group grows approximately 300 plants, from Nagpur orange and lime to vetiver, table rose, oregano, and cacti.
Narayanan has taken up terrace gardening in the home of his friends, Mr Lakshminarayanan and Mrs Revathy. “I do all the research, and Mrs Revathy executes the planting,” says Mr Ragothaman. “We try and grow everything, whether vegetables, ornamentals or fruits.”
Some other members of the community are doing great work as well. Mr and Mrs Andrew have a terrace garden with over 100 plants, P Thomas, is a retired BSNL official who researches forgotten native vegetation, and T Vency John has become an expert cultivator of fruits and vegetables and is often consulted by agricultural colleges for tips on crop management.
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Trichy OTG has not only helped the community with solutions to problems related to gardening but also has provided various contacts for gardening equipment, seeds and even saplings.
The group has also caught the attention of residents as the members have shown that it is possible to successfully grow strawberries and cherries in the scorching heat of Trichy!
“As a newcomer, I feel inspired and curious about the planting work that our members do,” says Latha, a member.
As the community expands, there are plans of compiling a catalogue of all the plants available in member gardens of Trichy OTG.
Here are tips to start your own home garden: Home Gardens That Require Very Little Space & Time – All You Need to Know About Vertical Gardening!