Malad woman's terrace garden is Mumbai's best

Updated: Feb 10, 2020, 08:05 IST | Gaurav Sarkar | Mumbai

With over 500 uncommon potted plants, Lorna Oza's terrace garden secures the second place in a contest organised by NGO Friends of Trees

Lorna Oza's terrace garden came second only to corporate giant Godrej Industries. Pics/Satej Shinde
Lorna Oza's terrace garden came second only to corporate giant Godrej Industries. Pics/Satej Shinde

In a city that is starved of both space and greenery, 69-year-old Malad resident, Lorna Oza's terrace garden, is a class-apart. A testament to this is the trophy bestowed upon her by city-based NGO Friends of Trees which organised a contest for terrace gardens.

Oza won the second prize for the competition's 'Terrace Garden Under 500 square metres' category. She lost to corporate giant Godrej Industries and was the only private individual to win. Her terrace garden boasts over 500 potted plants, most of which cannot be found in modern-day nurseries as they don't have any commercial value.

Oza said that she has been nurturing her terrace garden since 1980. She puts in a minimum of two hours of gardening every morning and evening. Apart from her own efforts, she also has staff to look after the garden.

Lorna Oza's terrace garden came second only to corporate giant Godrej Industries

"I have preserved over 10 to 15 varieties of very uncommon plants which nurseries don't sell anymore," said Oza.

"My personal favourites are the bougainvillaeas; they are perfect for Mumbai weather and require very little water."

"I feel very proud to be the individual with the best terrace garden in the city," she added.

Apart from the flora, her terrace garden also attracts some interesting fauna.

"The rare Blue Oak Tree Butterfly is a frequent everyday visitor since I have many host and nectar plants," she said.

Nitin Patil, one of the three judges from Friends of Trees, visited Oza's garden this week. "The competition did not distinguish between public and private entities. We were amazed that a private individual was competing with a corporate. The way Oza managed her space was awesome," Patil told mid-day.

He added that the X-factor about Oza's terrace garden was the diversity, especially the bougainvillaea. "It's not just about what is available in the nurseries and gardens. One way to have a good terrace garden is by collecting plants and items, but the other way is beautifully managing them, year after year. Her garden had less of the seasonal stuff and the plants stood out individually."

Total time Lorna Oza devotes to her garden each day

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