Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Nursery In Chennai

Being in a new place the idea of visiting a nursery
was so tempting! We headed off to a place that my
sister often passes by, on the way to her friend's
house. The sight of the adeniums was breath-taking!
There were hundreds of them lining the terrace in
colours to die for! Such subtle variations and so
beautiful too!

Rajendra Kumar the man behind it all! A storehouse of
information on all things botanical. It was a pleasure
meeting him and talking to him. When we got there, he was
busy working in the garden and also dealing with customers
who were buying in bulk. I did buy about seven varieties
but he charged me for only about three of them!! Such a kind
gesture because I'm from the other extreme of the country!

Checking out his site on the web later, I learnt that PLR
Gardens ( that name was on his card) is a formidable presence
in Chennai and in the state of Tamil Nadu.

David admiring some of the plants at the nursery.

As you can see from most of the photos the 'soil' looks
different. It's actually coco-dust, a by-product of the
coir industry. The outermost layer of the coconut is processed
for the extraction of fibre which is used in making rugs,
rope, brushes and upholstery stuffing. Between these fibres
is the corky substance known as Coir pith or Coir dust. This
is fast becoming a hydroponic growing medium. Some of the
advantages of using coco-dust are---
High water-holding capacity
Healthy root growth
Larger roots and blooms
Doesn't smell, is bio-degradable and is easily incorporated
into soil
The idea of using this by-product originated in the Far East
and made its way to the Netherlands and Canada. Some websites
have mentioned cocodust as a replacement (in the US) for
rockwool in hydroponic rose production.

Some of the garden features that I liked. I particularly
like the small but attractive water feature. I did see a
solitary water lily but forgot to take a close shot. New
place, new plants....the mind goes haywire!!


tina said...

I have to ask, did they all smell heavenly too? I am not familiar with this plant at all.

That was a sweet gesture of Mr. Kumar to only charge you for three varieties. Of course it was pretty smart too as now he has your loyalty-probably forever! Ha! You gotta love it.

The coco info was interesting. I have tried this medium for growing in the house without much luck. It may have just been me. It is awfully pretty.

Wendy said...

Pretty flowers. Sounds like you had fun at this nursery. And Mr. Kumar was very generous.
I've also heard of the coco fibre, but have no idea how it works.

Anonymous said...

Such an interesting post today Kanak. This must have been lots of fun and the plants will always hold special memories for you.

Karen said...

Thanks for taking us along on your nursery visit in Chennai! Those plants look heavenly. I look forward to seeing how they do in your garden at home.

Carla said...

love that pond and surrounding pots-wow! Everything looks so neat and tidy-thank you for sharing

Sunita said...

Those adeniums look lovely, Kanak. Any idea how they hold up in places with high rainfall?
One drawback with cocodust (as opposed to coconut-husk chips) is that they retain water for a long time (which can be an advantage too) so if you're heavy-handed with the watering hose, you've got to watch out for fungus.
I've come across these acts of generosity in many nurseries. The owners are generally plant-lovers and they're always so willing to share with other plant enthusiasts that I've often come away with several exotic plants added on as a gift from one plant-obsessed to another!
So which plants did you buy finally? Adeniums?

Chandramouli S said...

Wow Kanak! I never knew about this place! I was actually searching for this coir pith and coco-dust and what a luck! Thank you so much. Are they in Tambaram?

Great photos! Good luck with your purchase. Hope they grow well and flower profusely in your garden!

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

More Chennai! I like it and a guided tour in a nursery, it cannot get much better. Thank you Kanak.


Jan said...

Visiting a nursery is my favorite shopping trip. This looks like a great place. I know I couldn't have resisted taking home a few of the lovelies.

Always Growing

Green thumb said...

That was very very informative. The bit about the coconut husk was news to me. Adenium is a lovely plant,but being poisonous, one has to be a little careful in handling it.

Kanak Hagjer said...

Tina, no fragrance as such, just spectacular-looking. It's also known as the Desert Rose and without the blooms looks strange with that bulbous look.

You're right about the loyalty bit!:) With a farm as well which houses exotic varieties, Mr. Kumar is a serious gardener/businessman. The farm must be a haven for tropical exotica!

Wendy, I've never used it before and we don't have a unit (in my part of the country) where I can go and get it. But it's good to think about a future option.

That's right Mildred. The only hitch is that the difference in temps between our places. I just hope the plants get acclimatised to Assam weather.

Karen, keeping my fingers crossed. Will post on them in the future only if they do well!!

Carla, that's what I thought too! The water area was very pretty and everything was neatly placed. Glad you liked it.

Sunita, I'm not supposed to water them because of the moisture-holding capacity. Mr. Kumar was more concerned about the drop in the temp in the evening in the north-east. So I've put the adenium (I got one) in the verandah.

Adeniums do very well here. I've got other colours in pots. If the Chennai one does not do well in that medium, I'll plant it in soil.
You're right about the plant-enthusiast bit. What made it even more special is the new place and all.

Chandramouli, here's the add and phone number.

J 12, 2nd Main Road,
Near Bougainvilla Park
Anna-Nagar East

Phone-- 93826 60009

Mr. Kumar, for gardeners, is a good man to know!! I hope you get your cocodust. And thanks for all your wishes.

So glad to read your comment, Tyra. Thanks.

Jan, what makes it all the more special is that it's so far away from home. From now on nurseries will always be on my list!

That's right Green Thumb. Just have to keep that in mind. Thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely nursery and some wonderful exotic plants that I've never seen! Looks like Mr Kumar is a smart businessman by gaining your loyalty! :) Love the Nasturiums on your header photo, the variegated foliage is beautiful!

Linda Lunda said...

Ohh lucky you! How exating!
I do love the watergirl to.. so beautiful!

Chandramouli S said...

Strange Kanak. My blog List displays your latest blog - "GARDEN BLOGGERS' BLOOMS DAY, My First!" but when click on the link, I get this -
Page not found
Sorry, the page you were looking for in the blog Terra farmer does not exist...
May be I should try after sometime

Kanak Hagjer said...

Thanks Racquel. Agree with you on the loyalty and business acumen.:) I'm so glad you commented on my new header. The nursery had told me it would have red blooms but look what showed up? But I love yellow too!

Glad you do Linda. There were quite a few of these beauties placed in the garden.

Chandramouli, I had a little snag with the link-up. I'll try again.

Nicole said...

What a faboulous array of desert roses! I only have pinks, I'd love a red one. Its nice to meet someone knowledgeable about the plants, and who has an obvious interests and love of horticulture.
As a child we learned about how useful the coconut plant is, every single part has uses. Here in the Caribbean the coir is often used for orchids ( you cutup a dried cocont husk and tie the oprchids to it). I am sure they also do that in India.

Arati said...

nice pictures Kanak, how are the adeniums doing now?

ally said...

where in Chennai i can get a desert rose plant some one guide me pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeee

Anonymous said...

i am moving out of town and interested in finding a new owner for my plants(150 pots of them). 9840716377