Sweta Panda, a homemaker, is quite popular in the lanes of Angul, Odisha, for her stunning garden that she developed from scratch using old and discarded tyres, bottles and boxes.
What started with just a few saplings eventually covered the entire ground floor of her house into a luscious garden over five years with 600 plants. She has utilised every inch and corner with different varieties of plants and decorative items that she made on her own.
The 36-year-old has been gardening since childhood but when she moved in with her husband post marriage, she couldn’t find much space in their house. It was only when her husband, a government official, got a transfer that she decided to get back to her lost hobby.
“I always had a few saplings, but my desire to build a garden came true five years ago when my husband Abinash Panda got a ground-floor quarter from the office. Here we got a good place to grow plants in both the front and back of the house,” she tells The Better India.
Veggies, Fruits & Ornamentals
With 43 different varieties of plants, Sweta has managed to grow everything, from vegetables, fruits, flowering plants to ornamental flowers.
Strawberry, sapeta, mango, coconut, banana, brinjal, pointed gourd, chillies, tomatoes, cucumber, broccoli, capsicum, spinach, coriander, purple cabbage, etc. — she grows it all.
She has also made a compost pit for the kitchen garden where she makes organic manure from the kitchen and garden waste, thereby reducing the volume of garbage the household produces daily.
She says, “When you compost your kitchen waste it is a full cycle. In a way, the food we grow and eat comes back to us. How beautiful is that?”
Besides kitchen waste, she also believes in recycling dry waste and that’s why upon entering her house you will find discarded bottles, vehicle tyres and cardboard boxes if you look closely.
While creating the garden, Sveta always feared that if she had to move she would have to leave everything behind. Keeping this in mind, she has used pots as well which are easily movable.
Her green oasis has become an attraction of sorts in Angul for friends and family. It is not uncommon to spot an outsider standing inside the premises and doing a photoshoot or simply making reels for their social media platforms.
Sweta credits her family for encouraging and supporting her in her endeavour, “My father-in-law lives with us, so I also get his support in gardening. This garden is very special for us as we spend a lot of time together here,” she adds.
Watch as Sweta gives us a tour of her beautiful garden.
Edited by Yoshita Rao