Ashok Kumar, Anand Foundation

Ashok Kumar, a Field Executive at Sundar Nursery

Mr. Ashok Kumar is a resident of Bihar and is currently working in government Sunder Nursery as a field executive since past 8 years. Here at the sunder nursery he supervises many ornamental plants which the nursery offers for sale. He volunteered for the interview for the report and answered some very important questions regarding the nursery,his work and questions about setting up a kitchen garden.

Tell us something about sunder nursery?
Sunder nursery is an unique nursery meaning it is owned by the CPWD, thus it is directly under the central government. Because of this the nursery never runs out funds. It is also Asia’s biggest nursery many foreign dignitaries visit this nursery. Also this nursery uses hybrid seeds which is supplied by Pusa lab (National Seeds Corporation). Plants grown from this nursery are supplied all over Delhi NCR and even at the President’s house.

How many people work at this nursery?
There is no fixed amount of people who work here. It keeps on changing with the tender.

What are the main problems you face at the nursery?
There is acute power shortages. The monuments here mainly Sunderwala Mahal is abandoned and needs restoration. There have been incidents when the bricks from the roof has fallen. There is a problem of housing in this nursery, many workers here who are migrant labourers sleep here in open due lack of house allocation. Last time when I came at the sunder nursery I could hear a lot of birds chirping.

What all birds can be found here?
A lot of birds can be seen here during the mornings. Birds such peacock, koel, pigeons, crane,crows, green parrots, small sparrows and in winters a lot of migratory birds fly in from the zoo. During monsoons ducks can also be seen in the artificial lake.

This report is based on terrace gardening can you suggest what plants are easy grow?
Many vegetable plants such as Tomato,Fenugreek,Coriander, French Beans, Beans, spinach, mustard and ornamental plants such as Marigold, Palm trees, Guldavari, Dahlias are few which are very easy to maintain and grow.

What assistance can sunder nursery provide to a terrace gardner?
Sunder nursery is government maintained nursery it supplies plants to all of NCR. And people can buy almost any type of terrace plant from here. The nursery offers plant as well as supplements, fertilisers, pesticides for plant.

What can be the total cost maintaining a terrace garden?
It depends on the type of plants you grow and how many of those you grow and also pricing at which you get your supplies. Your monthly expenditure can be between 2000-5000 only in getting the supplies.

What problems can a layman face while gardening?
First time gardeners face problems such as overwatering or underwatering the plants, pruning the plant, fertilising the plant.

Would a visit from a regular gardener be necessary to maintain the terrace garden?
Yes definitely if the person has little knowledge in the field of gardening hiring a professional will just ease the task.