A garden of hope: Padma’s journey includes innovations as well
Padma, who has a diploma in pharmacy, was offered a government job three times but chose to embark on this magnificent path of cultivating life on her terrace
In the bustling heart of Hyderabad, middle of the concrete jungle lives a woman named Pinnaka Padma, who created an oasis of greenery on her 850 ft terrace. With a deep-rooted passion for plants, using organic methods she created a mini forest which contains different types of fruits, vegetables, and flowers.
Padma, who has a diploma in pharmacy, was offered a government job three times but chose to embark on this magnificent path of cultivating life on her terrace. Padma’s passion for plants grew into a family affair, supported by her husband and children, alongside her other activities such as cooking and sewing.
“My fascination with plants dates to my childhood, when I was influenced by my grandfather, a farmer. I have since begun to plant and harvest. My terrace gardening adventure began with 50 plants in 2014, and now has 600-1000 plants on the terrace. I also have trees that are 15 to 30 years old, which were planted when we first moved to Hyderabad,” shares Padma.
Padma’s efforts were rewarded in 2019 when she got a government award as “Best Terrace Horticulturist” from K T Rama Rao, Minister of IT of Telangana. Her daily regimen includes painstaking care, with her spouse as her gardening companion. They adjust their watering schedule according to the season, conserving water during the monsoons and managing 200 litres during the summer.
Padma’s journey includes innovations as well. She discovered the unconventional use of oils such as cooking oil, eggs and neem oil which can be used as fertilizer and pesticides. Recycling household waste into vermi-compost and experimenting with DIY home remedies has been part of sustainable gardening practices, even learning the art of collecting earthworms at home.
Through social media channels such as YouTube and Instagram, she has built a digital family throughout the course of her nine-year journey. Her desire for organic farming knowledge led her to read various books and surf the internet. In 2019, a friend of her suggested starting a YouTube channel, leading to the creation of Patnam lo Palleturu where she shares her gardening wisdom. Learning video editing, she crafts engaging content that educates and inspires her growing online community.
And her constant efforts on social media motivate beginners to start their journey in terrace gardening. Her terrace resembles a botanical paradise with a variety of gardens, including lemon, pomegranate, orange, grapes, jasmine, roses, vegetables, pepper, elaichi and many more. School-going kids and college students go to Padma’s house to learn about gardening by helping in her daily works.
Padma’s family spends most of their time on their terrace, enjoying the plants as a stress reliever with various butterflies and birds sounds in the background. “I am happy that my granddaughter shares passion for gardening,” she says.
Padma encourages everyone to start their terrace gardening journey, suggesting that job-seeking individuals can use ready-made organic fertiliser from companies. She also suggests growing microgreens with seeds, especially for those with babies at home, to supplement their gardening routine. Pinnaka Padma’s terrace garden is more than simply a green sanctuary; it is a monument to the power of passion, inventiveness, and a strong connection to nature. Her story is a ray of light for city people trying to incorporate more green into their lives.