Fancy a lush green rainforest, a Spanish floral fiesta or perhaps an oriental Zen space? So what if all you have is an unexciting strip of balcony? Dial MySunnyBalcony (MSB) and sit back, for coming soon to a balcony near you is their pro-green team. Armed with ideas and gorgeous garden accessories like water features and customised pots, they will transform a dreary balcony or a spacious porch into the garden of your dreams.
MSB, started in 2009, by friends Sriram Aravamudan, Reena Chengappa, Athreya Chidambi and Shailesh Deshpande, is a one-stop shop for garden enthusiasts. Like all good things in Bangalore, MSB blossomed over caffeine and nostalgia. Despite coming from different backgrounds like IT and web designing, a common yearning to put the garden back in ‘Garden City’ spurred the four on. With backyards, a norm in old Bangalore, making way for high rises, Aravamudan (also a writer and music composer) sealed the deal with, “It is time to take the garden up the elevator.”
|(L to R) Sriram Aravamudan, Shailesh Deshpande, Reena Chengappa and Athreya Chidambi|
Before long, Chengappa and Deshpande dug deeper by studying a course in gardening. Aravamudan is an avid gardener and quite the pro, while Chidambi, a web designer, pitched in to set up the company website and collaterals. When they started off, Aravamudan’s balcony was a guinea pig of sorts for the project and now looks all the better for it!
“We first identified a set of reliable and relevant local vendors to stabilise our supply-chain and logistics. We also identified the do’s and dont’s for the company. For example, we wanted to minimise our carbon footprint as a company and as individuals as much as possible and use local vendors only. We treated the first six months as a pilot period, studying our target audience and market readiness for our concept,” said the team.
The MSB team waves their sunny wand in three steps: a site visit and consultation, garden design and execution. The team says, “Any space that receives even the tiniest bit of sunlight is a potential MySunnyBalcony space: a tiny unusable patch outside your front door, an ugly terrace on your roof, or even a back balcony in your high rise apartment. It doesn’t matter how high up or small your space is, we’ll work with it. We’ll also tell you what you can do and what you can’t. You’ll be surprised at the immense number of green possibilities that even a tiny space can hold!”
With many takers in the city, the gardens have spilled over from the balconies and branched out to cover corporate spaces and regular home gardens. They also have ‘Gift a Garden’ packages, customised potted plants and garden accessories for sale. Their mission extends beyond prettifying gardens and they can help you set up organic vegetable gardens in today’s space-challenged urban homes. Those who are up for DIY projects can learn the ropes at one of their Urban Gardening workshops. MSB currently offers online consultation for outstation clients and plan to expand their services in other cities too.
By Anuradha Prasad/ Raintree Media Features/ www.raintreemedia.com
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