Somnath Pal from Mumbai recalls the days when he didn’t have enough money to buy his favourite plant — the water lily. “I bought my first water lily when I was 18 years old. In that moment, I felt like I had gained something very special in my life,” the 36-year-old says.
Fast forward almost two decades later, and today, Somnath owns a garden which is bursting at its seams with over 200 varieties of water lilies, 80 varieties of lotuses, and 15 varieties of other water plants. “I have a total of 300 plants which also includes a variety of other plants like roses, marigolds, papayas, guava, hibiscus and ground orchids,” he says, adding, “Watching my father water and take care of his plants inspired me to begin gardening myself. Along with my two sisters, I would help him do this from a young age.”
‘It was love at first sight’
Somnath saw water lilies for the first time on his trip to the nursery with his sister and her husband. “It literally was love at first…