Pellawatte’s Kiri Mutti Garden! | Sunday Observer

Pellawatte’s Kiri Mutti Garden!

Despite changes in health, wealth or the weather, there are plenty of ways to make sure you can still potter about in a garden. Shanthi Pellawatte from Piliyandala in her 80s is actively involved in making creative gardens by re-using curd pots. “I have done a two-year landscaping and designing course at the Housing Authority in 1997. I did it for my own interest and not with the motive of earning money. I have lived in so many places and wherever I live people call my house as ‘Mal Watte Gedara’ as I love gardening and maintain a beautiful garden. I got this idea to plant using kiri muttis (Curd pots), I do not throw them instead I make use of them. I love eco and environment-friendly gardens and to create things with waste materials,” said Pellawatte.

“I encourage young people with their busy schedules to create a kiri mutti garden. It is very easy and helps release stress for all living in big city apartments or flats. This will allow you to grow many plants in a small area. You can easily make a curd pot stand. First of all, take an empty curd pot and fill it with cement. Next take a deformed bar according to the height you want the flower plant to be. Place the deformed bar into the wet cement and let it dry and make it a base to carry the weight. Take about four more curd pots and make a hole in the middle and then arrange each curd pot on top of the other placing the deformed bar in-between each to support it. Make sure that you place bigger ones at the base and small ones on the top. You can plant about five plants in one stand making it a maximum of five feet. You can colour the pot as well according to your desire,” she explained.

There are numerous benefits in connecting with nature, which gardening allows people to do. It doesn’t matter if you live on a wide stretch of land in the country, have a modest yard in the suburbs or use container gardening techniques to grow plants on your balcony in a big city. The act of gardening and working with living greenery can provide that connection for your loved one.

For young adults, staying active and finding fulfilling hobbies are important. Seniors too, need to find hobbies that can help keep them fit and mentally alert without putting too much strain on the younger generation. Fortunately, this is the perfect time of year for young adults to participate in such an activity: gardening.

Properly maintaining a garden takes effort and dedication, which makes it a great project to take on for people looking to feel engaged in their downtime. It can give your loved ones something to work at and be proud of - it keeps their minds active which is good for their moods and maintaining their cognitive functions. A Stanford University study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science found that exposure to nature for as little as 90 minutes can reduce depression and improve overall mental wellbeing.

Gardening also promotes relaxation and releases chemicals in the brain that combat stress. The health benefits of gardening are not all mental, however. Gardening is a great low-impact way to achieve much-needed physical activity that is good for muscle growth and heart health.

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention lists gardening as a recommended strengthening exercise for older people. They recommend that adults participate in muscle-strength activities at least two days a week, in conjunction with aerobic activities like walking or biking, to help prevent age-related health problems, such as diabetes, hypertension, stroke and cancer. Planting a garden and maintaining it through weeding, fertilizing, pruning and watering requires people to dig, hoe and lift, which are all ways to engage muscles groups across the body. Gardening also requires bending, twisting and walking around, which can work their bodies and provide some of the necessary aerobic activity for a balanced workout routine.