Creating a Paradise on Earth

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“Agar Firdaus bar roy-e zamin ast, hamin ast,hamin ast, hamin ast.” (If there is paradise on earth, it is this, it is this.) The Mughal Emperor created beautiful Persian gardens and the poet Amir Khushru called it A paradise on Earth. His words are inscribed at the black pavilion of the Emperor's Shalimar Bagh, Kashmir. My plan B is to create again a garden that can be called a Paradise on Earth. For me, gardens are mixed up with science, conservation, history, art and poetry. What made the Mughal emperor create so many gardens? What is it about gardens that creates pleasure and poetry? Relaxation and repose? Why does it evoke curiosity and wonder? Why the desire to acquire the exotic and marvel how so small a seed gives a gift of the exotic flower?

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Gardens and the cultivation of plants have been around for thousands of years dating to around 3000 years ago in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. The Romans were also keen gardeners and they were also aware of the medicinal properties of plants. Monks soon identified the medicinal properties of plants and used flowers as a celebration of God. This is also a practice in Hindu temples and shrines.

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Garden design, and the Islamic garden tradition, began with creating the Paradise garden in Ancient Persia. It evolved over the centuries.

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The Italian Renaissance garden was a new style of garden which emerged in the late 15th century at villas in Rome and Florence, inspired by classical ideals of order and beauty, and intended for the pleasure of the view , for contemplation, and for the enjoyment of the sights, sounds and scents.

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Buddhism is the world religion with the strongest connection to gardens. It originated in the foothills of the Himalayas (c600 BC. Buddha spoke to his followers in the Deer Park of Isipatana (Sarnath) and groves of trees became an important aspect of Buddhist sacred space. Gardening is the personification of Buddhism in action.

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With the increase in maritime trade, ever more plants were being brought back to Europe as trophies from distant lands, and these were triumphantly displayed in the public botanical gardens.

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The cacao tree is native to the Americas. It may have originated in the foothills of the Andes in the Amazon and Orinoco basins of South America, current day Colombia and Venezuela, where today, examples of wild cacao still can be found. It was first cultivated by the Olmecs at least 1500 BC in Mexico

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In Asia the asymmetrical traditions of planting design in Chinese gardens Japanese gardens originated in the Jin Dynasty (265–420) of China. The Japanese rock garden, in the west often referred to as Zen garden, is a special kind of rock garden which contains few plants

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The African Savannah- the circle of life.

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Gnomes bring good luck and prosperity and are centuries old. it’s time to a pause a bit and enter the magical world of the little people.. The woodland fairies and gnomes transformed fairy gardens into a place of enchantment, mystery, and discovery.

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In Frank Lloyd Wright’s Autobiography, he includes a list of the “Fellowship Assets” that he outlined for architecture. a) An eye to see nature, b) A heart to feel nature c) Courage to follow nature d) The sense of proportion (humor)

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My favourite gardens are pictures mellowed with time . I didn’t know then that gardens around the world will inspire me so my photos are just that- a capture of a moment.

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Inspired by some of my favourite gardens around the world I made 20 small gardens in clearings in the forest in Greenwoods - a heritage house in Mahabaleshwar- a hill station near Mumbai. Do take time to enjoy a virtual visit. Introduction - The Musical Gardens of Greenwoods - http://youtu.be/nwOS68PHyO4 The Garden of the Vedas - http://youtu.be/s_4zl0CwmVw The Tree house of Dreams- Squirrel House - http://youtu.be/s3qsJRrzliY Saint Nicholas-and Santa Claus - http://youtu.be/M2zUtD4MJP8 The Garden of Amazing Grace- The Altar of the world - http://youtu.be/HmBRRfSE_4k The Garden of the Buddha Blessings-An Open Temple - http://youtu.be/1EpWr1O5vUo The Garden of the Desert –the Colours of Rajasthan - http://youtu.be/nBBFqffQruo The African Freedom Garden- a Tribute to Nelson Mandela - http://youtu.be/b1bb50sGxFM The Garden of Creation- the Deer garden - http://youtu.be/D6TH-rRFifY The Garden of Promise- The Wishing Well - http://youtu.be/DUqq-BaiuqY The Garden of Legends.- Arriba! The Cocoa Garden - http://youtu.be/PelwwvAyyPE The Garden of Free Spirits- the Bird Garden - http://youtu.be/pxbuB3AXn-k The Garden of Children- Lapland garden - http://youtu.be/_ZAr-VA-sns Romeo and Juliet Garden - http://youtu.be/y4C54-XWDVU The Garden of Eternity- the Water Wheel - http://youtu.be/x3fsIbyn6QE The Fairy Garden- The Enchanted Woods Conservatory - http://youtu.be/c9XsoJGEfIY The Garden of Butterflies - http://youtu.be/uPpSj-xUHfY The Gulshan-e Ishq- Rose Garden - http://youtu.be/IfrZApjqnbU The Maratha Horse Garden - Horse Garden - http://youtu.be/7q41atChyYk The Musical Gardens of Greenwoods -Night Garden - http://youtu.be/udJ5JC83wCc

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