Growing gardens big and small

By Chandani Kirinde, Pix by Berty Mendis

Ananda Jayasuriya grew up watching his mother tending the plants in her garden with love and care and developed a love for horticulture in his early teens. It was this early inspiration that made him embark on a full time career in gardening services.

Today the "Midula" garden services he runs at Nawala which he started nearly 25 years ago has grown into a leader in the field tending not only to small home gardens but also large scale landscape projects including playgrounds. The latest project Mr. Jayasuriya completed is the one and half acre rooftop garden of the newly constructed condominium project Havelock City in Colombo.

"My employees and I apply the same kind of attention to a small home garden project or to a big commercial project and ensure that we complete the work with utmost care,” Mr. Jayasuriya said.
His team of 60 includes agriculture graduates to ensure that his clients get the best service possible.
"These days especially in Colombo, people have small gardens but if they are well maintained and landscaped, it can add to the beauty of the environment and also make it an eco-friendly habitat," he said.

The eco-friendly concept is one that is catching on mainly in offices where many are opting to use natural light and ventilation and leave air conditioners out. "We have done some eco-friendly offices and in them the temperature is maintained at 22 degrees minus air conditioners by using plants and trees to keep things cool," he says.

It is from his two plant nurseries in Meegoda and Piliyandala that Mr. Jayasuriya gets the plants needed for his work while he also exports foliage plants to the Maldives.

For those wanting to have a rooftop garden, he advised that this be planned at the time of building. He also said particular care is needed when having an indoor garden to ensure that dampness does not seep into walls and floors.

"Maintenance is a key factor and once we do up a garden, we also provide maintenance services but it is up to the people who live in the homes to tend to them so their gardens can keep looking beautiful everyday," he said.

Mr. Jayasuriya lamented the fact that not enough effort and time is invested in the country to keep public places well landscaped and looking pleasant. "It is the lack of proper water supplies to roundabouts and other public places that makes maintaining these places difficult. If it is thought out by the authorities, it can be easily done," he said.

Mr. Jayasuriya has received many accolades for his work over the years in the field of horticulture but one memento takes pride of place in his office. It was presented to him by Hindu College, Colombo as an appreciation of his service for "changing the water stagnating playing field of Hindu College into a sophisticated and picturesque sports complex."

Midula is situated at 260, Nawala Road, Nawala. Its website is

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