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  • 05 June, 2024

Into the World of Succulents With Sharad Bhimsaria

Into the World of Succulents With Sharad Bhimsaria

When we went to his residence, Mr Bhimsaria, a successful businessman from Kathmandu, was deep into the preparations for his first-ever exhibition. Nudged by the Covid 19 pandemic and having to find a way to spend all the countless hours at home, Mr. Bhimsaria’s multi-passionate spirit truly came alive in the last four years. Soon after the first few steps through the gate, one can’t help but noticing his various hobbies.

To the right there is a large wood-working workshop, with half finished projects stacked close to each other, and many different piles of paint. Then there is a thriving garden with fruit trees, flowers and bushes. As I look at the various species surrounding me I remark, “you must have many gardeners tending at this garden,” to which he tells me that he never lets anyone touch any of his plants. I was left wondering about how a businessman could possibly have the time to dedicate to maintaining such a tidy and healthy garden.

As we took a tour of the house, we arrived to Mr. Bhimsaria’s succulent collection, where he explains to me that painting, woodworking, gardening and making intricate compositions with various succulent species is what keeps him grounded and healthy. What started off as a hobby has now evolved to becoming a crucial element of Mr. Bhimsaria’s wellness routine. I start of my long list of questions with the one that was pressing me the most, “how do you find the time?”

Succulents growing in a vase.

Mr. Bhimsaria replies, “I do not spend time watching T. V. or scrolling through my phone. I think this is one of the main contributors to bad health. If you do not sit and just scroll, you will find that you have a lot of time in your hands to pursue your hobbies and interests.” To this, his wife adds, “he also spends every single free moment he has with the succulents.” This dedication shines through the works that surround us, large vases stacked on top of each other, with succulents cascading down, little wooden villages built by himself with plants popping out of tiny windows… As I observed his works, I noticed the beauty of these plants.

Four year old succulents cascading down a wooden tiny house.

Why succulents?

Mr. Bhimsaria’s intention with his artistic pursuits is to be as sustainable as possible. He explains to me that there are many benefits to working with succulents. Firstly, and this is true for all gardening, there is a great of sense of grounding and relaxation when playing around with soil and truly digging in your fingers without the fear of getting dirty. In some ways it connects one to their inner child as their soul is reminded of the boundless play from the early years of life. “But what is particularly fun about succulent compositions is that you can not go wrong. Other plants can be a bit difficult, they may need special conditions, or great upkeep, but this is not the case with succulents,” says Mr. Bhimsaria.

Mr. Bhimsaria explains that he never throws anything, he saves every fallen leaf for propagation.

Secondly, this is a very budget-friendly hobby. Gardening is known to be very expensive, especially if you are in the city and have little access to free natural resources. Yet, as long as one has a pot of soil, starting a succulent composition can be done basically for free. The beauty of succulents is that they propagate with extreme ease. A single leaf can quickly turn into an entire plant, so if you are at a friend’s house or taking a walk, you can simply hold on to a fallen succulent leaf, or gently tear one off, and have and entire plant in a couple of months. What’s more, is that these types of plants barely need any maintenance. “As long as they get sunlight and they are not under air conditioning, they can survive pretty much anywhere. You can water them a little but just once a week, or whenever you notice that they are a little bit dry,” he explains.

How to start a succulent composition?

“The most important thing is to have no fear and not to strive for perfection,” Says Mr. Bhimsaria. “At the end of the day, this is something you do for yourself and for your own relaxation. There is no way you can go wrong. The only thing you need is some light, healthy soil with cocopeat because if the soil is too heavy, then the plant may not thrive,” he continues, “All you have to do is touch the soil, place the plants in whatever way that is pleasing. If you stress about your composition, then it defeats the purpose of wellness and relaxation.”

After having toured his workshops, and learned more about the propagation process of succulents, we walk out of the garden, still in awe of the greenery, wishing him luck for his first ever succulent exhibition in Avata. As I get towards our car, and we speak about the logistics of the exhibition, I ask him a final question to quench a curiosity of mine. With so many resources at his disposition, why did he choose Avata for his first exhibition. He tells me that since this is a hobby, the thought of exhibiting had never crossed his mind. “But when my wife and I went to Avata, I was impressed by the greenery there and the serene atmosphere. I thought that it would be the ideal location for my succulent compositions. there is a very down-to-earth vibe to the people who visit the place, and from deep down I felt like I wanted to exhibit my works there. I hope of conducting a workshop on succulents there one day, and to exhibit my paintings too,” he concludes.

The exhibition is happening In Avata Wellness, in Baluwatar, Kathmandu, on the 8th and 9th June 2024, where attendees will have the chance to immerse themselves in the relaxing succulents, purchase them if they desire, and learn from Mr. Bhimsaria in person.

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