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Waterfront gardens of the Mahaweli river

On a recent trip to Kandy I enjoyed an evening boat ride during which I was surprised by what at first appeared to be mostly jungle on the riverbanks. On closer inspection I discovered they were actually gardens deliberately planted and maintained along the muddy banks. The crops were mostly tarrow and banana for home use, but others included green and yellow bamboo, gliricidia and other legume trees, king coconut, and jack fruit.


From a distance the garden looks like mostly reeds and weeds growing among the bananas.


Up close we find a legume shrub eaten as a mallung or salad, lots of starchy tarrow and cassava, and Co3 grass in the background for cattle feed and fertilizer.


There is even what appears to be a compost pile or tiered raised bed.


Further down the river bamboo stands become visible. Golden bamboo is valued culturally and for its strength. These poles can be sold for scaffolding, fuel, and to make festival decorations.


More deliberate rows of Co3 grass and tarrow with banana and coconut closer to the house.

Margie is the founder of IG and is passionate about the therapeutic benefits of working with nature in the garden. She enjoys mangosteen, the rainy season, hammocks, and wild visitors in the garden.

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