Putney gardening firm prepares for plant-hunting trek in Nepal


Lalupate Gardening will lead a team on the expedition.

By Peter Lythe

A Putney horticultural firm is embarking on a unique plant-hunting expedition to Nepal next month.

Lalupate Gardening will lead a team on a fortnight-long trek through the Annapurna mountain range to gather herbs, vegetables and ornamentals to stock the ‘Garden in the Himalayas’.

This community plot was created in 2012 by Lalupate’s Purna Gurung in his home village of Tanchok (near to the historic city of Pokhara) with the aim of conserving native plants and improving the diet of those who live there.

Child malnutrition is a major problem in upland Nepal and cultivating a source of accessible, organic and varied produce – as opposed to providing food aid – may offer a long-term, sustainable solution.

“I’m very excited,” said Purna. “I have a memory from about 16 years ago of the whole valley in bloom. My idea is to take horticulturalists, environmentalists and other nature enthusiasts to study the plant-life and encourage villagers to adopt the techniques necessary to enable the garden to flourish.”

The plant-hunters will arrive at the sacred lake of Dudh Pokhari (‘Milk Lake’) at an altitude of some 4,750m in time for the annual Full Moon celebrations on August 21, joining thousands of Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims and local shamans.

Cuttings, seeds and – only where necessary – live plants will be collected on the descent. Alongside a newly installed beehive, they will be added to the flowers, vegetables and medicinal herbs that are already bedded in.

As members of the Royal Horticultural Society, Lalupate’s gardeners have been designing, remodelling and tending to Putney gardens for the last seven years. In addition to its work in Nepal, Lalupate works closely with Fulham Palace Garden Centre, a charitable organisation run by The Prince’s Trust.

For more information or to register an interest in the Nepalese project (a maximum of 10 places are available on the trip), call Purna on 020 8789 8011 / 07817 721 071 or email [email protected]

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