ANYONE visiting Kamal Kaan’s garden would find it hard to believe that he has been cultivating it for less than a year.

“I began with a single potted plant and now I have a haven of botanical beauties,” he says.

Kamal’s garden, nestling beside his 19th century cottage in Saltaire, has developed from a collection of bulbs, cuttings and seeds.

“My garden is tiny, so I had to be very mindful on how I used the space. Therefore, there’s a lot of climbing plants that are growing up various wires and walls. I also love plants that look like miniature trees, like Acers. I’ve designed the garden so it mimics a miniature forest that plays on the vertical space as well as horizontal beds and low dwelling plants.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The south-facing garden gets the sun all dayThe south-facing garden gets the sun all day

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: One of the many colourful bloomsOne of the many colourful blooms

“I love fragrant flowers, especially how the perfume swirls in the air on a midsummer’s evening. As this is my first gardening year I planted and nurtured jasmine, freesia, carnations, lilies and wisteria - all of them producing the most seductive scent.

“I also make sure plants are either hardy, evergreen or perennials that come back year after year. Most are from ACW Garden Centre on Canal Road, Woodbank Nurseries in Bingley and Tong Garden Centre - I always make sure to buy local.”

Kamal, a writer and performer, is lucky to have expert advice and help in nurturing his garden.

“I get gardening help mainly from my good friend Chris Costello who is currently an apprentice with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). He’s always my first port of call, as the internet has so much information it can be overwhelming.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Kamal, front, pis helped by his friend, RHS apprentice Chris CostelloKamal, front, pis helped by his friend, RHS apprentice Chris Costello

“There’s a great app called ‘Picture This’ where you can take a picture of the plant and it helps to identify and diagnose pretty much every plant on the planet. I am also planning on doing a horticulture course at Shipley College.”

Kamal credits his mum for his love of gardening. “She used to work in the tea and rice fields when she lived in Bangladesh. In Bradford she has her own garden where she grows lots of unusual vegetables and plants grown from seeds she brought from Bangladesh.

“She calls my garden a 'jungle' because there’s more plants than walking space. I often go to her house to check up on her garden and help her.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Kamal's mum, pictured with Bangladeshi produce she has grown, inspired himKamal's mum, pictured with Bangladeshi produce she has grown, inspired him

Kamal's garden is south facing and is bathed in sunlight on fine days. "It gets very intense light, however, as it’s near the Leeds and Liverpool Canal that creates a comfortable humidity for the plants. We had the hottest June recently, though, and I had to pay extra care in making sure the plants were well watered.”

Bees and other pollinators are attracted to the colourful garden. “Spring bulbs are so important in attracting pollinators that have been asleep during the winter.

“I used to have a phobia of bees, insects and spiders, but having a garden you learn the importance of all creatures in nature and their roles in pollination. I now have a new, profound love for all things with wings and creepy-crawlies.

“I have also spotted loads of dragonflies that I’ve never seen before.”

Visitors are delighted by Kamal’s garden. “My guests love sitting in the garden. My niece Sairah, in particular, who is only seven, tells me that I’m ‘obsessed with flowers’. "My friend Pakeezah is also an admirer of nature and horticulture and inspired the planting of the edible rose which has links to Islamic culture and mysticism."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Kamal's niece Sairah enjoying his gardenKamal's niece Sairah enjoying his garden

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Kamal in his garden with his friend PakeezahKamal in his garden with his friend Pakeezah

He loves it when passers-by stop and they often do. "I have made many passing-by friends such as Wendy and Gerry - Gerry often stops to take pictures so he can show his wife, which is sweet.

"It’s a great conversation starter. People are often drawn to the wisteria climbing up the walls, or by the scent of the jasmine. The firm favourite this year, that many people commented on, were the giant alliums, which I learnt are actually part of the garlic family: allium means garlic in Latin.”

Gardening is extremely therapeutic, says Kamal. “There is something enchanting about connecting with nature in such an intimate way, and it's scientifically proven to release serotonin, the ‘happy’ chemical in your brain.

"I love sitting in my garden and in the evening during summer you get to see the most stunning golden sunsets - the light is great for selfies, hah.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Different seasonal views of the gardenDifferent seasonal views of the garden

He adds: “My cottage was built around 1850 and its inspiring to think that old buildings have memories and stories carved into their walls, and how the similar plants would have existed then as they do now.”

To anyone starting out, it is important to look at the position of your garden and how much sunlight and shade it gets, Kamal advises.

“That’s vital in deciding what will work well in your space. Also, you don’t need a big garden - pots are great for potting bulbs and easier to manage. Also go with plants that are a mix of evergreens and seasonal so there’s something to look at all year round.”

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