A green enclave called ‘Gaach Bari’

Everyone in Laxmandia village, in Shailakupa upazila, feels proud when visitors from faraway places come looking for “Gaach Bari” in their village.

Tucked away in an ordinary village, 12 kilometres from Jhenidah district town, “Gaach Bari” is no ordinary house.

The two-storey green retreat, covered in wall creepers all around, is an absolute delight to the eyes of a tree enthusiast or even an occasional traveller or wanderer.

The compound of the house is spread out on about 15 bighas of land and the centrepiece, the house, overlooks a meticulously landscaped lush green garden that consists of nearly 5,000 various plants including green shrubs and hedges — trimmed skilfully to perfection.

The owner of the house, avid tree lover Aminul Islam, collected the plants from home and abroad. An established entrepreneur and supplier of embroidered merchandise, Aminul found his way to success by doing embroidery works that he learned from his mother at his young age.

Between 1990 and 2018, when he started buying more land next to his ancestral land, his primary intention was to build a workshop for rural women who earn their livelihood by doing embroidery works.

But after it was finished, the house went unused as the workers preferred to work from their own homes where they also have to do their household chores.

Nature lover Aminul then decided to do something worthwhile to the empty house and became engrossed in using greenery to create his country hideaway. He reserved the rooftop for planting fruit trees only.

Rita, Nagalinam, Amazon lily, Wisteria, golden shower, necklace flower are among some of the exotic trees that can be seen at the house, while notable local varieties include Kanchan, Palash, Ashok, Krishnachura, Keshia, Kutoraj, Sonalu, Mohua, Hijal and Tomal.

The larger trees in the house have somewhat turned into a sanctuary of wild birds, sighting of which is an added attraction for visitors. 

Aminul employs three fulltime attendants to look after “Gaach Bari”. He and his wife Snigdha Islam live in Dhaka. They have a boy and a girl.

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