Human Flower Project

Thread-Brazen: Ooty’s Garden

Mumbai writer Lubna Kably discovers a garden in Tamil Nadu that stays in bloom year round. Thank you, Lubna!


Embroidered “houseplants”, including Begonia Rex,

Thread Garden in Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India

Photo: Shomita Mukherjee

By Lubna Kably

Ooty, known as the Queen of the Hills, lies in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu and is rich in flora. Wild flowers sprout along walking tracks, tea gardens flourish on the slopes, a myriad varieties of trees especially the eucalyptus tower overhead. Yet, bang opposite a well known tourist landmark – the Lake—lies the Thread Garden.

It took twelve years and a dedicated team of 50 trained workers to create this garden, using a ‘self invented’ technology of four dimensional hand woven embroidery.

“This unique art of creating natural looking plants and flowers makes use of self developed techniques under the ‘Hand-wound Embroidery system’ without needles or machinery with specially selected and developed materials. All parts of a plant such as flower petals, leaves and stems are fully wound with thread using a shaped canvas bases inside for flowers and leaves and steel and copper wires for stems with keen concentration coupled with patience, keeping a machine made perfection, avoiding any overlapping or knots or gaps between the windings.”


Water lilies in perpetual bloom at the Thread Garden, Oooty, Tamil Nadu

Photo: Shomita Mukherjee

I chanced upon this fabric garden recently with photographer Shomita Mukherjee of Coimbatore.

Lit by artificial lighting, this spot sure attracts curious crowds. From a “lily pond” to pots of “house plants” like Begonia Rex, many varieties of plants, all made of thread, are found here. You make like it or you may hate it, but you sure end up wondering at the ingenuity of it all.


Toda tribal hut surrounded by thread plants

Photo: Shomita Mukherjee

For more on this intriguing place, see this description from Lonely Planet.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 01:44 PM


At first glance, before reading the essay, the potted plants appeared real, authentic.  Amazing project—thank you for sharing it, Lubna (and Shomita).

Posted by Georgia on 12/14 at 12:04 PM

Thanks, Georgia. It was a pleasure to share this ‘find’.

Posted by Lubna on 12/22 at 02:30 PM
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