I grew up in a home that has a moderately big garden. Although I was never interested in learning the art of gardening, I sure did enjoy when my mother got new plants and used to arrange them beautifully. Mom’s garden is a home to beautiful white, orange, red and pink Ixoras (also known as West Indian Jasmine) that bloom in clutters. Besides that, my mother’s garden houses more than a dozen variety of Crotons (a species of non flowering show plants with exotically colored leaves). And there is a cactus corner too. Besides, we have jasmine, pink and white roses, red pink and white hibiscus and many more. The garden also contains a henna plant, banana plant and a coconut tree. We had a lemon, custard apple and a guava tree long back. But then, they were cut down as they were inviting pests like monkeys and parrots who simply created chaos not letting even one fruit in a ripe condition. For someone like mom, who is an ardent plant lover, I have realized over years, that a garden however small or how much ever big, loves you back if it gets love, care and nutrition. And our garden is one living example of my mother’s hard work, love and dedication.
And then, after my school, my college life was spent away from home. I started my career in Pune where there is not much concept of independent houses, let alone big gardens. And even if a few were spotted in the place I lived and worked in, there was no scope to grow a garden. Gardens in city are for those who can afford the luxury of spending time and money alike, for their independent homes. Well, in cities, flats are more popular, attributing to an exploding population, a result of uncontrolled migration of people from villages to cities. So for about a decade, I have not seen much of a garden, in the sense a proper garden. And owing to my little interest, I was never keen on it. But, then all of it changed on this particular year. This particular year has been a roller coaster ride for me, not the least mentioning I have had serious health issues too, from which I have thankfully recovered.
And then the spark came about a couple of weeks ago, when my mother suggested over tea time,
Mom: “Why don’t you pursue gardening?”
Me: “Mom, I have a terrace in this quarters. How am I even supposed to be growing something here, lest alone a garden? And I know nothing about gardening!”
Mom: “Hey common! There is a small white unused basin on the corner of terrace where you can grow pudina (mint), if you get good mud. And then there are potted plants always! As such plants when grown in pots grow healthier too. And then, I will guide you. Why not give a try, kanna?”
And the above conversation set me off thinking! My family binged on pudina. Instead of buying it costly, why not grow it at home? Why not give it a try, after all? And, so started my tryst with gardening…..
(to be continued…..)