There was a time when I was an enthusiastic gardening lover; an interest which I inherited from my father who looked after a healthy kitchen garden in the backyard of our Chandigarh house. The power of the Mother Earth and the recognition that it sustains multitudes of creatures in its fold got imbibed within me slowly as I evolved into a deeply conscious individual. I recall my father instructing the gardener and also lending him a helping hand. Memories are a reservoir of impressions, which connect us to the past, shape us into who we are and become our essence over time.
Egged on by these fleeting remembrances, I managed to set up a kitchen garden in our own house after marriage. In those days the gardener entrusted to us by the university was an experienced hand in growing vegetables. In the afternoons, hot sun notwithstanding, I’d take a round of the yard to note the jobs to be done for the gardener’s next visit.
After we shifted to our own house later, this practice continued. I recall the picture perfect carrots, radishes, turnips, fresh coriander leaves and round aubergines ( the reward of our efforts) and also the pests I used to kill by examining leaves. Those were the days….can’t help going nostalgic about the glorified experiences.
Now with depleted energy levels and paucity of dedicated gardeners (who’d take pleasure and pride in their creation) I can maintain only an apology of a garden.
|buds, a day before opening up|
In spite of all these discouragements I still indulge in growing flowering plants and take care of a few potted beauties. Twice a year I add cow dung manure which my gardener supplies. I’ll just share some titbits with you regarding my little efforts to stay connected with flora.
I love cactus for its exoticism and grow one (pin cushion) which I’ve had for a long time. I prize it for its gorgeously delicate and short lived mauve colored flowers and its hardiness in standing extreme temperature.
A healthily growing curry leaves bush, whose sensual aroma gets rubbed on me as I pass by it during my scheduled morning tête-à-tête with each plant. It stands like a ramrod regality. Its flavourful tender leaves lend a finger licking relish to rice pulao, Indian curry dish and other vegetables which I cook by sautéing.
Lily, growing in beds and by the driveway wall starts flowering in the beginning of April and spreads its crimson charm, making our stepping out like a red carpet welcome. A visual feast no doubt!
A few hollyhocks which surface every year by themselves in February are adorned with purple blooms in my backyard, thronged by bees.
Then four bougainvilleas bushes – pink and white, yellow, magenta and purple, enliven the area across our boundary wall in the company of three sturdy, towering trees which shelter my loving birds and keep the air clean (two of them Neem).
Most of the flowering plants are perennial and remain green if watered regularly. There are few decorative plants also which don’t give flowers but create a green space the whole year.
A small mint bed thrives after winter. It is a very useful herb for preparing green chutney to spice the snacks or as a side little something for a normal meal. Its leaves chopped finely garnish soups and shakes. Mint leaves boiled in a cup of water and taken with a pinch of salt ease stomach cramps and aid digestion.
I try my wee bit to create Eco friendly surroundings.
This is my garden in a nut shell affording me a chance to keep my date with nature.
Dear friends,welcome to add anything to the above via comments.