For some its books. For some tuning into their favorite TV program. For someone it is a laugh with a dear one. For some it is a hug with their pet. For me, it is silence as my green buddies rustle to the breeze. I stumbled upon gardening in the pandemic. Gardening wasn’t something I paid any attention to before the pandemic. Something about my lorn balcony inspired me to pick up the spade and invite some life into my home.
After the occasional dabble in my aunt’s garden, I found something fulfilling about plants that I wished, translated to my balcony. Next Stop- YouTube! Countless home-gardening videos, following plant-related Instagram handles, reading blogs and a little prodding from my mum, aunt and granny made me visit the local nursery.
As I walked in, the earthy scent from freshly watered plants wafted to my nose. Neatly set up racks of sweet smelling flowers, twisted vines, and houseplants in every shade of green. To the side there was shelf with the most artistically crafted and painted planters- baby elephants, giraffes, boots, and serene ceramic and terracotta vessels. After a vigorous haggle with the plantsman, we got a good deal with some Tulsi plants for free! Accomplished, we drove home with bags of little plants, some soil, planters, and fertilizers.
The next day we began the started to assemble our line of ‘greenies’. The October heat seemed relentless, but so were we. My sister and I, we de-headed dried branches, added fertilizer and made our own potting mix. Laying stones at the bottom of the planters, we began to por. Although it was a giant mess, we happily cleaned it up! Soon our forlorn looking balcony transformed into a beautiful home garden. We watered our plants religiously, sipped coffee with them, chatted away for hours and whistled at our dogs in the colony- Jenny, Elsa, and Tommy through the window. Their little tails wagged back at us!
Foraying later into the divas of the plant world-succulents.
Succulents or Succa’s as I have learnt to call them, can be a little unpredictable at first. After a couple of tries I got them right, till soaking in unseasonal rains almost killed them off! Succulents taught me that less is more. That it is easy to judge someone right off the bat. But if you patient enough to wait around, you may actually make a friend. And that’s how ended up befriended the lovely, ornate succulents.
Stressful quarantine experience transformed into a lovely adventure. With gardening I learnt patience, the value of effort and care. Plants helped me become diligent, observant, and to flow with the tide. I learnt to accept more than except, smile more than frown, love more than hate, and breathe more than rush!