The Joy of Gardening – A Delightful Hobby



As a child I wasn’t very interested in plants, potting and gardening. My sister was very keen and often she would be seen planting various little plants around the house. But most of all, my father was very passionate about plants, he still is. He always upto something and I found it fascinating to observe him. Even now it is a common sight to see him digging some pot with a small screwdriver, trying to mix the soil so that the leaves and flowers get access to the fertilizer that he would add to the pot at frequent intervals. He gets so involved in the whole process that sometimes even if we call out to him, he doesn’t listen; because his mind body and soul are completely with the plant. We had plants hanging in the whole length of the veranda at home in Mumbai. Mumbai houses are the size of a matchbox literally in comparison with houses in other cities. So a big veranda was a boon in our house, and the plants hanging off the wooden edge were such a delightful sight. Yes, sometimes I did wonder what if any one of those plants fell off the five floors and broke someone’s head, but I guess my father is very smart and careful because such a mishap hasn’t occurred in two decades.

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Gardening… what a classic hobby!

I guess that’s where my love for growing and nurturing plants stems from. It helps that my husband is equally crazy about having a garden at home with plants flourishing in it. So when we moved to our new house in Atlanta, we left no stone un-turned in getting the choicest of plants at home. Last year was a very unfortunate year though. We had to be in India for quite some time and since there was no one to look after the plants, most of them gave way. The winters and rains did not show any mercy either, and the result was really bad; almost tragic for my husband and I. We decided not to get plants or plant seeds for a while, at least till spring arrived; because seeing your plants die an untimely death is a very sad thing.

Hello Spring, my garden beckons…

When spring said hello to us, we didn’t waste a single day. We searched every nook and corner of all our favorite stores to get what we wanted. Flowers, vegetables, seeds, soil, plant food and some more beautiful planters – of all sizes one’s mind can conceive. And thus started the process of envisaging a beautiful garden and then making it happen, on our patio. The most thrilling part of this adventurous journey is planting seeds. To see a small plant blossom into a bigger one is nice, but to see those small green little bursts in a pot thanks t the little seeds is happiness unlimited. The pleasure of seeing seeds turn into healthy plants is almost like producing a baby and nurturing it into a healthy being. Desh and I jump with joy each time we see seeds grow into a little plant. We sit there observing it for long!

Last year, we had planted one red rose shrub in the patio. It gave us the most stunning roses then and it is a miracle that the plant survived without water for a month and then the whole of winter. On a few days the temperature even went as low as -10 degrees, but though there were no leaves on the stems, somehow the rose plant managed to pull through. Come spring we noticed that the leaves started showing up and guess what. There are 13 roses in it now. It was so much fun to see the leaves grow, the little buds which started springing everywhere in every little branch and then those little rose buds bloom into fully grown roses. Red with a beautiful hint of pink! Such an amazing combination it is. My heart does several somersaults in one go whenever I see the roses. And of course not to forget the lengthy phone conversations that I have with my father, describing every leaf and flower. He tells me how to enhance their beauty. And it is worth every little effort.

This time, we got many vegetables and herbs as well; and we are already reaping the benefits of ‘Kapoor Farms’ as we playfully call our pretty little patio garden. The tomatoes are so cute, we leave some for the birdies who come for their daily meals and the rest of the booty is for us. The chilies are going strong, and the peppers will be out in a few days. But the best part is that we are waiting for the berries and guava. The blueberries have already started showing up though and it’s just a matter of time when we will be watching TV while gorging on them. Am very excited to see how the strawberries turn out.

Oh yes, but the best part of all is the marigold story. You know how obsessed we Indians are with them, because we have seen them all our lives, and abundantly so. Especially the marigold garlands as offerings to the deities, when we go to temples. We got really small marigold plants this time. While buying them I didn’t realize each one was a different plant. It was clustered together, so we assumed it had to go in a single planter. But while doing the actual planting, we realized that they were eight different small plants. Honestly I didn’t have much hope in them, though of course my husband keeps telling me to think positive thoughts about the plants and they will survive and blossom. So I do exactly that. There were two colors – yellow and orange. So we planted a combination of one yellow and one orange in four different pots. I can’t even begin to express the contentment those little marigolds have brought to us. Each one has minimum three flowers now and the pots literally look like a decorated flower vase.

The spiritual connection with gardening…

The satisfaction that a hobby like gardening can give you is incomparable. Somewhere that happiness touches your very soul and your whole being; and is equal to motherhood. Just this morning I sat on the swing surrounded by all my plants, sipping tea. It almost looked like each one was saying hello and the conversation we had was beautiful. I don’t know if you have experienced this, but if you are passionate about gardening and nature in general, you will feel your plants smile at you when you look at them. Seeing my plants smile at me is so uplifting, it brightens my day and energizes me completely. I think it is one of the best things that my husband and I do together. It is also an amazing reminder that even plants that cannot speak reciprocate love in such a selfless manner.

Do you have a hobby that brings you so much joy?

Featured Image: Flickr

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