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Intermitten thoughts from gardening

April 24, 2010

The weather was cool. The sun took a break the whole afternoon.

And the plants were calling out for my attention.

After dealing with my precious basil plant, I started going through the different plants in my garden.

My father was the head gardener of the house and he would dutifully spend every single weekend, if not everyday pottering in the garden after  his long hours of work.

For days in which we value eating dinner together, at least he and I did. I would have to wait for him to finish his gardening chores till 8pm before we could eat together. I could never understand why he dutifully went through the garden section by section. I simply figured that it was an age thing, you know, old people like gardening?

Now that he’s not around anymore, and my wondermaid (despite her nickname) isn’t that wonderful all the time, I do feel upset seeing weeds taking over plants that have lived well for 20 years. And it’s funny how I feel now at 24 that I find gardening therapeutic.

Yes, on a gorgeous Saturday, I choose to stay at home to do gardening and not be like typical 24 yearold hanging out in the city sipping Starbucks coffee.

And these are the thoughts that simply enter my head as I did weeding, repotting of plants,  putting compost, watering it with phostrogen:

Plants are like humans too. In fact, quite like babies. They require love, care, water, nutrients and sunlight. The only difference between plants and humans is that they do not scream/shout/complain/whine/get frinkin upset/many other negative emotions at you. Their very state shows how happy or weak they are. I always remember how my small auntie would tell me over the phone that when she gets upset with her husband, she tends to the plants; watering them, fertilizing them and talking to them. And they listen. When I first heard it, I thought ok…..that’s just her way of coping. But now I do understand what she means. Plants don’t fight back. They ask for the simplest things for them to grow and they will always repay you with beautiful flowers, leaves and fruits. And as you give out love to them by weeding, loosening the soil so that the roots are able to move more freely, adding fertiliser, you can feel a warm “Thank You” from the plant.

Yes, it is such simple things and we get rewarded by a big Thank You from the plant and the plant tries its best to produce a beautiful sight for you.

Gardening is a dirty job. And with no pun intended, it does bring you back to earth, making you more down-to-earth. Attempting to remove the soil that the weeds have encoiled themselves with makes you realise how bad they are for the plant. Loosening up the soil makes you realise how suffocated the roots are. Adding the nutrients and watering them makes you realise how thirsty and hungry they are to produce a beautiful sight for you. And these are small lessons that we can apply in our lives as well.

What are the weeds that are taking our soil away?

Have we loosen ourselves up to relax regularly so that we can breathe for our body and mind?

Have we done anything to help ourselves grow healthily in terms of mind and body?

I’m guessing from now on, I need to get a good pair of gardening gloves. Because the soil  gets into my fingernails and I now know why my father puts those ugly scrubs in the common bathroom. Because it gets all the dirt out.

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