Gardening is an activity that involves the attributes of patience and hard work. It gives us happiness and is an enjoyable hobby - satisfying and relaxing. It is not an activity for the thrill-seekers who are in search of an adrenaline rush; instead it is for those people who are willing to wait to reap the fruits of their hard work and for those who can appreciate the tranquillity that a garden brings.
We are amid a pandemic; there are growing tensions at the borders along with a worrying economy. During times like these, when we are surrounded by adversities, we need something which will help us relax and take a break from these stressful scenarios. A perfect hobby that will help us achieve this is gardening! As Audrey Hepburn said “To plant a garden, is to believe in tomorrow.”
The Basics of Gardening
Space can be a constraint for people, but there are ways of achieving a perfect Garden of Eden even in the smallest of areas. A few pots placed aesthetically on the terrace, windowsill, etc. can do the trick. Reusing and recycling household items are great ways to garden efficiently, all while saving space and money. Chances are you have many household items that can be quickly turned into unique garden containers!
Gardening starts with good preparation of the soil. This includes adding the right manure which can even be prepared at home using vegetable waste from the kitchen. It requires some amount of planning before you start and understanding what can be grown in the soil and space you have. Procuring the seeds or saplings is the next step. Another important step is the plantation itself, followed by constant nurturing to make sure the seeds are germinating and growing well.
Water is a commodity that needs to be wisely used without wastage, especially in Chennai. Summer is always a bad time to start a new garden as the garden has to survive the scorching heat. A perfect time for plantation is just after the rains.
Gardening is not easy, and we might encounter setbacks. The plant is not growing well, plant diseases, and too much or too little water can all destroy a garden. It can be heart breaking when all your hard work goes to waste but that is what gardening encompasses - the good along with the bad. But remember, there are no mistakes in gardening - only experiments. So, don’t let anything stop you from experimenting in your garden space.
My Experience with Gardening
I have enjoyed gardening for a very long time; my interest stemmed from childhood when I used to help my grandmother who was a keen gardener. My time in London (where I worked for a considerable period) introduced me to various techniques and types of gardening. Visiting the world-famous Chelsea flower show regularly was one of the highlights of my gardening experience in the UK. Coming back to India, where weather conditions are drastically different from the UK, I moved on to tropical plants but my gardening experiments continue. I do make time for gardening however busy my days are because the peace and serenity that a beautiful garden brings cannot be explained but needs to be experienced. Gardening also gives you time for reflection on life and introspection.
Your Turn to Try!
I have not always had green thumbs and have indeed had my fair share of disasters but never have I stopped. In fact, set-backs only make a person want to do better the next time. I would encourage anyone who is interested in taking up gardening as a hobby. Try it and discover the happiness of growing your own fruits, flowers and vegetables. Enjoy the peace and quiet of a good green space. It is a hobby that is clean and environmentally friendly. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get your fingers dirty!
“In all things of nature, there is something of the marvellous.”- Aristotle.