Saturday, October 11, 2008

The day I went green...

I grew up amongst people who love gardening. My mother, aunts, friends of my parents, just about everyone I have known back in my home town loved plants and greenery. I remember the love and care my mother lavished on our garden and over the years she grew an enviable collection of beautiful plants around our house. My mother even talks to ''her babies'' as she refers to them! Me and my brother did not particularly share her love for gardening but we did admire her efforts and knew it meant a lot to her. I am sure she gave up on us ever developing an interest anyways. But off late I have developed a deep interest in plants myself. Ever since we bought our own house, it is as if I am seeing a completely new, read, domesticated side of me. I always was house proud but my efforts to do up anything around my parents house was always met with a resistance by my mom. She would tell me to save all that effort for when I would have my own house and be my mistress. Oh my mom kept a a lovely home with her limited resources and did not take kindly to her ''domain'' being tampered with! I remember I used to sulk when she would not let me change a cushion here or a table setting there. And I resolved from that time that I would keep a beautiful house and a pretty garden. Little did I know though that maintaining a garden and keeping indoor plants is not an easy task and requires considerable research and knowledge not to mention physical labour at which I am errr, not particularly great at. One of the gardens that stand apart in my mind is that of a colleague of my dad's. Aunty Nigam, as I address her, has the most awesome garden in the world. She has a deep abiding love for her plants and it shows. So while she is my dad's colleague and friend first, my mom shares a wonderful relationship with her simply on the basis of a mutual hobby and love they have for gardening.

Got married and came to the middle east where the heat could kill us humans, leave alone flora and fauna. OK that is a bit of an exaggeration but you know what I mean. So while I managed to do up my house in Sharjah very prettily, I was still not succeeding with my greens. Everytime I picked up indoor potted plants for my house, they would end up drying up and dying. It used to upset me a lot till I gave up. But then we moved in to our own house and I realised I was longing to see some greenery around. With the house came an already very nicely maintained garden so all I had to do was get some greenery indoors. Pestered and pestered my husband and gradually he started giving in to my demands. I started with 3 potted plants ! And praise be to God, somehow I managed to develop a green thumb and hit upon some excellent ideas as to how to keep them going! The guy who sold me those three plants told me to keep the AC on as much as possible. It was a bit of a worry because I mean , how can we have the AC on always, because, I end up feeling cold and keep fiddling with the temp control all the time. Nevertheless I tried the trick and it worked. In two months time, my baby plants were thriving so much that I needed to replant them in to bigger pots! Yayyy! Cant begin to tell you what joy I get when friends who visit , tell me my plants look so well cared for. It is especially nice coming from visitors who do have a considerable knowledge about gardening etc. This is also a tip from me to anyone who is remotely interested , plants are a relatively inexpensive way to do up your house. Some of them might be expensive, but look at it as an investment and they last for agessss!

So today, it ws time to nag the hubz again and let me tell you, being pregnant has such obvious advantages!! He never says no to anything now a days, he he he! And the sneaky ole' me took advantage of this and made him drive me to this huge garden centre in Dubai and boy! i freaked out or what! I simply went bersek. Imagine a mall espeically and only for plants and trees and all things green. While we were driving there, I uneccessarily explained to my hubby that I want to leave a green-legacy for our baby....whatever that means! I mean Dubai is quite a synthetic place and wouldn't it be nice if we could get our child interested in nature from a young age. I can assure you hubby didn't really need all my explainations! He was just happy giving in to whatever ''craving'' of the month I seem to be suffering from. So anyways, this month it is plants! And like I said I went madddd! I only recognise money plant and some standard palm trees. But here I picked up some very pretty plants of various kinds, mostly indoors. I loaded the trolley so much that my husband remarked '' are we buying groceries?'' I will put up pictures as soon as I can. Cant wait to share them here! I now have some amazing stuff for our living room and lots of them for the bedrooms too. I immediately got to work as soon as we came home and the master bedroom lespecially, looks such a place of tranquility....amazing what just a little touch of greenery can do to a living space. We also bought some accessories, actually my husband was quite excited and he chose the garden accessories like a ceramic frog, some stones, rocks etc. I also picked up a little fat clay birdie and am imagining how will Yohaan react seeing all those animals and birds outside when he grows up enough...anyways, I am beyond excited now and am so enjoying the look these plants have helped me create around my house. Thank you Jesus for making such lovely things on this planet. How did you know we humans would receive much comfort and joy from witnessing your creations. And how did you know it had to be the colour green?? Ah, you are such a perfect God!

We also went to the Fab India store and bought stuff for our bedroom to go with the Indian theme and colours. Ahhh, it all looks so pretty! Maybe it is the hormones but I am in such a nurturing mood nowadays. I feel maternal towards all living beings. My house currently gets a lot of ants visitng it- God only knows from where and how. Even as go about ex-terminating them I find myself feeling bad , mad I know! Then a funny thing happened at the garden store. I pointed out the lovely cacti plants to the hubz. He asked me to pick up some. I replied ''what if Yohaan gets to them and hurts himself?'' , it was then he gave me a ''huh? look''. A little too early to be baby proofing the house eh? Must be the hormones!!


mayg said...

hehe so the nesting instinct has finally set in eh?
good job with the plants! much as I love green, I've officially given up on live plants.. for one thing they are so pricey and a headache to maintain in this desert:|
For me its fake plants all the way! Every once in a while I frequent the place with those real looking fake plants and now have them in all corners of the house kitchen rackand loo included!
One of these days I'll get in touch with you to figure out how you manage live plants in this country!!

Harshika said...

arrey MayG,I know it is a huge pain over here. But guess what I also picked up flowering plants for the outdoors for just 2dhs each! Petunia and Xinora(19dhs), put them in your balcony as they will be fine in the heat. Just water them regularly.Plus the staff at the garden centre are super helpful, they will tell you everything you wanna know! Call me anytime!

mindspace said...

hey came here from Parul's.. congratulations for motherhood.. I know you must be enjoying and living life to the fullest :)

I also have a huge crush for green :P
was looking for the photograph u said u will share of ur plants here in Dubai home of urs.. but dint find any :(