The first garden of an amateur gardener

For a long time, I have been watching longingly from a distance as other people planned, planted, decorated and showed-off their beautiful or not-so-beautiful gardens. I grew up in a house filled with greenery, myself. My father is blessed with the proverbial green thumb. We had such a large number of plants in varieties of flowering or non-flowering plants, cacti, succulents, fruits, vegetables, seasonals and perennials that in my pre-teen years I wouldn’t have believed it, had anyone told me that there existed a plant that my father did not have. Come college and the necessity to stay away from home for studies and later a job, and my green childhood was left behind. I couldn’t have a garden of my own in any accommodation so definitely temporary. However, my love for plants did not diminish.

Now after years, I am finally in a situation to call myself settled, and the 10 year old plant-loving kid has raised her head again. In the small space that I can spare in my house, I have decided to start my first attempt at gardening beyond the almost mandatory Tulsi. I started off by poaching the local “maali” (Gardener) who used to visit an elderly lady in the lane. And with him I placed an order of as many plants as I could remember from my childhood; which after being corrected by Dad for the season, my limited space and my status as a beginner didn’t make a very long list. Determined not to be disheartened, I decided to take baby steps and see where they led. He came on the weekend that followed with all the the plants and other necessary supplies.

And thus began my humble garden, with two periwinkles, two bougainvilleas, a fern, a palm, a croton, two hibiscuses, a cycus, a jasmine and an “Aparajita/Shankhpushp” (an Indian flower, shaped like an inverted conch shell and deep blue in colour).

Please excuse the quality of the pictures, they were taken using phone camera and I’m still learning.

Plants in May:

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Jasmine
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The Pink Bougainvillea
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The White Periwinkle
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The Pink Periwinkle

It’s been two months since then and I have been diligently serving my plants with water, sun, shade, manure, pruning, transplanting, weeding and whatever else they might need. Their wishes are my commands. I have been rewarded by the periwinkles and Aparajita flowering profusely and also puzzled by the stubborn “won’t flower at all” attitude of the bougainvillea and the hibiscus. It’s a continuous process of learning and at least all my plants are alive and healthy. I am going to pick Dad’s brains on these more often; he is my inspiration after all.

Plants in July:

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Croton
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Aparajita/Shakhpushp
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The Pink Periwinkle
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The White Periwinkle
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The Palm
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The Cycus

These are the latest pictures of my first set of plants. I have since acquired more plants, but I will discuss about them next time. I am also planning to work on a few decorative/inspired ideas (inspired by Pinterest) and I will post about them as well. I hope you enjoy being a part of my journey of learning about how to care for plants. I will share my triumphs and heartbreaks with equal enthusiasm, and I hope you like to read about them as much as I love to share them with you.

Love,

Ankita

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