Gardening Lessons: Patience, Perseverance, Gift

By Andrea Pavee

My time spent in nurturing gardening as a hobby as been a gift of untold benefits, which even today, continue to unfold.

Prior to the pandemic, I was a hopeless gardener, and that is putting it mildly. One of my pandemic silver linings, has been the starting and nurturing of gardening as a hobby.

Over the past year and 2 months (in counting), I have graduated from just minute pruning of the golden porthos, an almost indestructible plant, to varieties I would have never imagined tending.

New plant additions came by way of purchase, either by myself or through the graciousness of Marcia, my very good friend, whose apartment balcony has been transformed into a veritable oasis.

Alternatively, gracious friends, again including Marcia, were generous in passing over cuttings for propagation. When Marcia’s plants did not blossom and bloom as expected, she would always pass them over to see if a change in environment would do the trick in helping them thrive. And so, my garden has grown.

Seeds planted in pots or furrows do not sprout immediately, with the exception of bean sprouts, perhaps. The same holds true for transplants and saplings. In spite of all the nature and nurture you give them, they grow at their own time. And there is no two ways about it. Until then, we wait.

Hence, patience is an attribute of a gardener.

Gardening also requires perseverance – heaps of it.

On my many walks with Kar Im, another gem of a friend, I mentioned to her that the Keng Hwa was a plant of very fond childhood memory.

My godmother, alison of fond and blessed memory, had 3 huge pots growing in her garden. She too, was an excellent gardener.

When she (the plant, not my godmother) blossomed, usually around midnight, the whole garden would be filled with the unmistakable scent of the Queen of the Night, as the Keng Hwa is also called. If any of you watched the movie, Crazy, Rich Asians, “she” was prominently featured there!

Kar Im one day turned up with 2 leaves of the same plant. She told me to stick it into a pot in a sunny place and it would grow.

I did that.

For months and months, nada. In fact, one of the leaves yellowed and dried up. In time, I forgot about it, and pottered around elsewhere.

Many, many moons later, I returned to the same pot, intending to rip it from its roots and chuck it out so that it would not encumber the soil anymore. Wonder of wonders, her leaves where green and growing. Thrilled to bits, I immediately repotted her.

Today, she is about to bloom!

Gardening requires perseverance and the best we can do for our plants is never to give up on them.

Gardening is also a gift to you, and others.

The sheer act of gardening, in spite of the hard work and toil required, works wonders on mental and physical health. Nothing is as satisfying as seeing the blooming, blossoming success of your work.

Additionally, seedlings, or cuttings, when propagated makes great gifts all around, and is a wonderful way to make or strengthen friendships.

Every moment spent gardening is a teaching moment. It is a gift that keeps giving, in spades!! (pun intended)

Posted by Chayo, HomSkil Editor 1, 27 May 2021

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