“Allow nature’s peace to flow into you as sunshine flows into trees”, this thought about nature and trees was given by John Muir, the father of national parks. This thinking clears one thing that if a man goes close to nature, he gets peace and a feeling of belongingness to himself, which is very rare to find in today’s era.
During this lockdown period or even while following a hectic and exhausting schedule, gardening can be considered as a remedy for rigidness of work. Although, traditional belief says that gardening is said to be a hobby of rich people, and common man couldn’t afford it due to shortage of time, money and space; but people like me who know how to manage their available resources efficiently, will love the concept of gardening.
So, let us start with some of the benefits which you can get by planting trees in your surroundings. First of all, it is now a scientifically proven fact that gardening can be a stress buster practice and you can kill your anxiety issues being close to nature, that too without medicines. Secondly, apart from gaining peace of mind you can also increase your creativity and confidence, practical knowledge and can also give value to your free time. Furthermore, it will add a worth to the interior and exterior decoration of your home and the best thing is you can do it yourself. Lastly, self produced flowers, fruits, vegetables; leaves of different colour and texture will always make you happy, aren’t they? Imagine yourself sitting in your porch, backyard, terrace, balcony or gallery, between a bunch of green trees or colourful flowers with different fragrance. I am sure this would be a great feeling, moreover, you do not need much money to change this imagination into reality. So, let us go in the world of greenery.
There are many plants like crotons, suckers, succulents, money plant, cactus etc, which can easily grow even by stem cutting and transplantation. So, you do not need to purchase these plants from the market, you can easily borrow a stem from your friends, relatives or any known person. These plants don’t even need daily watering and they can also grow across all seasons. If you don’t have money to buy pots, you can even plant them in vessels which are left in our home for no use like old bottles or buckets, mugs etc. The best thing is this variety of plants doesn’t need regular sunlight and daily maintenance, so, you can place them anywhere in your home, inside or outside, on stairs or in kitchen, in drawing room or in bed room. Furthermore, if you have a less space in your gallery then you can use the concept of container gardening. Container gardening is best for roof tops, terraces, balcony and low spaced gallery. You can use different sizes of wooden containers to grow plants, so that you can put them anywhere in your home as per your wish and as per your space management. You can even make colourful designs on these containers (flowers for flower plants; leaves for crotons, etc). I would suggest you some indoor and outdoor plants like Aglonema, peace lily, syngonium, banana and gold dust croton, cycas and sago palm, devil’s ivy, etc. These types of plants fall in the category of ornamental plants and trees.
As we move ahead, I would like to mention some of the names of flowers which I have personally grown in my garden. Rose, daisy, marigold, jasmine (mogra), office time, cock’s comb, pensy are some of my favourite flowers. All of these have different colour, fragrance, shape and size. I am sure that anyone like me can easily grow these flowers in any type of small or big vessel available at home. We can use egg shells and tea leaves as their fertilizers, which are easily available at our homes. So, from next time when you eat eggs or make a cup of tea, don’t throw their remains in dustbins. In fact, we can use peels and skins of all the vegetables and fruits, and can make a bio fertilizer for our plants. Some of these plants can also be grown by stem cutting, like rose and office time. I am sure everyone would love to see these flowers in their garden.
Now, let us come to bonsai trees. These are a type of miniature copy of their original plants. They have same shape and texture, but have a very small size. A bonsai tree is made by various techniques like pruning and defoliation (you do not need to go in these expert details). Main benefit of a bonsai tree is you can even place them on a table in your drawing and dining room. These trees are very appealing and have extraordinary look. If you are unable to grow a banyan tree or a mango tree in your courtyard because of the shortage of space, then the best option is to grow a bonsai of the same. Silver oak, lime, jambul, Christmas, apple, orange, anjir trees are popularly found bonsai trees in India. If gardening is your hobby, then you should try to grow a bonsai also. Although growth of a bonsai tree requires proper care, timely trimming and fertilizers, but, the experience which you will get by growing it will be more precious of all these efforts.
There are some medicinal plants which you can easily grow at your home. These are the most beneficial plants as you can use them in your day to day life whenever the need arises. Leaves, roots and fruits of some plants have medicinal value as Aloe vera, mint, ginger, basil (tulsi), black paper etc. Sweet neem (kadi patta) and coriander (dhaniya) can also be used while cooking various recipes. These plants are very cheap and easy to grow at home, so you can easily afford them. You do not need to wait for any particular season to plant them.
Last but not the least; we will quickly identify the list of vegetables which can be grown in our garden (gallery, terrace or balcony) across all the seasons. Tomatos, chilly, ladyfinger, spinach, capsicum, brinjal etc. are some of the common vegetables which we consume atleast once in a week. How good is that if we are able to grow these at our homes? Superb, right! I have grown these vegetables in a set of plastic bags, specially made for vegetable gardening. These bags have no weight, can be easily placed and adjusted, have proper holes and are available in different sizes. These bags are easily available online at a very affordable prise. Nothing can be compared to consume organically and self produced vegetables.
To conclude we can easily analyse the thought which we read in the starting of this article that gardening takes us close to nature and it gives us a feeling of belongingness to yourself. Gardening is a type of working experimentation which you can do without learning science. It is a best practice as it not only improves your mental health but also creates various types of skills. If you want to remain happier than others practice gardening. Even, Jennifer Uglow has once said, “we might think we are nurturing our garden, but of course it’s our garden that is really nurturing us.”
By Kartik Rohella, 32 years, Ajmer (Raj.),