Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Hope for the Flowers (borrowing from T. Paulus)

Day 2 sans my kiddos. Like yesterday, I busied myself with routine housework - cleaned the yard, swept dried leaves and the dogs' poop (yikes), and watered the plants, vines and trees. I went out the street in my usual (favorite) ratty shirt and decent 'snooze' shorts (that's the brand, btw), cleared the debris from yesterday's passersby mindlessly throwing wrappers and cigarette butts, and dried leaves falling from our mango and guyabano trees. I liked that when we bought the house, its fence was richly covered by a green plant that creeps, I don't know what it's called. We have kept it as we had found it, but removed the old santan that lined the house fence from the outside. In its place now are camote, alugbati, sili, and at times tomatoes - to the credit of our yaya. 

A neighbor came up to me once as I was watering the plants and said that she and many other neighbors appreciate that they can freely harvest camote leaves from our little garden. I've been for years meaning to get someone to do the landscape. That hasn't happened because it is expensive and I always wonder if passersby would not uproot newly planted ornamentals. I'm sure they won't be our immediate neighbors, but since access to the subdivision is not restricted, I have my doubts whether it's worth it. 

My mother-in-law has been discretely bringing plants on her recent visits, giving them to the yaya. The gardener that she is, the patch of land -- greeting her as she enters the house, with sparse plants and largely exposed topsoil -- must look like untended to her. Last time she visited, she brought carabao grass and taught Yaya how to plant and propagate it. Who doesn't want a nice garden? I do. I like plants especially those that give bright, dainty flowers, and I'd like to see more flowers other than the kalachuchi we have, which happens to be from mom-in-law as well. And I dream of picking flowers and putting them in vases or used ketchup bottles, to decorate the dining and living areas of the house. That would be lovely! 

I thought I'd take up gardening when I quit work about a year ago. Failure. It's daunting for me to get down to the job, research about suitable plants, ones which can grow under a big canopy of a mango tree, and ones which are sturdy or deep-rooted enough to be able to cohabit with active dogs, one is a Jack Russell terrier, the hunting type that digs the soil to find a prey. Daunting. I actually have plastic pots and seeds waiting to be used, and sitting some place in the house for almost a year now.

The last two days I've been tending the garden (haha, watering is all that I do actually), I have resolved to at least try and spruce up the open space my family is blessed to have. I'm keen on buying flowering plants. I'm thinking bougainvillea, the ones whose colors I seldom see - lavender, orange, white, and, maybe, see if I can find the pink version of yellow bells. On a recent family outing, Garrett took nice photos of the flowers I have in mind (see the two photos at the bottom).

It's therapeutic to water plants. Thoughts of life, health, blessings came to me yesterday as water sprinkled from the hose I was holding, aiming it not only at the ground where water would be taken up, but also unto the leaves and branches. It's a delight to the senses to smell the drenched soil and plants, and see the glistening water droplets that form on the leaves. It's nature talking. Or maybe it's God, reminding me to stay grounded, appreciative, grateful, and to live healthy and happy as the radiant day He has so kindly given. 

Big, red ants feast on our guyabano tree.

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