Monday, September 8, 2014

Why watering plants is a hobby I miss

My fondest memories of childhood are associated with the huge lawn in the house. Okay, it wasn't huge, but if I compare it to the average Delhi flat, it would have taken up most of our ground floor here. I'm pretty sure we had over 50 varieties of differently shaped flower pots in that Dehradun house. The huge Ashoka trees swayed ferociously every time it rained, often taking the electricity wires down with a gentle nudge. A few of them couldn't bear the violent storms and fell to the ground every couple of years. New ones took their place sooner than we knew.

I don't recall how I old I was, but I clearly remember rolling on the grass. I would pull out mud from the carefully cultivated lawn, much to the chagrin of my disciplined grandmother. What kind of hooligan had taken birth in her sophisticated family?

In the spring the garden would overflow with the brightest colours of dahlias and hybrid orange and purple roses that weren't usually found in the neighbourhood - all thanks to our special gardener who came all the way from FRI, Dehradun. There were poppies, a huge china rose plant, an ornamental lemon tree at the edge of the wall and three Ashokas lined like warriors right in front of the house. The hedge was always neatly trimmed. When I was old enough to figure how to attach the hose clamp on the tap and carry it all the way to the lawn, I was given the responsibility of watering the plants.

It all began from filling up the smaller flower pots to the brim. 'Never aim at the flower with a lot of pressure, the petals will wither away.' I don't remember where all these lessons came from, it was either my brother or my mother. 'No, not too much pressure on the mud either, it's going to splash on the freshly painted walls!' Ugh, watering plants came with a lot of instructions.

The grass in the lawn was usually flooded with water whenever I took charge. 'See there's dirt on the leaves, wash it away with water.' By the time I was a little older I was receiving live lessons about xylem and phloem in my garden. 'Phloem transports organic matter during photosynthesis. It's the innermost layer of the bark. Xylem transports water and nutrients.' The details would follow later, but that's a lesson for another day. 

There were times the hose twisted or the water supply came with such force that the tube was thrown far away and lay anguished on the floor. This usually meant I was going to be drenched, just like the lawn. This entire activity took anything between 45 mins to an hour and a half every evening. 

You should have seen my lawn once I had drenched the garden with copious amounts of water. The leaves shined like the greenest green, often reflecting the last few rays of the setting sun. The flowers brightly showed off their new colours as if they were out in their newest dresses. The trees dripped with endless drops of water throughout the evening. My five foot frame managed to reached the farthest branches three times my height with the help of the long hose pipe that sprayed water to the neighbour's house at times too. It was cool, green, and you could feel your lungs full of fresh air. 

Nothing quite matches the joy of rolling in the lawn - my first home :) 

1 comment:

  1. hi shruti... my eyes just glided down the entire article with the least bit of effort.. so beautifuly and lovingly written! loved it...