Wally's Garden!

Style Observer

Wally's Garden!

Sunday, September 13, 2020

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Wally's beginner tips

Trial and error are the best teachers and based on the “Plant Daddy's experience, here are a few beginner tips:

• Do not overwater your plants: “It's better to err on the side of making them a little thirsty than to water them daily”.

• Look out for droopy leaves since “some plants will tell you when they're thirsty”.

• If you're uncertain about watering, get a moisture meter that will let you know when a plant needs to be watered. Wally is using a moisture meter to guide his Fiddle Fig watering.

• You are not hurting the plant by cutting it for propagation. Don't be afraid to propagate.

• Don't be afraid to trim your plant, so “if a plant looks leggy (a piece over there and a piece over here) don't be afraid to cut off the long parts. The plant will send out new shoots and look lusher [after a trim].”

• Wipe your plants down if dusty and keep them clean, especially the Fiddle Leaf and Monstera since the leaves must always be kept at optimum for photosynthesis.

• Check your plants for pests, bugs and diseases and where found, wipe down all the leaves with a paper towel and water with a little dishwashing liquid. Wally also sprays his plants with Actara where there's a pest problem, but he doesn't like the idea of using pesticides on his house plants.

• Where there's a big pest infestation which he experienced with his Alocasia, take the plant outside to ensure that it gets some sun, which should help to rid it of the insects. Rain also does a good job of washing them away, making outside a good remedy in itself.

• Read everything that you can online and figure out what works for your plants and what doesn't.

Growing with your plants

The Unlikely Gardener surmises from her experience that a plant lover's journey is very personal and spiritual. The Plant Daddy's journey has been just that. Wally explained that along the journey he has learned:

• Resilience: “You think that a plant is dying and then they surprise you.” His masterclass on resilience was meted out by his Alocasia which triumphed in a war against spider mites, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.

• Awareness: Wally has become more aware of the world around him and notices the pleasant subtleties and intricacies of his environment. Plants that he would have once thought were weeds now have a name and face. He says that his “eyes are now more open”.

• Appreciation: Wally has garnered a new-found appreciation of slow living in this crazy world of instant gratification. He says “plants make you slow down…it's really about working towards a long-term goal. There's a lot of instant gratification in this age that we need or crave but the plant is going at its own pace. You learn patience. You learn to appreciate the process with the understanding that not everything that you want happens immediately.” Caring for plants also kept his mind active and practically engaged, especially on the weekend. Television watching has now been replaced by gardening — which is food for the soul. He also appreciates the function and service which plants provide to us human beings, as “they pull toxins from the air and having them around is a physical benefit”.

A new chapter: Wally's pots

The Plant Daddy is presently writing a new chapter of his plant journey. To brighten any room and any mood, Wally is currently collaborating with the very trendy vegan eatery, Marianna's Kitchen to create bright, bold and sustainable terracotta pots.

Jamaica's plant community

Evidently, the Plant Daddy is an active member of Jamaica's online plant community. He's as big a part of it as he is a fan of it. His two cents are that “there is much less ego than what usual Instagram communities would have. The plants are really the stars. Everyone is helpful and shares information. Everyone has their Everest and their struggles”.

The Plant Daddy encourages: “If you are a plant person and online and dive into that community, it is one of the best communities that you will find.”

Wally's starting pot line can be found on the Internet. Check out his YouTube (Wallys Garden) and his IG (@wallysgarden). You will also find Wally's care tips and plant lover support “for plant people who like to get down and dirty with their plants!”.

There are many things on the Rock that are good: Wallys Garden is one of them!

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