THE GIFT OF GARDEN With Marzia PalmerSunday, May 16, 2021
“The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses.” — Hanna RionVerBeck
Gardening, like travel, is not only a journey back into yourself but also an enlightening experience. It's like reading the most pleasant novel. It's so personal that each reader absorbs and interprets each word differently sharing in a unique yet similar delight though in a different space, at a different time.
Over in Kingston 21, fondly known as the state of Florida, Marzia Palmer started her garden journey when she purchased her home in 1998. Taking the healthy approach, Marzia started with tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, melon, cucumbers and onions. However, swept up by the demands of life, after a couple of years she transitioned to low maintenance plants befitting of her familial and occupational commitments.
It's been said that love is the greatest gift that one generation can leave to another. We must always bow to the cliché that love comes in many forms since Marzia's garden is living proof. She shares, “Six years ago, I was gifted 67 huge orchids of different varieties by a dear friend who was unable to take care of them anymore due to old age. To say that I was a novice is an understatement but I called my friend Pedro who is an orchid collector and expert and he gave me tips on how to care for them and what their needs were. Needless to say, I've become an addict.”
The making of a garden
The seasoned gardener knows that the strength of any plant rests in the strength of its roots. The deeper they are the better, no matter how tiny the sprout. Like most green thumbs are inspired by their mother, Marzia is living testimony as she says, “My affinity for gardening began when I was younger. I can remember helping my mom in the yard. She was an avid lover of plants. She loved her vegetable and rose garden the most... she would spend hours out there... I used to watch my mom and noticed that she had such a glow on her face and appeared to be at such peace when she was tending to her garden. As I got older, I realised the joy that she found in nurturing plants is the accomplishment of keeping them thriving. I continued with that passion and filled my garden and home with a variety of plants.”
Today, Marzia is the owner of a most impressive orchid collection and a dream pond built by her cousin Jean which she regularly features on the Jamaican Facebook group Daily Bloom. To Marzia the “garden means life”. It gives her “a sense of tranquility, peace and serenity…[and] if having a rough day...a sense of hope...an immediate smile”.
It has also taught her “to be patient and not take anything for granted”. She says, “For me getting them to bloom is a challenge so whenever I accomplish that, it gives me great satisfaction and immense pleasure. The wonders of nature never cease to amaze me. Whether it's morning dew, a new bloom, butterflies or birds that visit.”
This plant patience seems to have been diffused throughout Marzia's family since her supportive husband and daughters are an integral part of her garden adventures.
Lean into the love
Love is patient so lean into it for the full experience. This sentiment also applies to nature and goes with Marzia's plant view that “if you give them the love that they need, they will in turn reward you with their love”. Embrace it!
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login