A Long Overdue Project A Long Overdue ProjectSunday, September 26, 2021
“A garden should be in a constant state of fluid change, expansion, experiment, adventure; above all it should be an inquisitive, loving, but self-critical journey on the part of its owner.” – HE Bates
Ammesha Brown's growth in the garden was a matter of timing. “I have always been interested in gardening but did not find the time to establish [a garden]. In 2020, before the pandemic began, I decided it was time…This was a long-overdue project that was not going to be derailed by the pandemic. I am happy I started…because it kept me busy in 2020, especially with all the prep work, research and plant hunting. I started with a few plants that grew into more plants,” she tells SO.
Ammesha is an avid container gardener which is a most efficient form of plant keeping and caring for both indoor and outdoor beauties. She says, “I call myself a pot gardener. Most of my plants are currently in pots. What was an exciting adventure, has become a part of my daily routine. I get up and spend time with my plants and feed them the nourishment that they require. Plants are enjoyable and bring me peace.”
As aptly posited by southernliving.com: “It's a cinch – all you need is a container, potting soil, some plants and you're ready to go…container gardening ideas can be endless...”. As testament to that, Ammesha has creatively curated her chic containers and their inhabitants.
Plant parenting is in vogue and though trendy and trending, it's a real thing! Both on and off the 'gram. “With plants, you always have that little bit of mother nature close to you. I call my plants my babies,” Ammesha says. “While I don't have kids yet, I treat them as living persons. I get a lot of joy seeing them grow and develop. I have received quite a few plants as gifts and I have propagated others from cuttings. My first acquisition was the crown-of-thorns from the Denbigh Agricultural Show in 2016.”
Nature in the heart
Ammesha has always had a connection with nature. “While I can't remember all the specific trips we went on during primary school, I recall enjoying the long drives and just how much I revelled in seeing the different plants and trees as the journey progressed. In fact, I still get joy from my long trips to various locations around the island, and look forward to what nature will present. At my wedding ceremony, we had a special soil blending for an apple tree that we would later plant at our home. The tree is doing well. Nature and gardening for me have always been something that I wanted to incorporate in my adult life. These days I'm eager to leave the hustle and bustle to get home to tend to my plants,” she notes.
Croton and caladium love
Every plant lover has a preference; Ammesha's are crotons. “They are the most majestic plants because of the variety of colours and how they blend together in a cornucopia of contrast. The sunshine yellow with the green and sometimes lined with red is always something to look forward to. My other favourite plant is the caladium. There are so many varieties and the colours are so striking. It is a hardy plant,” she says.
“I plan to have a caladium garden with all the varieties when we eventually expand our garden. I love orchids, but I don't have good luck with them and I am still learning to care for them. I also love the Desert Rose. Crown-of-thorns is another favourite because it is so easy to maintain and exceptionally beautiful when in bloom.”
Patience & persistence
Ammesha shares, “My favourite tip to share with persons is to be patient. Don't rush the process; accept that you will make mistakes and learn from them. Practice does not make perfect; it makes permanency. What was critical for my journey was the research I started doing and the many mistakes I made with my plants. Of course, I did learn, and I am still learning…the most significant takeaway is how beneficial it can be to our mental and physical health.”
The garden also teaches you, as a mirror of life, that pests are stubborn, relentless and invasive. Formidable adversaries which demand attention only to ultimately be overcome. Ammesha learned this lesson early. She recounts, “When I officially started with the garden, I did not know that so many pests existed. So, I was not paying keen attention to the plants and how they looked. I later learned that you have to give them plant food; you have to treat them with different pest control methods, especially organic ones. Being a good gardener means never giving up because there are many challenges with gardening. But the results supersede those challenges. You have to know your plants and document their watering and maintenance schedule to know what works. It's not hard; it just requires insistence on persistence.”
The garden of the world
Ammesha's garden adventure of growth will continue to be one of scholarship, joy, gratitude and serenity.
For those of us who appreciate that it is a blessing to still belong to the garden of the world as we thrive, strive and survive by seeking solace in our own green pastures, here's some sweet positivity, a soliloquy for your Sunday:
“The garden of the world has no limits except in your mind. Its presence is more beautiful than the stars, with more clarity than the polished mirror of your heart.” - Rumi