Floriculture with Donna Taylor-WrightSunday, April 11, 2021
“The very best relationship has a gardener and a flower. The gardener nurtures and the flower blooms.”– Carole Radziwill
According to gardeningtips.in, floriculture “is a concept which completely belongs to gardening and motivated towards the understanding and the improvement of all the factors of creation of buds and flowers which involve nutrition which has to be given to plants, watering, management of pests and lighting requirements”.
With bigger buds and blooms on the brain, here on the Rock, we boast a decent amount of our very own floriculturists. Donna Taylor-Wright is one such plant lover whose passion projects have been focused on the cultivation of bright and brilliant blooms.
Roots in the ground
“My plant journey began way back. I grew up in a small farming community in St Elizabeth where as children we had to help Papa in the field planting corn, peas, peanuts, etc. Fast-forward to many years later, I met and married my husband Leonard, who's also from St Elizabeth… we shared a similar background and a love for plants. When we were searching for a property to buy for our first home, one main criterion was not the size of the house but that it had to have enough land to create a garden… The land surrounding our first home was small but we filled almost every square inch with plants,” Donna shares.
Bringing her dreams to fruition, with Donna's home came her first garden and the rest is history!
Learning + Living H&L Agro
Proving that good things too can come in threes, along with the new home and the garden came a new job at Hardware & Lumber. As all garden aficionados know, with an unapologetic shout-out to the Style Observer's garden sponsor, Agro Grace (now H&L Agro) was and still is the agricultural flagship of the H&L group.
“For the seven years I spent with the company, I gained a wealth of knowledge about plants and plant care,” Donna informs. “That further deepened my love for plants, particularly orchids.” Still an ardent supporter of H&L and its garden product lines, Donna tips her hat to the agri-store for its positive influence and its product lines. To date, she still receives advice regarding her vegetable garden from Jascinth Ambersley, who is a manager for H&L Agro, and quips, “H&L Agro is known for educating its customers… educated customers make more informed purchase decisions… they used to hold seminars on everything… that's where I learned all that I know.”
The beauty of the bloom
Donna, who has a passion for a wide array of flowers and fresh and ground produce, and is particularly captivated by the beauty of the bloom, says, “I think I would best describe myself as a floriculturist. I have a deep love for plants for food as well as for flowering plants. This love was strengthened and supported by my husband… we are like yin and yang, as we both have a passion for plants…When we purchased our second home, even before we began renovating, we set about filling it with plants. We planted June plum, bananas, plantains, avocado, mangoes, cherries, and coconut… the land already had sweetsop, soursop, and ackees.
“After settling in, my husband went about creating a backyard garden while I focused on the aesthetics… that was the true birth of my garden. My garden is a potpourri of plants: Texas Sage, Duranta Gold, Bird of Paradise, Saffron Spike, Adeniums, Euphorbia, Bouganvilla, Zinnia, Vinca, Red Tie, Kalanchoe, Calibrachoa, Phlax, Song of India, my beloved orchids... and many others (I don't know all the names).”
Communion with God
There's a saying that “God is the experience of looking at a tree and saying, Ah!” (Joseph Campbell).
Donna's day starts with an acknowledgment of his grace. She confides, “I start each day in communion with God in my garden… that's where I'm most at peace. I clear my head there…I do my deep breathing there, then the day begins.”
She admits to a special love of orchids. “The other plants in our garden sometimes feel jealous, because my orchids are my favourite,” she says, “and I treat them extra-special. I stick to a hydrogen peroxide, fertilising and watering routine to ensure that they remain in perfect health. I'm in awe every time I see an orchid bloom... they are so beautiful... the colourful blooms manifest the intricacies of God's design. My friends all think I'm the crazy plant lady, because I talk to my plants. I praise them when they bloom, I tell them how beautiful they are; I actually kiss some of them.”
From my garden to yours, I sincerely wish you and your beloveds good health and happiness as we try to stay safe by “tanning a wiyaad”.
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