Lessons from my Garden
Marjorie Allen garden-hops on one of her many overseas trips. (Photo: Marjorie Allen)

I actually started gardening about 20 years ago while I was in between jobs. Back then I embraced the freedom from 9 to 5, although I soon realised that as hard as I tried I could not sleep past 6:30 am. So, instead of lying in bed, I started going outdoor and just playing around with the few plants that I owned.

Next thing you know, I'm spending Saturday mornings at a popular orchid nursery, just admiring their beauty and the variety, while gaining such an education on this amazing species. This curiosity remains with me, and now most of my travels include a visit to a nursery, a botanical garden or show.

Today I have a garden that I love, which I spend hours in every week, it's one that my friends love — a place where we meet for potluck several times per year.

Gardening has taught me patience…apart from the fact that I figured it was best to outfit my garden with a wide variety of plants and lots of them — so that I will always have plants in bloom — I have learned to wait. The slowest to bloom put on quite a show when they do and so I wait in anticipation, instead of complaining as I would have before. It has taught me to persevere — I have watched 'sticks' come to life just by persisting, and giving them love. When you love them they love you right back!

I have learned to manage with the seasons. And now as we experience longer periods without rain, as well as higher temperatures my approach, as always, is "none of these beauties will die"... and so I have rainwater stored, and I continue treatments with organic as well as manufactured insecticide, fungicide and fertilisers as needed. This way when I look out at 6:30 am (still!) I sigh in appreciation!

Oncidium (Dancing lady) (Photo: Marjorie Allen)
African violet (Photo: Marjorie Allen)
Crinum Asiaticum (Photo: Marjorie Allen)Marjorie Allen
Dendrobium antennatum (Photo: Marjorie Allen)
Night blooming cereus (Photo: Marjorie Allen)
Aerides odorata (Photo: Marjorie Allen)
Ascocenda (Photo: Marjorie Allen)
Cattleya species (Photo: Marjorie Allen)
Rotheca microphylla - (Musical note) (Photo: Marjorie Allen)
Arachnis orchid (Photo: Marjorie Allen)
Sansevieria (Photo: Marjorie Allen)
Tillandsia (Air plant) (Photo: Marjorie Allen)
Jamaican native Broughtonia sanguinea (Photo: Marjorie Allen)

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