Hope Gardening: Cat-gardening Chronicles
If any cat wants to be hired as a gardener he or she can take this selfie I took to prove to my suspicious not very grateful Boss, that I am not sleeping on the job but am protecting the fern inside the bathroom. This selfie will really help during that critical interview. Since all ferns like moisture this fern has invaded my favourite napping spot which is the cane laundry basket in the bathroom. It is tall and elegant and very comfortable. It is especially good as a scratching post! Ever since we shifted some drooping ferns to the bathroom, we got very good results. The ferns began to bloom and spread their serenity around the bathroom and later to the other rooms when we shifted them.
But in the morning it was all about Hope-gardening in the green house painted yellow on top of the building where I shared work with the Boss. The yellow portulaca gave us a blast of pleasure as there were five bright baby roses inside some old glass bowl from where they glittered like the sun had painted them with its very own lemon yellow colours.
Alas the crotons were drooping, all except one which had decided to perk up. It was a rainbow of yellow and green threads and looking up at the sunny sky talking perhaps to hope itself. But too many deaths took us by surprise and we mourned and removed them. Then we used the empty pots to fill up brand new plants we had bought from the best nursery in Hyderabad where you get very reasonably priced exquisite treasures. So we had a scented geranium for the first time in our gardening life, which we potted inside the empty pot from where we had sadly removed the corpse of the old croton. Then we potted the dark blue Passion Flower, so beautiful it made us want to pray! That was stacked against the yellow mesh to clamber up the walls. The earlier one we had bought, was still trying to get used to its new place and we watered it gingerly. The red passion flower alas had died. But we now had three new ones, very healthy looking, from this new nursery and they gave us a lot of hope.
We were hard at work for an hour, potting and sweeping out the floor, and ruthlessly removing dead plants, sadly one was a creeper with scented little white flowers which left us to go to wherever dead plants vanish. I must admit I had three or four small snoozes in between as it was very hot and I am a very young cat gardener and need my sleep. The Boss has still not included catnip to my pay cheque so I make up with some rest.
The good news is that after reckless, greedy, shameless shopping we now have five red fittonias also put inside the bathroom for moisture where they are watered very carefully and two green and pink fittonias were added to them which are also thriving. Maybe they enjoy the company. Coco pit is slowly becoming easy to use. The trick is to water it much lesser than normal soil, in fact to just leave it alone to do its job and the fittonias and all other plants enchant us by just growing almost without any water. It is eco friendly to use coco pit instead of peat which is being overused by gardeners who don’t know how precious it is and needs to be saved. We also made new plants out of old generous friendly synghoniums which give extra babies very soon to use as cuttings for increasing our stock.
Then we put the very lovely wall ivies against the walls of the green house and the little flat where we hope they will stick to the walls as the nursery staff promised us. The bottle green ivy which is the hardiest ivy ever found, was also filling up its pot upstairs very promisingly. Then there were three of the purple and pink leaved sweet potato plants that were thriving from the daily watering. We decided to let them be with one day in between without watering, to see if they still did well. Gardening is all about hit and miss, weep and wonder and worry and whine!
And everywhere along with our watering and trimming and burying the dead of the green house, painted yellow, hope followed us like the rose that grows inside the heart of every gardener, however green her thumb or however stupid her gardening is! But as long as every gardener has her cat gardener to purr around the Passion flower or wrap around her broken heart, when three fittonias are promising the near death experience, she will survive every gruesome ghoul that hides behind the shrubs and bushes of all gardens!