I am the cat-gardener chosen today to tell you all about the Living Dead and the Undead in your garden! We had a happily growing raat ki rani, or Queen of the Night in the lower terrace of our building. It had flowered, and its tiny, slender white flowers were just putting out their scented magic in the evenings, when tragedy struck. Too many people either fell ill or there was an accident or too many guests arrived, or some other such irritating human pestilence arrived. So one fine day pests could be seen all over the leaves of this lovely plant which for four or five months puts out such an exquisite scent that it can travel over the road to the neighbours, to make them smile and sit down and gasp with joy!
But once the pests arrived it took too long for our gardener, perhaps watching too much Netflix, what else, to put the turmeric powder over the leaves, which always kills the pests. Well she did it for a while and in the midst of everything forgot about it though it was right next to the composting bins. But she forgot and finally it turned dry and dismal and seemed to have become one of the Living Dead or the Undead of the garden!
Then we did the only thing possible. We went to our favourite nursery in Secunderabad, which sells the most amazing new plants in the most amazingly afforadable prices, and brought back a lot of fresh living plants to survive! But we forgot to bring a large pot. So sadly we pulled out the Queen of the Night from its large pot to guiltily use it for the new beauty, when we noticed a bit of creamy green skin in its roots! Could it still be living? We are not sure. We are not very superior gardeners, the kinds who know everything and hence start their own nurseries. We are of the middling sort, and can manage the Wandering Jew or the Ivies and the sweet comforting ferns. They will grow anywhere and everywhere, along with the portulacas. But the Queen of the Night needed care and we ignored it.
Well anyway we kept that green or creamy part of its roots and planted it alongside the dying or undying croton which we had taken out from under the blistering sun and kept it in the green house to revive. So there sat our two undying or near death patients, and we glanced at them sadly and then moved on to watering, sweeping out, cutting away dry plants, washing everything up with a nice sprayer and then came down to have a large glass of buttermilk and for me, a bowl full of nice fresh water!
Where would we very ordinary gardeners be without our favourites that keep us going as we waddle through the cemetery of the green deaths?!! We try to nap a little and hope to dream of resurrecting them! Drinking a lot of lemonade and orange juice also helps of course! Though we know that it is healthier to eat fresh fruits instead of juice and that buttermilk is the best possible drink at any time.
And yet lemonade is the angel that revives a drying heart. And for the cat-gardener of course there is catnip to keep him or her fresh and happy! This is of course a gentle reminder to those who employ cat-gardeners, and who are still stingy enough to keep catnip out of the cheque! But gardening for us is like visiting our dream world, so we can’t be choosy and go on a strike. Instead we slog and do our bit to make the ferns and the portulaca behave themselves! This is easy as they anyway are the good students of the garden! But don’t tell anyone this secret of our success!
A tip to tackle Cat Hair Everywhere!
If you get fed up of cat hair littering the house try this: spray static remover spray on the maddening mounds of cat hair driving you crazy! Wait for a minute and then wipe up with a six inch brush says Richard Torregrossa in his book Fun Facts About Cats!