Flowers and plants remind me of Mama. She made gardening her hobby. This was an all year endeavour.Throughout the dry and rainy seasons, she bought, potted, watered, nursed and pruned them until all her pots were full of attractive tropical flowers. She researched and knew their names and could spot a special tree or flower a mile away. She made a number of friends because of this interest, exchanging plants and showing off her collection. Her friend Mrs. S planted roses, that is where Mama picked up a variety of them to include to her lot. The pots for the plants had to be constructed to fit the verandah and outdoor staircase space. Their shapes and sizes had to be precise.
She would escape to her garden for hours and whilst planting, escape to her world of thoughts, sometimes humming and pensive. On occasions she would string plants up so they would grow in a particular direction to climb a pillar, create an arch or provide shade. It made our home welcoming and serene. Mama took this very seriously and spent hours tending them, she loved nature and always had an anecdote about where she would rather be.
Mama told us how she planted a number of trees in her garden before moving in, during the early 1970s. The trees, now celebrating their golden jubilee, are still standing in the garden. Some of them with roots that have extended and protruded with age, others are old and frail. The drive to the house was shady, displaying a canopy of lush green branches. She also planted fruits in the garden.There were different kinds of tropical fruits, orange, mango, guava, lemon, soursop and the African almond tree.
I did not inherit that trait, but knew how much she adored plants. When she retired she continued to invest in pots and plants and always kept her garden teeming. I had little interest and rarely helped her garden but R, my sister inherited Mama’s trait and is now creating an empire from her mini garden. She reminds me so much of Mama, sharing her interest and using all her resources including her time to develop her hobby into something great.