Monday, November 29, 2010

Bird of paradise in my little paradise

When I was moving to the UK from Pune, India, one of the things that saddened me the most was giving away my collection of  about forty potted plants which had moved with me every place I moved. These plants were the plants I had lovingly grown, after I got married. Each plant had a story and each had been chosen with care and carefully tended to. Satish knows my love of plants and nature (and animals) and whenever I went out of town, he would never forget to water them. We had moved and lived in about nine houses in a span of  eleven years and yet each place we moved, the plants would arrive behind us like Bo beep's sheeps, sometimes wilted (as it would take three days in a truck at times) and they always survived.Sadly, they would never survive an International move and also there is a ban on bringing plants and other stuff into the United Kingdom. So we left them behind.

When I relocated to UK, all I inherited  as a 'garden' was a sad looking patch of earth with a lot of rubbish strewn and absolutely  no plants at all. My heart sank when I saw it, but I set about nevertheless, creating a garden. It was the first time in my life I was actually doing hard physical labour in the mud. Satish and I dug, weeded, uprooted a lot of unwanted bushes. Then we went to the garden centre and bought lawn seeds. We read up about planting them and little by little, a lovely little garden took shape. I discovered that tending to an English garden is a completely different (but rewarding) experience. I grew all kind of flowers that I had only seen in books before. I grew Clematis and Azaleas and Tiger lilies. I grew roses and Dianthus. I grew English Lavender and  primroses. One of my good friends gifted me Daffodil bulbs and I loved watching them bloom in my garden. Each flower that bloomed reminded me of the smiling face of my friend.

Then we moved back to India and I had to once again  leave it all behind in the UK.

But this time I was really fortunate to have inherited a  lovely little garden in my new place at Bangalore. I lie on the lawn at night and gaze at the stars. Early in the morning I walk around with my cup of coffee admiring the dew drops and feeling the grass under my feet. (Walk on grass barefoot if you haven't done it for long. It is such joy in such a simple thing!)

So, imagine my delight when a Bird of Paradise flower bloomed in my garden! I have been gazing at it every single day and admiring it and clicking pictures too. Here is how it slowly bloomed. (Pictures are in sequential order)

This is how it looked on the first day.


 Then it opened up a litle further and two more 'wings' appeared.




The above picture was clicked by me just a little while ago and that is how it looks at the moment.


Sitting in my garden, a cup of coffee in my hand, peace in my heart and typing away on my laptop as I gaze at my bird of paradise flower,with the sun slowly setting in the background, casting a pale orange glow across the skyline, I understand Henry Beecher completely and  truly, who had said  "Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made and forgot to put a soul into."

Even Emma Goldman's words make so much sense now. "I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck," she had said.

How apt! Just make my rose a bird of paradise in my garden, please :-)

24 comments:

  1. Lovely post....makes me miss my garden in US :)

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  2. O wow...beautiful , lovely..

    yes you r right, flowers have a magic no one can explain.

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  3. oh wow! saw this flower 2 year ago at Kew Gardens, London... never thought it would be there in India.. though it was in a temperate glass house...

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  4. i have a garden too at my home in jayanagar...i tend to plants very well and my garden looks so beautiful in spring

    so true - "Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made and forgot to put a soul into"

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  5. //Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made and forgot to put a soul into// thats a lovely quote :D
    my mom too has a mini botanical garden...well thats what our garden has turned into :P
    lovely post

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  6. Most of the beautiful things lack soul!

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  7. Very nice and touching

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  8. Gardening is itself a wonderful hobby and having to see the fruits of it is doubly wonderful.

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  9. so true! here in kuwait, with limited resources have managed to grow few pots, with a lot of patience and trial-and-errors, and when you see a tiny wee little bloom in your pots, you would give anything to have it happen again! :) yes can understand the feeling, the feeling of joy and sense of being blessed it brings! :)

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  10. Vaidegi: yes I can relate :)

    Sumana: i second that :)

    Aswathi: Touching?! Really?! thanks :)

    Sreekumar: i guess not all :)

    Rajlaksmi; Interesting :)'botanical garden'. If u post pics i will love to see.

    Aparna: u are in Blr?! :) Post pics of ur garden!

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  11. Mihir: Oh! it is a tropical flower. Did not know it could grow in UK.No wonder it was in a temperate glass house.

    life begins:True!

    Shschi: u will soon be enjoying it with your little one! :)

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  12. wow! that is so pretty... i had painted this, but having it in your garden...totally wow!

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  13. I can empathise with you, the same happened when a rose bloomed from a revived plant. I almost hope on this plant when one morning it started sprouting leaves and a month later a lovely rose bloomed. These are the special moments of life which no money/material can comfort us.

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  14. Aw you just reminded me of barefoot walks on grass! I loweit! Might as well do it now that I'm on vacation :D
    Beautiful evolution of the flower :)
    A lovely, happy post once again!

    P.s text me your number before 21st december. Lol :P

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  15. lovely post!...you will be glad to there to be in your new garden as Norwich would have been completed wilted in the huge dumps of snow!

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  16. I hope more flowers bloom in your garden so that I get to see them on your blog! Your love for flowers is really nice...

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  17. Hi Preeti...

    Lovely pictures....and a lovely post.

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  18. Hey , lucky to inherit a garden patch esp when your are relocating back to India. I am also trying to have a garden in my small balcony in Pune. Where did you find such a big place in Bangalore???Teju

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  19. nice post ,wonderful pictures...

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  20. Wow how did u manage to find a place with a garden in b'lore? That's terrific :)

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  21. I too grew up with flowers all around as my mom is an avid and accomplished gardener. We too left behind all her beautiful plants, garden, lawn, kitchen garden behind every 3-5 yrs to go to another place. Of course, her 100+ flower pots will come with in another truck, but still... I remember she would have tears in her eyes leaving behind her precious "children"...So I can relate to what you are saying...
    Now I too have some plants here, and everyday the greenery and riot of colours that they bring is one joy I am always thankful for!

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  22. Prerna: Tru--plants bring such joy! I can relate to your mom's feelings :)

    Dhanya: I was lucky :)

    Harman:Thanks :)

    Teju: There are a lot of homes with gardens in Bangalore!

    Jayashree: thanks a lot!

    Pia:Thanks!

    Vinoo: You know me--then there's have been a post about how much I love snow :-) (I do!)

    Sucheta: Aye aye madam..will look for ur new number in my FB and text u :)

    Asha: i agree about money really not being able to buy such joy!

    Suma; Wow! Post pic of the painting!

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  23. Having seen it for real,it truly is very nice. Really charming and indeed a beautiful flower is one of the joys of life. Totally agree with Emma Goldman

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  24. Absolutely lovely post and thoughts.

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