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.
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 :-)