Thursday, 16 February 2017

Grounded in gardening

High summer at Towerwater is the period when the garden is in full production and my creativity needs to be in overdrive. What makes it even more intense, is that we generally only spend weekends and holidays on the property. That is when I have to use as many vegetables as possible to make full use of the fresh fare.

A Friday evening a walk through the garden gives one an idea of what is available and in what quantities. By Saturday morning I have a fair idea of how to incorporate the available vegetables and fruit into the weekend’s meals.

We all know how therapeutic gardening is, but harvesting one’s own vegetables is a most satisfying experience. If I have to summarise the experience of growing one’s own vegetables, I will have to describe it in its different phases.

It starts with the planning of the garden. Where beds become canvases and your paint brushes are your gardening tools; your paint the packets of multi-coloured vegetables and herbs. The fun part of planting your own garden is that it is your canvas and as the artist, you have free reign over your creation.

The gardener has a very strict mentor. This is in the form of Mother Nature. One has to create within certain basic parameters like the season, soil quality, wind, rain and sun. If one obeys the basic rules, the possibilities become endless.

Excitement, is the first emotion that you experience when you choose the seeds that you want to plant for the season. Suspense, is what you experience waiting for the seedlings to sprout and then Joy, when the first two leaves appear above the soil. Agony, when half of them get eaten by the snails. Relief, if enough seedlings survive to be planted in orderly rows when they are bigger. Pride, follows on seeing them transform into lush healthy plants and Patience, when waiting for the first blossoms to appear. More exciting, is seeing the first fruit appear and finally Satisfaction, on picking your own healthy vegetables.

The splendour of your garden becomes a still-life arrangement on your kitchen table. Eventually it ends up as a delicious dish as a part of your meal or even as the complete meal.

For me, gardening is a way to stay real, humble and grounded; no pun
intended. To understand where the food on your plate comes from can be quite humbling. To think of the tiny seeds that you planted ending as a bowl of brinjals, beans or beetroot on your table, is just incredible. One can only be amazed by Mother Nature.

If you ponder all the emotion that goes into gardening and the rewards that are derived from planting seeds, you cannot get more real than that.


  1. Stunning post thanks. Love the link from seeds to the plate and the emotional adventure that marks the route.


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