It began when I received two giant poinsettia plants for Christmas, one red and one white. From my terrace, those two flower plants would greet me every morning while I was having breakfast in the living room. They bloomed lusciously and made my tiny terrace look so joyful and colorful. Some mornings, I’d have breakfast out on the terrace just to enjoy the cool breeze and look at them.
Nery, my housekeeper who has been with me for 15 years, has a green thumb and takes good care of them. She even has a giant clay pot which she has converted into a compost pit. There, she puts mango, orange and banana peels together with discarded vegetable leaves into the pit with soil. After a few weeks, she uses the compost to plant anew.
I envy Nery’s green thumb because the most I’ve done to care for a plant is to water it. Previously, the mere thought of getting my hands dirty was enough to make me walk away. But seeing and hearing friends talk about how therapeutic planting can be, I decided to give it a try.
Last weekend, I decided to spruce up my pocket terrace (which is roughly six feet by 15 feet) by ordering online a two-tier plant rack that would allow me to add more flora while still saving space. I also went to Bulacan Garden along White Plains Ave. to buy a few more. I asked the gardener to recommend outdoor plants that are low maintenance and affordable, and walked away with 10 plants that cost P700 total. Some were P50 each, and some were P100. The most expensive plant I bought cost P150, not bad considering how much it improved my terrace’s appearance.
Later in the afternoon, I went to Handyman to buy more plastic pots for my new purchases. Nery also wanted to expand her “nursery” and requested that I buy seeds like coriander, basil, tomatoes and sili, which we use a lot of. I am proud to say that we grow our own mint and lemongrass, and soon we will be harvesting calamansi and bell pepper. Aside from these herbs and vegetables, we also have aloe vera, snake plant, five fingers, money tree, welcome plant and some others whose names escape me. I wanted even more flowering plants for aesthetic reasons but had to be practical.
If I had my way, I’d replicate the garden we had when I was growing up, which had fruit trees and flower plants that were planted by my lolo, the late Gabriel Daza. We had jasmine (my mom’s favorite) and sampaguita, whose lovely fragrance would waft through the air and fill our home on summer nights. I also remember the bougainvillea and the santan flowers, which my cousin Maya and I would pick to suck the sweet nectar! Such happy childhood memories.
That afternoon, I lost track of time while I was out on the terrace. It was only when the sun began to set that I realized I had been with my plants for hours. I just sat there and stared at my alagas, deep in happy thoughts and musings while unabashedly admitting that I had become a certified plantita!
Credits belong to : www.philstar.com