Lockdown life and the accidental gardener

Guest Blogger Vinda Sanzgiri shares how she has turned to gardening in face of this challenging Covid-19 summer. She recommends some helpful resources and more importantly, how her little garden gems are great presents for people of all ages.

Lockdown life and the accidental gardener   There aren’t enough words to describe how the pandemic has irrevocably changed our lives.  Some of us are living a solitary life in densely populated cities around the world, others surrounded by friends and family. 

An ambivert with a very active social life being home bound was not an easy adjustment for me.  After the first few weeks into lockdown, it appeared as though I existed in limbo. And then, one morning, I woke up to find a beetroot growing greens in my veggie basket. 

A quintessential city slicker, I had never seen a veggie grow.  Yes, please believe that! My curiosity peaked. I missed the outdoors and the green… What would happen to this strange little root veggie?  I turned to the internet…  Scrolled through a gazillion ‘Grow veggies from kitchen scrap’ videos…  .and now I can safely say, that I emerged victorious (and I think a tad obsessed)

Soon enough, glass jars and bottles with stalks of mint and basil vied for space on my kitchen counter.  A few days later I witnessed my first miracle. Little by little, centimeters by centimeters.

My babies taking their little steps

The mint and basil grew roots, the tomato and chillies grew into seedlings. As days passed, I saw fresh leaves unfurl each day.  I participated in ‘methi seed to thepla’ weekly challenges and ‘coriander seed to chutney’ escapades.  

I ordered flower bulbs and herb seeds online (Kraft Seeds Store on Amazon and Trust Basket & Ugaoo) and exchanged messages with other enthusiasts.  I was soon excited to wake up each morning! In the outside world, cases grew and,  we hunkered down and further avoided contact. 

Rain Lilies- A perfect present for my dear mother
By this time,­­­ I missed celebrating special occasions.  So I planted three planters with rain lily and tube rose bulbs for my mother as a surprise and continued to post my journey online.  That’s when I discovered that I wasn’t alone. 

People who always wished for a herb garden, but never had the chance to hone the skill.    My plants helped me propagate them further and I put together my first living gift!  A baby basil and rain lily sprout for my partner living with an immuno-compromised family.  Something, which I made and nurtured with my very own hands.

With one post, requests poured in.  I am currently building a small collection of herbs for friends and family.  I have even branched into more ‘windowsill friendly veggies’. If there is one thing I have learnt through this experience, it is that joy truly does grow when shared. 

My hobby has helped my friends source fresh herbs for their culinary experiments!  My aunt has discovered new uses for mint. Masala chai is a passé, bring on Mint tea please!. On this note, I head on to my next quest, terrariums…

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