My Tropical Garden

I mostly grew up in the home of my grandmother who was a flower enthusiast.

Back then, all of us kids in the family never understood her obsession with plants and would moan and take deep sighs when we were told to go ‘water the flowers”.

Everyone-and I mean everyone-knew better than to mess around with Tata’s (as she was called) flowers. Don’t pick the leaves, don’t pick the flowers. Don’t dig the sand. Blah blah blah.

We would watch her sitting for hours pruning and lovingly grooming her plants.

When I first moved out of the family home and into my own apartment, I asked her to please give me a few potted plants to place around my home and in the tiny yard.

She had this pained look, but after a few minutes to cajoling her, she agreed to give me a few plants but with the solemn promise that I won’t kill them.

Ha!Coleus- 2012

I happily took them home, placed them “strategically” and generally just looked at them now and again. Once in a while, I would water them. But that was the extent of my care.

After a few weeks, I noticed they started to die.

I was scared and ashamed to go ask her for help so I just let them die.

One day months later, she asked me how the plants were doing and I smiled and said “They are doing well Tata”. I couldn’t look her in the eye so quickly changed the topic.

When I left her home that day, I stopped by one of the local roadside flower sale centers and bought a few plants that seem to resemble the ones she had given me. For the life of me I couldn’t remember how they looked, much less the names of the plants.

Few days later, she came to visit and told me “you killed them, that’s why I didn’t want to give you my plants”

I felt ashamed and hurt. Why all the fuss over some doggone flowers? Geeze.

Up until my grandma’s death four years ago at age 83, she was still an avid gardener. She couldn’t move around like before, but she sure had a sharp tongue that was good at instructing people on what to do: “move that one over there”, “ pour only on the leaves”, etc.

For some reason that I still cannot understand or really explain, from the moment my grandmother died in July 2009 a feeling came over me. I kid you not.

I just felt this deep passion, this connection to plants. It felt like a deep yearning, an obsession. I really find it hard to explain and all I can say is that her love for flowers passed to me upon her death.

harvests form my toils...
harvests form my toils…

Now, the entire family roll their eyes at my obsession. My husband, kids, domestic workers all know how much of a passion gardening is to me.

We move to a neighborhood 4 years ago that was basically virgin with beach-like sand. Very fine and smooth. Definitely not ideal for gardening.

Thus began my long term plan to turn my yard into an exotic plant paradise.

It’s been hard, frustrating and difficult with many challenges, but I am getting there.

This page is dedicated to my one public obsession: my love for plants.

I hope you love plants like I do and will come to appreciate the pictures I will post of my achievements (and failures) as the years go by.

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One thought on “My Tropical Garden

  1. Brenda, I am an avid and obsessive plant person as well. It’s amazing what a few pots of plants or garden can do to the most undesired house or space. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to pix of your garden.

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