Confessions of an amateur gardener…

Let me confess straight up front that I do NOT have a green thumb. I’ve lost count of the many hapless plants I’ve killed over the years! Don’t get me wrong – I don’t set out with murderous intentions, but old habits die hard and after the first few weeks of enthusiastic watering, fertilizing and protecting with insecticides…laziness takes over with a vengeance! Everyday, I think to myself, ‘I’ll water them tomorrow. Plants don’t need to be watered everyday anyways, they might die from water logging.’ And ‘Tomorrow’ being what it is, never comes! I move on to more pressing matters, like watching TV, eating, sleeping etc…and by the time I remember to water them again, there they are poor souls (‘coz really, how do we know they don’t have souls!) starved to death, leaves burnt to a crisp, soil dry, all imaginary hopes of recovery on my part cruelly dashed!!

So there it is – I confess – I suck at gardening and now I have nowhere to hide! And yet, since I possess an abundantly optimistic spirit (friends and family have accused me of this over the years!!) I don’t give up easily. This is not a bad quality to possess unless coupled with a slowness to recognize and accept one’s faults. Together however, they can spell disaster! Since I suffer from this tragic coupling, it means I have to repeat my mistakes many times over, before I let go – and so the murders continue!! Did I mention I used to be a doctor??!

Well, in my spirit of never giving up – I went to a class on orchid-growing a year ago, all enthused and as always determined that ‘This time will be different!’ The class was great, actually fantastic, because I found a plant that was tailor-made for enthusiastically lazy gardeners like moi – the Orchid! Singapore’s national flower needs very little watering, in fact it needs very little care of any kind 🙂 I remember feeling hope bloom, when we were informed, ‘This plant is one of the few plants that actually thrives if not watered regularly, once a week or even once in 10 days is fine.’ ‘Aha!’ I thought, ‘What could be better?’

And so I went on an orchid-buying spree – red, white, purple, the works!! A year of happy neglect later, I had managed to kill all but one tiny little orchid plant, which I assumed would never grow let alone flower. And yet, one fine day, there it was! A beautiful single orchid bloom on that tiny plant!! I was I must confess rather embarrassingly ecstatic and rushed to get the camera and take a few dozen pictures of the poor flower! Orchid blooms last a long time – a few weeks at least – and I gaze at it every day like a proud parent!

My Baby Orchid with its precious Bloom. Not the best angle, I know!

And now, I need to go buy some more plants! After all, my little flower could do with some company and I am nothing if not persistent.

This time Will be different!!

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