Happy New Year everyone! I'm so so excited for 2019 and everything that it'll bring. I'm starting the year with gratefulness for the inner peace that I was able to restore last month. The school holidays were such a positive, healing time for me (I miss it so much now!). I even started a new hobby as part of my self care routine - gardening!
Now, let me be honest, I don't really have much of a "garden" to speak of. I live in an apartment that doesn't have a balcony. But what I DO have, is a window 'cage' in my kitchen, it's where I hang my laundry out to dry. It's in the back of my house and is east-facing, so I only get morning sun for a few hours each day. There are also a couple of tall trees opposite my window, so they provide quite a lot of shade. So not all plants can live or thrive in my window garden (how I wish I had a South-facing window...), but I'm making it work!
In the past, I've tried and failed to care for plants. I just didn't understand how much sun, water or fertiliser different plants needed. But it seems I'm having better luck now, because I've been learning more and more about plants and how to take care of them (from Youtube mainly). My dream is to grow an edible garden, so that I can pick off herbs and vegetables to use in my cooking...
I am, however, very much a newbie, so I'm making a lot of mistakes and learning as I go along. But there is something that I can be proud of, which is a level up in my gardening skills - propagating herbs from cuttings! So far, I've managed to propagate mint and basil from cuttings by rooting them in water. For my two store-bought basil cuttings, I decided to plant them in small hydroponic pots, and I really love seeing the roots develop over time.
So why have I taken up gardening all of a sudden? Well, I suppose I needed a hobby that I could indulge in at home. It needed to be relaxing and therapeutic, yet not take up too much of my time. I find gardening to be that... and more. Being a stay at home mum, I'm constantly surrounded by four walls and my floor (as well as every available horizontal surface) is usually covered in clutter despite my best efforts to keep things tidy and organised.
I find that having a small patch of green helps me to gain a balance, like a miniature breathing space. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I head over to my window garden and check on how it's doing. Each new sign of growth, be it in the roots or leaves, gives me a sense of hope and renewal. It feels good to be nurturing something. Almost every day, it's a new discovery.
It's also fun to grow something that I can later harvest and enjoy... even if it's just a handful of Brazillian spinach to put into my omelette or some mint to flavour my tea. I'm also learning lots of new things. Whenever something seems amiss, I Google it to find out what I could do better. For example, when the tips of my thyme started to droop, I learnt that it just needed water. And after a sprinkle, it was ok after a few hours. I'm also learning about nutrients that help plants grow. It's all so fascinating!
And though my garden is so very tiny, it already seems to be attracting God's creatures! So far I've seen birds, spiders and even a frog in my garden (I live on the first floor, so I'm wondering how the frog got up here). So yeah, I'm grateful for my tiny garden, it may not be perfect, but it makes me so happy.
I hope that this year, you'll find something that'll bring you peace and happiness too :)