Today last year I decided on serious gardening when I built a workstation and centralised all my gardening resources and tools there. During this one year I proved to myself that I can sustain this passion and pastime. I tanned a lot due to exposure to the sun. But I've found a great love in what I'm doing. As long as I'm able to take care of my plants I'll keep to my daily rituals of attending to their needs in exchange for the pleasures they provide. During the past 12 months I worked towards a timetable of making my life easier as I get older. Many of the laborious works have been disposed of, thanks to my maid Mary who happily helped out, in the process she fell in love with gardening and learned several tricks from me. On this anniversary day I'm happy to record the following milestones and significant developments.
1. Setting up a rainwater harvesting system, dripper and misting systems.
2. Building an extended awning over the side patio for a rain-free access to my workstation.
3. Tiling the side patio under the extended awning.
4. Covering the side garden with transparent roofing sheets to protect my adenium.
5. Finalising the edible garden to grow papayas (successfully) and other edible plants.
6. Finalising the side garden for adenium, portulaca grandiflora, portulaca oleracea and marigolds.
7. Finalising the hibiscus zone with different types of hibiscus and amaryllis.
8. Finalising the sunny and petite zones for lemon, roses, marigolds, periwinkles and other flowers.
9. Finalising the lamppost and mango gardens with a range of edible and flowering plants.
10. Finalising the side patio garden with flowers to please my eyes.
11. Learning organic composting using only my garden and kitchen wastes.
12. Finally, discovering the joy of being purposeful and contented in an activity that sustains my retiring years.
As of now all physical extensions are done. I've bought enough bricks to border the various zones in the main garden and stones to beautify the selected zones. I've more than sufficient hanging pots and ground pots to keep me fully occupied caring for the many plants.
My focus for the coming year is:
1. Maintaining my plants as best as I can for better blooming and fruiting.
2. Keeping the plants healthy and disease free by learning the best nutrients and organic treatments for them.
3. Replacing some plants with courage if they tires me or I find them troublesome to upkeep.
4. Refining the arrangement of my gardening plants and pots to infuse fresher looks, including changing plants.
The patio is where I spend much time on the reclining chair, thinking, admiring my flowers and fruit trees, having my tea break, musing with my grandchildren, taking naps, listening to music, and in future, reading as I need more light. Maybe one day, when my wife is freer we will enjoy our breakfasts here. This will be my outdoor spot to pass my time and watching birds and butterflies flitting amongst the flowers and trees.
My pride is my garden is possibly the prettiest in RK3. I must drive around to look into other gardens in the neighborhood to get new ideas, maybe exchange plants. I know my garden can be further improved but I thank God for the space to cultivate this beneficial and healthy lifestyle. I like the challenge of growing my flowers from seeds or cuttings instead of buying growing ones from nurseries. I take pride in arranging my plants to get the best of the sunlight. I've learned the art of composting and be ecologically friendly. I've also learned much from internet gardening tips and resources as well as from gardening groups I joined.
I'm happy to discover this enjoyable recreation and I pray for many many years to look after my garden and enjoy the fruits of my labour. Gardening is fun and I encourage those who are due to retire, of already retired and with a piece of land to develop. Start gardening. Whether it is for pleasure or for food it will help you spend your time well. I wish I'd started it several years earlier but it's never too late.