Loving and Living with Plants

Passing winter, random thoughts

For the past few days, winter has been telling us that it is time for it to go and the calendar is reminding us to inhale the colour and smell of the new season.  This transition time of the season matches with the mood of a human being – some days are smiley and sunny and some days are gloomy.  Trees are slowly shedding their old leaves and getting ready to produce new ones. 

We call this city cruel but look at the example of the kath-badam tree. It survived in its concrete base and is standing tall with its beauty! The leaves are fascinatingly purple-red. Life is really beautiful.  We need to admire it and enjoy it when nature is so kind with all of its offerings, how can we be not thinking more of it!  With all these random thoughts going on in my mind, this painting of Van Gogh drew my attention…we know a good portion of his collection revolved around worshipping nature! Today, I am in the mood of singing with Tagore 'aaj jemon kore gaiche akash temni kore gao go!'

Despite all the praises, I need to come to the reality that while living in the city is nice it is also dry and dusty! This is the hard reality of this urban life. To see the sky you have to peep through the narrow gaps between buildings in most parts of this city, and access to sunlight or clean air is precious.  It is said that indoor levels of pollutants are much higher – sometimes even 100 times more than outside – bearing the high risk of health problems. All of us in our early childhood learnt that trees are our oxygen factories. Let's see the options we have in hand and around us. Most of the plants we consider for indoor adoption are somehow familiar to us, like English ivy, peace lily, spider plant, aloe, bamboo palm, etc.  All these house plants grow in little sunlight, are easily available and affordable too. These are good to filter out formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide. For total orientation, visit your neighbouring nursery!

Note of caution: 
Dear plant lovers, English ivy, aloe, snake plant, and some rubber plants may cause harm – can be toxic to your pets (cats and dogs). Spider plants and bamboo palms are safer but peace lily is poisonous to pets. To learn more about the toxic and non-toxic plants for pets, you should check http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non

Please feel free to send me email to share your thoughts, feedback, and photos of your garden, or tell your story; ask a question on the garden issue at email: [email protected]


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