A cup of steaming hot coffee paired with your favourite book, clad in periwinkle pyjamas and bathing in the winter sunshine. Obviously, you would have to be surrounded by beautiful greenery and colourful flowers with maybe yellow butterflies roaming around. Can it get any better?
Then you suddenly snap out of your fictional paradise and get hit by a dose of reality in the form of an outrageously loud bus horn. Well it's Dhaka showing its love!
Looking around your clumsy apartment, you realise that even if all the other entities in your self-constructed paradise might be possible, a landscape full of vibrant flowers and shrubs within your own apartment will never be! Right? Wrong!
The simple solution to attaining a really cool snapshot of you in your winter attire sitting among a pretty garden is…well, gardening of course. Gardening seems to be synonymous to dedication and hard work and you are just not sure if you ready for that sort of commitment yet!
Well, yes. Plants are living beings and they need certain tending to be kept alive and fresh. However, the benefits you get out of gardening are also worth it.
Flowers such as dahlias, marigold, chrysanthemum, calendula, petunia and sunflowers are some common flowers that blossom in winter and make up for the otherwise grey monotony of the season. Much like their names, they look exquisitely beautiful and work as excellent forms of home décor.
There are benefits of winter gardening other than fulfilling your aesthetic purposes. Winter gardening is cost effective as those who grow their own herbs and vegetables can save on grocery store prices. A large variety of vegetables and herbs might be grown with a little effort and use of proper techniques. Plus, gardening is a major step we can take to going green.
Growing our own food, even if it is to a minimum extent, means that the stuff produced will be absolutely free off any sort of chemicals or formalin. Hence, it will obviously be healthier. Not to mention, if a large number of individuals take part in rooftop gardening, the number of trees and the amount of shade will increase and reduce pollution in the area and not to mention, create a nice and pleasant environment.
Living in a busy bustling city like Dhaka amid its cosmopolitan shenanigans, it is rare to get some free time to practice an extra hobby such as gardening. However, being a victim of our hectic lifestyles, gardening and being around plants can prove to be relaxing and it can even be therapeutic. Another benefit to winter gardening is the added exercise. As most people tend to stay indoors longer in winter than they do during summer, winter gardening is a good excuse to get outside and be active.
Additional benefit would have to be the produce. Those who harvest healthy fruits and vegetables during the winter months are often eating more greens than those purchasing them at stores. The access to nutrient rich vegetables during the winter months can help ward off sickness, improve the immune system, and keep the body running at optimum levels. So, cook up a delicious salad consisting of crimson tomatoes, fresh broccoli and cauliflower surely promising a healthy physique and a less cluttered mind!
For starters, the idea of rooftop gardening might prove to be a little intimidating. However, they may start with little herb gardens as growing herbs is relatively easier and requires less effort and tending than with other vegetables and may give lessons to the gardener on things such as climate control, temperature and proper lighting.
For the experienced gardeners, cauliflower and broccoli could be an option although the former might prove to be a little tricky to grow. To successfully grow cauliflower, the gardener will need to ensure that the soil has been prepared and is very deep. You must ensure that the soil is thoroughly prepared and that you water it regularly or else cauliflower will fail to thrive. But it will be worth it.
I mean what is winter without fried cauliflowers as a scrumptious evening snack? Vegetables such as carrots and radishes should be grown together as they help each other grow and thrive alongside.
All in all, taking part in gardening has countless benefits. All it takes is a little dedication and the ability to manage time, but the delightful delicacies and the flora in exuberant hues is worth it.
Photo: LS Archive/Sazzad Ibne Sayed