Monday, July 7, 2014

Gardening is sexy!


Yes, it is incredibly sensual. There are very few other activities I know that so utterly enchant your senses. To potter around among the vegetables, feeling the air on your skin, smelling the flowering tomatoes and being kissed by the plants while the bees hum around you? It's a wonder I get any other work done at all. Focused on your surroundings, no detail gets missed. The tight symmetry of a sunflower bud, the glossy back of a ladybird, the intoxication of brushing against mint- the only other time we notice and admire such details is when we fall in love.

Our tomatoes
But like making love, gardening has its share of painfully embarrassing moments. And I am not just talking of those mornings when we wake up with aching muscles and realise that our enthusiasm has once again overridden -excuse the pun- our abilities.

First peaches from the garden
No, I am talking of conversation. Since G undertook to do the digging and heavy work around the garden, I find myself in increasingly more involved and explicit conversations. This is not helped by my poor hindi and his impeccable propriety.

Take something as simple as planting maize. G adores rows, I prefer blocks. In this case, I wanted  to explain to him why it is not just a matter of preference in the case of maize. I wanted to say that the male and female flowers are separate, that the plant is wind pollinated, and that block planting ensures that the pollen falls on the female flowers. Simple enough in English. Try to do that in a language you are not comfortable with. I ended up slipping into hand gestures before I blushed and ended with 'please just prepare a square be..plot! i mean square plot!'

And today he found me among the squash trying to impregnate a pumpkin. Not for the faint hearted, this  gardening business.
Zucchini- thankfully, these pollinate themselves

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