By Mo Ors, 76. Gold Coast, QLD
Never a gardener or a green thumb, I find that plants have always been a big part of my life.
At school, one of my favourite subjects — part of sciences — was botany. I loved drawing the intricate parts of a leaf or a flower with a nib dipped in black China ink, accentuated with red or blue ink pens.
The garden at home was where I escaped with my imaginary heroes who listened to my stories, my hopes and dreams of what I’d be when I grew up — whether a famous ballerina or a soprano Prima Donna (which were, at the time, some of the most desirable careers).
The Mediterranean climate of my birthplace is quite similar to our Australian subtropical weather, maybe with just a bit less rain!
The perfume of jasmine on a balmy evening with just a slight springtime breeze is a constant reminder of those days, and it’s still just as intoxicating now as it was way back then.
We had a mango tree tall enough for me to pluck a ripe mango to enjoy for breakfast. I’d reach out from the upstairs balcony armed with a special hook and basket contraption put together with a couple of wire clothes hangers. The mangoes were unctuous, so fragrant and delicious. My taste buds salivate just the same every time mangoes are in season here in Queensland.
My father certainly had a green thumb. The mango stone he planted in the garden of our previous house in Queensland has now grown and bears lots of fruit. We notice it when we pass by the house occasionally, and I can’t help feeling emotional. In my mind, it’s a sign that my father is watching over me from above, where I hope he’s enjoying a paradise filled with mango trees.
Now in my senior years, I still don’t do much gardening but still derive much pleasure in researching about what’s best to plant, when and where. I love to be involved in planning my little raised garden bed while enjoying freshly picked herbs, salad essentials, and healthy green vegetables. I may well be imagining things, but every time I have a salad from my garden crops, I feel so much better.
Throughout the years, gardens have filled my soul with a subliminal love of nature that I’m so grateful to be able to experience and share with my family, especially the grandchildren.
It’s so sad that so many young ones don’t even realise how important gardens are. Agriculture and farming take a position right back in their minds with so many processed, modified products hardly fit for consumption. But that’s what is fed through the constant focus on digital devices and reliance on quick-fix ready meals.
Fresh tasting fruit and vegetables, wonderfully perfumed beautiful flowers, hearing blue wrens chirping, and feeling the cool fresh dew on the plants every morning fill every one of my senses with the unequalled euphoria felt by my soul garden.