Back in Kuwait, we had a few plants in our balcony. It consisted of only flowering plants grown with seeds purchased from the supermarket (jamaiya). They grew, they flowered and then they died. We dismissed it thinking they were contaminated seeds and left them behind when we shifted to another house. I didn’t dream I would ever have a kitchen garden someday.
After I became a mother to two babies, my friends inspired me to have a green balcony. One told me to fill my huge balcony with garden decoration. Though I thought it was an awesome idea, I did nothing about it at the time. Another friend said that having plants around was beneficial in many ways and insisted that I kept the small Aloe Vera plant she gifted me for two reasons: it purified the air and I did not have to water it regularly. Yet another friend gave me a Tulsi plant (both perished after a while). Then when some friends left our apartment complex, they gave me another huge Aloe Vera plant, Snake plant, a Hibiscus plant, Money plants, Basil plants, Jasmine plants, Lemongrass and more.
Looking at me do the sowing, shifting of pots and watering by myself, the husband felt the urge to buy a number of flowering and fruiting plants to make the garden colourful. In the midst of this, my mom came on a holiday and encouraged me to sow seeds of tomato, chilli, mint, avocado, Malabar spinach (valchi bhaji/basale) and more. Some thrived, some died, some gave fruit and then died.
While I was excited to plant every seed I got my hands on, some birds thought it was their birthright to destroy the little sprouts peeping out of the mud. They also plucked at the leaves of the big plants. So, we covered the whole balcony with a nylon net in order to keep the pesky pigeons and monkeys away. Slowly, my one plant balcony tuned into a mini garden.
Here is how we take care of our small but flourishing kitchen garden:
You can always start with simple air purifying plants that do not need a lot of care. Then slowly grow plants from the seeds of vegetables you are consuming anyway. And you will notice the fruits in your garden are way smaller than the ones you get from the markets. So, you know that it’s healthy and not artificially induced.
Unless you have a garden to yourself, planting fruit trees won’t be possible but you can always plant the seeds just to see it germinate and click pictures of the beautiful leaves. I loved the shape of the leaves of the bitter gourd (karela) plant but it just gave one fruit and died. I’m surely trying to grow it again with better care.
Once you have your plants sorted out, you can go ahead and decorate it. I haven’t decorated the garden but I’m planning to get stools for my plants so we can clean the balcony without shifting or harming the plants. Also, more decoration for colour. What do you think? Do you have a garden? How do you maintain it?
This blog is a part of the #LBWP – Let’s Blog with Pri, Season 2. You can check out the various ways to use fenugreek seeds in Surbhi’s blog here and 15 must-have foods during the Monsoons in Arti’s blog here. Enjoy!