grow!

A few thoughts on miniature lowbrow gardening from an Aspie perspective this morning. I brought along a few plants from the old house, and they are living quite happily in the balcony of our new home. I was in such a worn and weary state because of the filth and mess that enveloped the entire home when Miss Louise moved in, that I almost gave up and didn’t want to bring any plants over to the new place – I am now glad I did. They provide a kind of sensory cheer to the corner, even though I am not much of a gardening talent.

The tomato plant didn’t do well at all, it never bore fruit and winter will be setting in firmly soon, so perhaps I should just perform a mercy killing? I could use the pot for something else, a winter plant, maybe. The peppers are doing fabulously, I now have another four little green gems dangling from the laden plant. However, I am not sure what to do with them, as the previous lot proved to be far too spicy hot for my liking. The basil did a bit too well and they were too intrusively bushy, and then I became quite sick of the pungent piercing smell and taste of the little leaves, so I decided to vigorously prune back the bushy overgrowth. I think I’ve overdone it though, and now there is just that lone pot, and I think it is dying. Ah well. I did dry out a bunch of basil leaves in the dehydrator and now have very good dried leaves, enough for the winter, anyway. My favourites are the recycled pak choy / bok choy (I still get confused which is which?), grown from cuttings from the bunches I’d bought previously. The spring onions grown from cuttings seem to only flourish once over and then they begin to rot at the root and fade away. I only managed to harvest one tiny blob of ginger, which grew from a small cutting. Still, two for the price of one is nevertheless very good value! (All my other ginger cuttings were destroyed by Miss Louise’s mess, chucking the dirty cloths and other waste from her bird cage on top of my lovely plants. Just the mere visual memory of that woman’s disgusting habits make me feel nauseous. So we should move on to more pleasant sensations. Apologies for the digression!)

I am also planning to revive my experiments in recycling planters / containers. The sensory value of having this small little container garden is subtle but no less beneficial. I like the different smells that emerge when I prune the plants, the textures and even the simple proprioceptive sensations of cutting, clipping, digging, repotting and moving the pots are relaxing, calming repetitive activities. Lucy likes to sniff around the plants, so I have to be sure they are doggy-safe. That is the reason I have placed the tomato plant in the far corner, out of her reach, as the plant itself is toxic to dogs.

I’m a huge believer in recycling and repurposing, a perspective I acquired from my brilliant Aspie dad, and mum too, since childhood. I was very lucky to have creative parents who encouraged eclectic learning through hands on discovery. They were far better gardeners than I could ever be, mum used to have troughs full of beautiful colourful flowers, and dad even created a unique hybrid orchid, but he never bothered to register it – typically Aspie, to him, the process was far more important than the final achievement. I don’t remember our recycling activities bearing a strong environmental message, but I do remember that it was as a whole a very fun creative exercise and experimental challenge. Almost anything can be reused and redesigned for myriad functions, and made to look as aesthetically pleasing as possible too!

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