Finally at long last I'm back in Malacca - doing what I love best - gardening. I know I'll get tanned again and my hands will be rough again but oh to feel the earth in your hands and to plant again. Most of my plants survived the 3 week absence but 2 of my roses died. The orchids bloomed though. Now I've got 3 orchid plants blooming which had never bloomed before. Today I spent a full day 'playing'in my garden - repotting some plants, adding fertiliser and trimming dead leaves and branches. I uprooted the hibiscus near the border because they were covered in aphids, and planted a row of canna lillies instead. Oh yes, my day lily has bloomed - a rich bright scarlet. Hmmm... happy happy day.
Gardening has always been more than a hobby for me. Its my solace and my therapy. Before when I was still working at the Exams Council, gardening saved my sanity I think. Whenever I was tensed and anxious after a hard week of preparing exam questions, I go back home and 'play' with my plants. When I had problems at work, digging in the earth and planting could always relax me and gave me a sense of peace. I'm very much a "hands on" gardener. I have no patience with people who cannot abide a bit of dirt. For me if you say you love nature and flowers, you'd need to go down and get dirty. Many of my friends wonder why I enjoy it so much - they feel that its something that should be relegated to gardeners - after all you've paid for their help. They love a beautiful garden but prefer not to get their hands dirty. Well I'm all for getting dirty - I prefer doing the potting and the digging myself. My gardener can trim the hedges and mow the lawn, but I'd rather plant my flowers myself. Its very much like bringing up children - after all you don't want the maid to bring up your children do you?