Sunday, March 28, 2010

My Backyard Blues

My chilli plants are flowering in the backyard, at least that’s what my mum said some weeks back. Given the insane heat back home, I don’t know if those plants survived. I’m hoping they watered them, but I doubt it because my backyard isn’t actually safe. I’ve seen a fair number of questionably shady looking individuals walk through it (it’s an open stretch of land behind the kitchen and it’s connected to the adjacent houses’ yards as well, since we live in terrace homes)

The papaya tree needs to be cut down.  The tree has grown to an incredible height but the fruits are far too fibrous to be eaten. Even the birds don’t eat them anymore. But it’s been there for the past four years, so we’ll see…

The kanaga flowers (subspecies of the hibiscus, I believe) are doing pretty well though. My dad ventures out every three days or so into my hazardous backyard to pluck the flowers and offer them up at the altar during evening prayers. I hope they’re ok. The kanaga flower plants I mean.

My feathered, two-legged siblings seem to have toned down, also due to the beating sun overhead, no doubt. They only come to gate and chirp in the early morning or late evening now, and even then only after my mum has done her routine cleaning of the courtyard, which involves spraying water all over it to remove the sand and debris from the previous day. I’m sure she misses them. The two-day old rice in little tupperwares in the fridge has probably been reused in fried rice, for fear of them going to waste (lesser sparrows, hence lesser need for left-over rice, meaning even more leftover rice for us humans at home … oh, what joy : S)

Oh, did I mention the baby banana trees? As a kid I would stare at them for hours - so many different birds would perch on them and each had different plumage. The insects I saw on them usually made me feel itchy all over, but they were fascinating in their own way too. Every now and then a rodent or stray cat or dog would wander past and that’s still a source of fascination for my nephews. I should do that again sometime, just leave my kitchen door open and wander around the backyard (hopefully with my brother or father not too far away :P)… or, maybe, we should just move everything to the front courtyard. Hmm…

Gardening’s a pain – digging into the ground, sweating profusely for the sake of a little greenery, getting icky and dirty. But the smell of freshly turned earth and the frustration at the bits of dark soil stuck under my fingernails has a very subtle magnetic pull for some reason. The newly emerging plant shoots, the small budding leaves, the annoying bugs and vermin that get me into a frenzy and of course the flowers and fruit are something else all together. The joy and pain of it all is almost like raising a kid. All right, I’m exaggerating a bit, excuse the melodrama :)

I am looking forward to my time at home, when I get to bicker with my mum over bits of shrub, because had it not been for her, I would have been stuck in front of the TV or curled up with my story book, or running crazy mad hatter races with my brother and sister as a kid.

I miss being able to say ‘I planted that’ or ‘that needs weeding’ or ‘die, stooopid bug, DIE!’

Anyone know how to make the next papaya tree less fibrous? Would appreciate the input! Then every time I feel like eating chilled papayas with a squeeze of lime, I needn’t look farther than the backyard :)

Speaking of that, I wonder how my mum’s lime tree’s doing. The most minute of grasshoppers, which look a bit like the infamous cutie that made it onto Rainfield’s blog, can wreak havoc on that poor tree, and they’re too fast to catch.. I wonder if they died in the heat? Yeah, I’m evil ;)

Missing my life in the backyard, at home. You could say that I'm having a somewhat warped version of backyard blues.. and to give it a kick and so that I'll be able to laugh at myself sometime down the road, I highlighted the source of my blues, in well, BLUE :)


Chavie said...

Awww! That was a cuuuute post Losh! :D You took us along on a ride around your backyard with the writing! Good stuff!

I don't really know how to make the next tree less fibrous, but maybe you could try getting a fruit that you enjoy from a market and plant seeds from that fruit? :D Just a thought... :)

Me-shak said...

Awww, another garden girl. Interesting. My mom is a gardening person. i help her out once in a while. I love how you have explained even the smallest detail. Super stuff Losh,
Keep it up!

Loshini said...

That was one way to summarise the post. lol! I was thinking along the same lines with the papaya tree issue.. Will do that when I get home I think :D

Not really a true garden girl, that takes years and lots of acres of cultivation! Thanks, waiting for your next post! :)