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The Women’s Web ‘Love Your Leisure’ series will consist of interviews with a few interesting female bloggers who have fascinating hobbies and have enthusiastically developed and fine-tuned them, in an effort to find personal relaxation and satisfaction. We hope you enjoy reading more about these bloggers and their passions. Presented in a Q&A format, this one is with Priyanka Goel, Gardening Enthusiast, who blogs about her passion at India Garden.
Intro: Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am a Doctor working for central health services and settled in the city of Saharanpur, U.P for the last 7 years.
Q1. Tell us a little about how your interest in gardening came about and what made you follow it up so dedicatedly?
I grew up in Moradabad in U.P and always had plants at my house. Since childhood I had nurtured a dream of having my own garden. My prayers were answered quite unexpectedly when 7 years back we moved to Saharanpur and got a big government accommodation. The lawns were all a big jungle, but for me it was like an empty canvas and with time I was able to give it a decent shape.
Q2. What do you find most satisfying about gardening?
It is cathartic and a big de-stressor to tend to plants, to watch them grow. Gardening helps me focus away from the mundane rituals and stresses of life and it is an absolute joy when the newly planted sapling takes root and thrives. Besides the psychological benefits, gardening is a great exercise; and since I plant vegetables too, I get the benefits of eating home grown vegetables as an added bonus.
Q3. Which are your favourite plants to grow?
The beauty of gardening is that you love everything you grow and also everything else that has been grown by nature, but there are some which appeal to me more than the others for their sheer beauty like: Dahlias, Chrysanthemums, Snapdragons and of course the King – Roses. I also love to grow plants that are exotic to my place as they look good and also evoke the strongest admiration from onlookers, like Heliconias, Hedychiums, Bird of Paradise etc
Q4. Looking at your lovely garden, I am sure anyone would be inspired to start their own! But gardening has its own set of challenges. What would you say to others who would like to take it up but are hesitant to do so?
I think there is a gardener in all of us. I am yet to meet someone who doesn’t like to be surrounded by nature. If you like nature then you will like gardening too. It is just beginner’s inertia which prevents one from taking up gardening as a hobby. I suggest that if you haven’t ever gardened, then start small, probably with easy to maintain plants like crotons, ferns, palms etc. The type of plants will of course vary according to the geographical location. Once you have started, you will get hooked automatically and in no time graduate to specialized gardening.
Q5. Which are some favourite gardening blog posts of yours? Also what other gardening blogs/ sites do you enjoy or find useful?
Blogging has been an exciting journey for the last 5 years and some of the posts have been especially liked by fellow bloggers either because they had something different for them or they simply loved the flora; whatever the reason, the posts which have been liked most, are my favourite. Some of them are: The Making Of Mustard, Butterfly Garden, My Whacky and Whimsical Containers.
All the gardening blogs out there have taught me something and those listed in my blog side bar are the ones I keep visiting.
Q6. What advice would you give beginners? Where/how to start and what are the basic materials required?
Gardening is the easiest, most satisfying – and if I may add – also the cheapest hobby one can pursue. A mere shovel and spade can initiate you into gardening. One doesn’t require a large piece of land for this hobby; in fact people have worked wonders even in a balcony! My advice to all those who wish to pursue gardening, simply take a small spade and a couple of pots, and start working around – the rest will follow.
Previous Interviews With Hobby Bloggers:
Needlecraft Enthusiast: Nima Titus
Wildlife Enthusiast: Radha Rangarajan
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