I always wanted to grow my greens in small pots in my balcony. Since we stay in a place where there is no snow at all, I thought I could achieve a small garden in the balcony with home grown cilantro (coriander), green chillies, curry leaves, fenugreek and mint. All these plants can survive in small pots and you do not need an elaborate backyard garden for it. Somehow, I never got to doing it.

Last week, the cilantro that I got from the Indian store had entire roots still intact and then I thought, ‘Let me atleast start with cilantro’. I delicately cut the cilantro shoots, keeping a little of the leaves on each plant for photosynthesis. Washed the roots gently but thoroughly and transferred all of it into a small plastic jar filled with water.

The jar was kept on my window pane to get enough sunlight and not burn out. The weather in Florida is getting hotter by the day! Phew!

Look at the green shoots!

The next step was a slightly tricky one, as I had to transfer the well grown shoots in soil. The tricky part was, I did not want to buy a huge bag of soil from the market as we are going to shift in June and I don’t want to buy any huge unnecessary stuff currently. So the question was from where to get the soil? You won’t believe what I did. I scavenged the soil from the lake behind our apartment in our community. I think it is illegal or at least against the rules. But I did not have a choice and I had to get the soil someway.

The sunny balcony sill

I sneaked out on one of the afternoons, thinking afternoon is the best time as it is hot and no one will be a witness to my first crime. I did not have any gardening tools either. So I had a big plastic bowl to store the dug up soil and a big spoon to dig it. As I found a secluded spot near the lake to complete my criminal mission, my heart beats started doubling with palms getting sweatier. I thought to myself, “This isn’t such a big deal. Scoop up a little soil fast and you should be fine.”

I started digging soil and just then one old lady walked beside me walking her dog. In my head I mumbled, “Why on earth would some one get their dog out on such a sunny day in mid afternoon.” The lady was trying to discern what am I upto with a big spoon and a bowl on the ground. I did not want her imaginations to go wild and I said confidently, “I am a zoology student and I just saw an earthworm here and wanted to take it to school tomorrow”. She looked at me pointedly, scanned me and said, “Be careful, you might find some lizards too.” Till date, I have been cursing all the time that I look like a teenager when I am so very old already. Today I was thankful for it, otherwise the old lady would have never believed that I went to school!

Ok, the first hurdle was crossed. I sat again and started digging. Just then one of the errand boys came that way and he kept on looking at me till I was out of his sight. I was pulsating heavily now. I never have done anything illegal or beyond rules till date. The boy walked towards our Community office and the way he was looking at me all while, I knew he is going to complain. I panicked and I chickened out. Ran like crazy to my apartment with whatever minimal soil I had collected. Phew! I wonder how criminals keep their calm during such moments!

I had very little soil and 4 plants. I had to choose. I planted 2 plants in one small plastic jar with the soil. The plants died in 2 days. I was very sad. I still had 2 more shoots. This time I put just one shoot in the soil. The plant dried too.

Cilantro 3
The dying shoots 🙁

The heat has been so unbearable the entire week and none of my plants made it 🙁

I may not have my cilantro plants currently, but soon very soon, I will have my little garden in my balcony 🙂

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She is a dynamic HR, an avid reader, an amateur poet and a natural writer. She is an ardent believer in God and tries to dig up happiness even in the darkest of mines. Join her as she takes you on a joyride called ‘life’.


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