Curry-patta leaves and Champa blossoms

If you try gardening, you will notice that nature has her own method of functioning. Try as you may, you cannot dictate terms to her and she will grow exactly as she wants to. With every passing day, one can learn something new from nature. As we experienced, some lessons are learnt the hard way. For example, one should never cut down a tree or plant and expect another to grow in the same place all over again. This is exactly what happened to our curry-patta plant. 

After we cut down the first one for unknown reasons, year after year we tried planting some more saplings in the same place. Like a curse, this patch of earth became barren, while the mogra nearby had a luxuriant growth. 

After many useless efforts, we abandoned this patch as a possible location for the new currypatta tree. We planted a young sapling in another place. To our relief it started growing faster than we expected. When the tree reached our shoulders, we plucked its leaves with a sense of achievement. But, there was something lacking. It lacked that special tadka-fragrance. The mali from the nursery was sent for to confirm whether it was a curry-patta tree or some other plant. He crushed a leaf and breathing deep into it proclaimed that it was an original. Nevertheless, he was surprised that the leaves did not have the fragrance of curries. 

The following monsoon we bought another curry-patta with a guaranty. We planted it next to the one without fragrance, assuming the land was fertile there. The new curry-patta also shot up in a year. We were tense and afraid to pluck the leaves. What, if this one also did not have a fragrance? Luckily this one had a strong curry flavour. 

The mali informed us that it was a female tree, because she had flowers. He insisted that the one without fragrance was a male. 

To grow, apparently they needed each other. When planted together, they had struck the perfect balance. If marriages are made in heaven, this was it. 

We also had a similar experience with the Champa. An ancient tree suffocating under a canopy of trees refused to bloom. But, a Champa which peeped over our garden wall was always laden with fragrant white flowers. Every morning this tree sprinkled her flowers on our lawn. These were collected and arranged around the house in bowls of water. 

During monsoon we repeated the curry-patta experiment. We planted a young champa close to the wall. The method worked. In a few months, we noticed the young Champa had grown and blossomed. By next year this plant should be standing shoulder to shoulder with the Champa next door. Here, the plot thickens, as it is hard to figure out the male from the female as both have a luxuriant growth. 

If you are interested in gardening, you must have noticed many such miracles of nature. The effect of the sun, moon, seasons, hours of the day, growing, fading, falling, flowering and growth, everything in nature is connected to each other in some way or other.

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