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England’s Enchanted Garden

Being close to nature does cast a spell on you and turns your life into a magical tale that centers around an enchanted garden. One such story is of Hina Jaffar Rizvi that will surely leave you spellbound.

‘’ When I first came to England, after getting married six years back, I started gardening mostly because it was what everyone here seemed to be doing’’ shares Hina. ‘’ We had two small gardens at home.  I started doing the basic garden chores likes weeding, mowing the lawn and others.’’

Moving from the hustle bustle of a big city like Karachi to a quiet corner of England was a big change. To add to her challenge was the inability to access places by bus or train and her husband’s long working hours became a reason for her to get close to nature.

‘’One day, a store opened close to my secluded neighborhood that sold gardening supplies and plants once a week. That was a game changer,’’ recalls Hina. ‘’ I would look forward to walking there every Thursday to buy plants and gardening supplies. Soon my garden was filled with a variety of plants.’’

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Hina’s inspiration to become a gardener comes from being close to nature. This nature-loving couple, lives close to the country side and always prefer a nice walk in forest instead of going out to cinemas or hanging out at malls.

‘’Both of us are also country lovers. With the country side just a 5 minute drive away from our house we have literally spent the majority of our time together out in the countryside embracing nature and learning from it,’’ shares Hina. ‘’ We are very fortunate to visit many gardens here as a part of the English heritage and national trust that has served as a major learning curve. ‘’

Naturally, growing food at home became her first choice. Their first fruit trees did not survive thanks to their dog who claimed that part of the garden as its own. Soon, their first baby was born and most of the garden was reclaimed by the family to start their new gardening journey.

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‘’ The irregular shape of the plot inspired us to design our garden from a clean slate into a unique outdoor escape that now has a surprise up every corner,’’ says Hina. ‘’In terms of produce, we currently have fruits including apple , avocados , lemon, fig, olive, bay, strawberries, raspberries, blueberry and blackberry . These produce regularly and every summer I plant vegetables like cucumbers, courgettes, tomatoes, spinach, beetroot, kale , Swiss chard, beans, peas and herbs.’’

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Hina further says, ‘’ I went from being a bored housewife with empty gardens to a mother of nature and outdoor living boys with gardens that mirror our lives. The gardens are wild at times, just like my boys; unorganized at times, just like their mama. We spend most of our day in the garden and come inside the house only to sleep.  Our garden has become our sanctuary and keeps us grounded on multiple levels,’’ adds Hina,’’ Our idea of entertainment is not watching TV, playing video games or outings at the malls. Instead, we simply love to garden and embrace new plants ‘’20138094_10155367670816257_978535814_o

Everyone needs a little magic in their lives. Growing a garden gives you that chance to create your very own enchanted world.

 

These wonderful photos are shared by Hina. Thanks girl! You filled me with inspiration!

If you have a garden story or know someone whose story must be shared, please get in touch. zahra@cropsinpots.pk 

 

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Zahra Ali Husain is a sustainability educator, freelance writer and an environmentalist. She is also a co-founder of Organic City Pakistan and runs the Green Schools & the Horticulture Therapy programs along with Yasir Husain. Zahra also manages an organic farm.

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