Creativity, in general, makes a huge impact on society. Positive attitude brings out creativity and helps to empower those who are creative. A mother is usually a foundation that a home is built upon, in which to nest a family, then to provide the safe and secure environment wherein her children can grow, flourish, develop their personal talents and move out into the world, where they proceed to blossom into being their own person. One can take lessons learned and apply them to other phases of life. Definitely, creative mothers can change the world through their families. Moreover, nature has a superpower to polish our creativity more and much brighter if we are getting connected.

A garden can teach us creativity, spirituality and many more. It can transform a person, useful to mold a child and helps to use one’s senses. All the great artists used nature to stimulate their senses. Believe that childhood memories can help a gardener come up with a plan even if they have never gardened before. There are so many benefits of gardening for all including children. Stress, moods, blood pressure etc. is relieved when one goes out in a garden to remove weeds or even just watching the green or blooms of one’s own creativity. We are so disconnected from nature. Gardening can foster a great sense of community connections either through parent to parent, teacher to student or student to student. Gardening may stimulate new interest to learn more about plant science, landscape, architecture, photography, nutrition etc. Gardens reduce temperature and increase oxygen production.

We are living in the world of fast foods, packaged and processed snacks, and sugar-laden soft drinks.  Teaching children about healthy eating habits is a real challenge. Gardening is a very pleasant and creative activity that teaches about healthy living, eat organically grown foods, patience, humility, playfulness and getting close to nature. We can learn everything from nature. Children are copycats. What they see they learn. Encouraging children to assist gardening can increase the chance that they will eat more fruits and vegetables.   One can take lessons learned and apply them to other phases of life. Definitely, creative mothers can change the world through their families. Moreover, nature has a superpower to polish our creativity more and much brighter if we are getting connected.

A kitchen garden produces fresh fruits and vegetables and herbs for delicious healthy meals. It does not have to be right outside the kitchen door but the closer it is the better. Think about it in this way: The easier for you to get into the garden, the more likely that you will get tasty things out of it. Many mothers dream about picking fresh herbs and sun-ripened tomatoes right from their garden as there won’t be space enough for one. That is where a mother’s creativity is demanding. Even in the smallest space or a super short growing season, we can still have a garden. So just get started with a kitchen garden and new ideas will bloom up day by day. Don’t forget the participation of the family, at least children.

Gardening is an art. A kitchen garden doesn’t have to be with vegetables, fruits and greens alone. Doesn’t has to be necessarily ground planted. Where ground planting is not possible we can go for pot/container planting and utilize the space in the patios, balconies, and terrace.  If again a shortage of space to arrange them we can go for a ladder or tire planting to achieve vertical gardening in very small spaces. You can also make provisions for hanging pots. These ladders and tires can be made with low cost or recycled materials from packing boxes and can make our own design for that. 

The medium for plant growth can also be made with a low budget or nil budget plans based on ones’ creativity. The vegetable and other organic waste materials from the kitchen can be made into compost and used as manure for plants. For balcony and terrace gardens, this compost can be mixed with coir pith and /or soil in the compost barrel and used as the planting medium. This medium is light in weight, rich in organic and inorganic supplements, and with good moisture holding properties, at the same time keeping the environment clean by using recyclable waste materials.

Containers for planting: we can use our creativity for budget-friendly gardening. The containers should have the capacity to hold the medium and at least a small drainage hole at the bottom of the container to drain off excess water. We can make wooden boxes with the materials around us, from package boxes, re-cycled old plastic, tin, and mud containers, tea cups, water bottles, trays, broken jars, buckets, barrels, bits of PVC pipes, old tires etc are good ideas for plant potting.

A kitchen garden doesn’t have to be vegetables and greens alone. We can have a mixed garden where flowering plants can be planted with vegetables. Selection of plants depends on how a mother has to expand her spectrum of creativity. Attractive crotons and flowering plants in small pots and/or big pots can be included in the garden if some income generation is also in mind. A gift of flowers or a flowering plant does not have to be an expensive one. A single bouquet speaks volumes. Moreover, selling these gifts can earn some money.  It is important to know where the plant should be kept to get the blooms at the right time and shape, and how to look after them. Similarly, for the other plants in the kitchen garden, there should be a basic idea on seasonal and perennial vegetables. Most of the fruit yielding vegetables love open sunlight and leafy vegetables partial shade. However, summer scorching if observed can be overcome by erecting shade net over the plants. Climbers need support for spreading their wines. Herbs can be accommodated in pots on ground planted. Spices such as turmeric and ginger can be planted on the ground or in shallow trays. Black pepper can be made available in small space by planting bush pepper in pots/ containers.

Garden arrangement is also a creative work to save space and water as well as to get proper growth yield and flowering in all plants with an attractive visual treat. Small plants have to be planted in the middle open area of the garden and the tall ones in the periphery so that all plants get adequate sunlight.  To save space and water pairing of plants can be done by selecting those that have similar needs for water and sunlight. Mixing colors, flowering with non-flowering etc. makes the garden attractive and educational with the touch of a creative mother.  Planting Marigold in between vegetables adds colours as well as protects them from pests. Even more attractive factors are the plants attract pollination and tubular flowers attract humming birds. Kids exposed to bright colours and shapes of flowers and fruits in the garden develop a sensory experience. We can decide whether to include a bird house, placing stepping stones with special dates and foot prints or a place to sit and enjoy the garden or creating a place to put the garden tools.

 Lots of people having tasted garden-fresh fruits and vegetables appreciate them for their taste, flavors and vibrant textures. There is absolutely nothing quite like fresh veggies especially if we grow them ourselves, that we can. Whenever we take up any creative activity, we are bound to be happy. So mothers, be creative bring out a healthy and happy family and contribute your share to the society.

Dr. Sindhu K
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