I don’t have a green thumb, I have a floury thumb. Hahaha! But I do come from a family of aunts and cousins who proudly display their gardens blooming with flowers and vegetable plots that make you feel like you’ve just stepped into an Alice in Wonderland storybook. It’s lovely, it’s lush and it’s colourful, it’s mouth-wateringly pretty and it’s brimming with vitality. But personally, I just don’t have a green thumb.
What makes me tick is the power of dates, different types of flour, the discovery of new ingredients in the aisles of grocery stores and farmers markets. My personal garden consists of the treats I make myself. Does that count? Let’s just say it does. Apparently, we shouldn’t compare ourselves with others and the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence.
I love the colour green. I love natural light that amplifies the beauty of flowers. I like to run in big city parks, to follow long, winding county roads where you happen upon breathtaking landscapes, I love green for its energy and freshness. Running or biking in areas of the most outstanding natural beauty is one of my greatest pleasures. But I don’t have a green thumb. It’s terrible. I can barely keep a plant alive. Have I tried talking to them? Yes. Do I water them? Yes… well, at least I think so. Would I like to have a house with a lush garden awash with colourful flowers? Yes, but the only plants that manage to survive are perennials. In fact, I should thank my perennials for fooling everyone in the neighbourhood into believing I’m a talented landscaping artist. I’m good at deciding where to put plants and at planting them, but from there onwards, oh boy…. I just cross my fingers and put my faith in Mother Nature. But that’s perfectly fine. The way I cultivate my inner garden is different.
To make it sound positive and full of imagery, I could say I own a ranch (!!!) which I’ve divided into three gardens: 1) my lush green playground of vitality (which boils down to my strong need to be active and keep fit), 2) my Japanese water garden (in my imagination – hahaha!) because I’m Zen and I’m convinced I can help improve the health of all human beings (yes, you read that correctly) with my recipes that are sweetened with date puree so we can say “bye-bye to refined sugar” and 3) my inner courtyard where I keep all my ingredients: my food cupboard. Do you find that funny? Maybe, but it’s still true.