After several weeks of delay, Abbey and I finally got the chance to buy the plants for the flower boxes we emptied months ago. It took an hour of wandering around the plant section of the Centris Station Sunday Market before we finally settled on a plant that we both liked: a baby evergreen with silvery green leaves called the Arizona Cypress (Cuppressus arizonica). Neither of us had ever seen anything like it before (which added considerably to its charm) and fifteen minutes later, we had nine tiny cypresses tucked into the backseat of my sedan.
Ten minutes later, we were at the Manila Seedling Bank to get nearly two dozen clumps of our selected ground cover: a creeping little plant with crinkled purple and green leaves called Metallica Crispa Purpurea (Ajuga pyramidalis). The nursery gave us a severe discount for a bedraggled looking lot—I would have insisted on looking for a much healthier batch except a sudden fit of pity made me decide to rescue the disconsolate little things.
After we got home, it took an hour of hoeing, shoveling, weeding and dirt grubbing to settle the new acquisitions into their new abode. (My only other experience of gardening was way back in high school when my schoolmates and I were each required to raise a mahogany tree as a prerequisite for graduation. I hadn’t derived much pleasure from it then, but today, it felt oddly satisfying to sink my hands into the earth.) It was only after we stepped back to review our work that Abbey and I realized that the cypresses were still tiny enough to be actually dwarfed by the ground cover.
And it was only later on, when I was washing my hands and thinking of how the plants would look in the morning that I realized that—against all odds and against all expectations—I’d gotten hooked on gardening.
And this was how a new addiction was born. Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.