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The Diary of Anne Ku

12 June 2000 Monday cloudy


There's an ancient Chinese saying that goes something like this:

"If you want to be happy for a day, get drunk

If you want to be happy for a week, get married

If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, plant a garden."

I've been happy for a day - numerous times.   Several years ago, I planted my own indoor garden.  At one point, I had a hundred different pots of houseplants.  When I moved to Texas, I had to leave them with different friends.  One visiting professor from Harvard apparently loved my six foot umbrella plant so much that he guarded it diligently in his office.   By the time he left and I returned, the plant had shrivelled into half its height.   Unfortunately, so did the population of my plants.  Many withered and died.

This summer I begin again - making cuttings, repotting, and acquiring new species.  This time, it's an outdoor garden.  My mind blanks out when I squat on the ground and get my fingers dirty.  First, I clean out the pots.  Then I crush the broken china plates with a hammer.  I sprinkle these broken pieces in the pots and fill them up with compost.  One after another, I patiently go through the ritual.

When I travel to tropical places, I notice that my houseplants actually grow outdoors.  Someday, my houseplants will grow so abundantly and wildly that I will no longer need to travel.  Likewise, everything that makes me happy will be with me.  My garden will flourish.



spider plants

cheese plants

umbrella plants

aloe vera

Mexican hat plant

peace lily

Greek vine



basil mint