EcoMuslim Diary: Ami's Gardening Passion

My Ami (Urdu for mother) is a beautiful green-Muslim in action. Even after raising grandchildren, having major surgery and teaching for tw...

My Ami (Urdu for mother) is a beautiful green-Muslim in action. Even after raising grandchildren, having major surgery and teaching for twenty years, I don't doubt for a second she's spent more time in the greenhouse than inside. I'm sure there's chlorophyll floating in her blood!

To her children, it was a bit of chore - making hanging baskets and diluting fertiliser? Ugh, let's do homework instead. For a Pakistani family, growing perennials and flowers wasn't a priority. However, I can still see Ami in Shalwar kameez and wellingtons trotting about on the gravel with a spade or wheelbarrow; that dedication and love for Allah's creation were passed onto us as very important Muslim values.

Apple, pear and plum trees. We would get really upset if the flowers fell before fruiting but this year looks to be really promising.

From a young age, my grandparents taught my Ami how to be the amazing gardener she is today. To use every part of a vegetable, how to raise goats and chickens in Pakistan, how to be frugal. I feel like some of it rubbed off onto me. I hope it has.

Whenever I ask her how the garden's doing and what's growing, she sends me la-hoads of photos. From our old fruit trees to the new cuttings taken this year, I am always excited to see my Ami's gardening passion.

I make supplication (du`a) it never ends.

Ami reuses all her containers for planting seeds or taking cuttings from established plants.

For so many years we used tissue rolls as plant pots! Once the seeds germinated and grew the full roll could be torn down and planted straight into the ground.

I remember my Naani Jaan (maternal grandmother), may Allah have mercy on her, always had pots of mint and coriander in the kitchen, it was so warming. I never found mint (poodna) that was as fragrant as what her blessed hands grew.

Ami has even grown full landscapes with dried flower heads and dried seeds.

Insha-Allah by autumn this little strawberry plant will be a beautiful bush of berries. Can't wait for homemade jam.

Now, I grow plants with my three-year-old son. He also patters in our garden in his wellies, with a bag of seeds, or a watering can (admittedly soaking the walls more than the soil, so small steps!) Generations down I hope our descendants are Muslim, and that they grow trees, protect their community and make dua for us. You never know, in a hundred years, a little Muslim somewhere may have my mother's chloroplasts.

Love you Ami.


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