Thursday, October 31, 2013

Clearing a Thicket of Bougainvillea

Outside my home just near the gate was a bougainvillea bush that produced lovely red flowers with little maintenance. However, with time, especially this monsoon it became so huge and massive that it was blocking sunlight into the garden. Fortunately Hari a village lad who comes to work in the city every now and then and gets a room from me in return for some help in the garden was around. Therefore today morning I asked him to work on clearing away the thicket down to just a couple of feet from the ground. It was a massive exercise especially because the bush has nasty thorns and it required a whole day and I had to ask Hari to stay for the day in return for a day’s wages, about three hundred rupees (six dollars). We have just finished clearing the thicket and the result was pleasant as shown in the photo. The picture has Hari in it. Lot of birds used to rest on it in the evening but they have just moved to an adjacent tree. Fortunately there were no nests in the thicket. However, what was really sad is that significant parts of two trees within the thicket had to be chopped off - a Mulberry and a Drumstick. There was no other way to free the bougainvillea branches and the chopping was necessary because of overhead electric lines. Really hope that fresh new branches come up soon and that  Mother Goddess Earth makes them healthy again very soon. I shall water them regularly until then and in future make a good attempt to keep everything in the thicket well pruned so that it does not have to come to this. Surrounding oneself with trees in an urban setting can be challenging but one worth attempting to bring some of the pleasures of green forests home to a city.

Hari said his hands were aching from the effort so he got to wash and soak them in hot salted water for ten minutes followed by rubbing in Vaseline into the hands and he says he feels just fine now otherwise he would have got an aspirin from me too.My body too is stiff since I was the assistant and have not done this kind of labor for a while but in my case just a couple of glasses of beer and a good nights rest will suffice I think. I do not drink often but drink something light whenever there is physical, intellectual or emotional stress.

Two magical things happened in the exercise. First, although a lot of sparrows collected on the thicket there was not a single nest. I would have been very sorry if some eggs had been lost in the process. Perhaps to understand the magic of this you would have to read an older post called - From Birds to Telepathy. The second was an urticaria tree was growing behind the thicket that had tried constantly to bend southwards to reach the light. We had kept it tied to keep it straight. However when the thicket was removed the tie was removed and the tree just bent down. We were looking for another place to tie it again when miraculously the tree became nearly straight on its own. I see in these two observations the blessings of the Lord.


keiko amano said...


I wish I have Hari's help for my yards. You're lucky.

ashok said...

you have something more profitable Keiko, a tenant for the main house or you could have have got that kind of help by giving your present side rooms in Japan to an outsider :)