The Healing Garden

Regular readers of this blog might remember this picture of my sister’s garden. This was taken after my brother-in-law suddenly passed away in July. Many of you had mentioned in your comment that the garden would be a part of the healing process…

We meet as often as we can, more so after the tragedy. This was taken in November on one of her visits to my place. Seated next to her is my little nephew who’ll turn three in February. Gradually he’s realizing that his dad will never be back.

My nieces with my younger son at one of the eateries in town– Mainland China.

Working on the beds in October and November. These are the vegetable plots in the backyard. The time, the effort, and the anticipation of a thriving garden has certainly been a welcome diversion. Although the planting is done every year, the fervour is more this year. Afternoons are spent here rather than being inside the house….

A locally grown leafy vegetable known as lai is a hot winter favourite. Here’s she’s picking the best leaves for me!


Dilip, my b-i-l used to love the bird’s eye chilli. The plant flourishes next to several flowering plants. Even the bird love them!

My nephew tells me he has a lot of work to do. Like picking up pebbles and clods of earth!!

In December and January mum’s the word!:)

Taken about a week ago…you can see the many floral additions to the front-yard. Marigolds and mums bloom. Butterflies flit about. earlier it was where the family would sit in the sun and watch the several birds on the guava and other trees. Red-throated barbets, parrots, shrikes, and kites are usually seen in this area.

In the far end of the garden cordylines bloom. In the background is the Mexican Oleander and Sleeping Hibiscus. New flowering plants have been added, all in Dilip’s memory. When a garden thrives under the gardener’s care it says so much more, not just about the garden but about other aspects of life as well.ย And from wherever he may be, he’ll know that his beloved family is slowly coming to terms with what happened on a Sunday morning in July.



About Kanak Hagjer

Hello from north-east India! I love to blog about all things floral and foliar and sharing the beauty of my region is what I am most passionate about!
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29 Responses to The Healing Garden

  1. Elu says:

    Charming garden !Nice to see a smiling Moni.

  2. ShySongbird says:

    Dear Kanak, first, thank you so much for visiting and commenting again ๐Ÿ™‚ My visits to you may be rather erratic due to the ongoing family problems I mentioned on your ‘Blooming Friday-Plans for the New Year’ post but I will try to visit when I can now I have found you again (or more correctly, you found me). My apologies for commenting as ‘Jan’ on that post rather than ‘ShySongbird’, I realised I had filled it in incorrectly when it was too late to change it, I hope I didn’t confuse matters as I noticed you have another Jan commenting also!

    I am so sorry to read that your brother-in-law passed away last year, what an awful shock for you all and most especially for your sister and her children of course. What a delightful family! Your sister looks a lovely person, she has a gentleness in her face I feel. It must be such an uphill task for her to rebuild her life after such an unexpected tragedy…

    What a beautiful garden, I’m sure your brother-in-law lives on there among the lovely surroundings he created. How I wish we had warmth, sunshine and butterflies here, it is very cold today and raining and there is more snow forecast for Friday!

    • kanak7 says:

      Jan..oh no, you didn’t! That’s perfectly all right. I knew your name as I had gone through your comments section some time last year to see whether anyone had used it. So no confusion there. Thank you for your kind words… I’ve been reading about the snowfall in Britain, the worst in twenty years, the papers say. Can’t imagine that kind of cold…both rain and snow…dreadful combination. I hope it won’t be a heavy snowfall this time.

      Will see you soon!

  3. lotusleaf says:

    Hi Kanak!How quickly the time passes! Her beautiful garden must have given your sister solace. Your young nephew is so sweet.
    I am intrigued by the vegetable lai. We don’t get it here. Is it to be eaten raw like lettuce, or cooked like palak?

    • kanak7 says:

      Padma…yes, it has! Lai is usually chopped fine and fried. A handful of peas enhances the taste of the dish and thin slices of ginger go very well with it. Very tender leaves can be eaten raw but it’s a little pungent. But it looks good on the salad plate when there’s no lettuce available!:) It’s also great with pork.

  4. One says:

    Hi Kanak, Your sister has a very big garden which can keep her very pre-occupied. Even your 3 year old nephew has been kept very busy. He is funny and seem to be a happy boy. Healing Wishes are being sent your way. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Mildred says:

    What a beautiful garden. I know your bil would be happy to know that many of the plants he started and cherished are bringing all of you joy now. Gardening is a very healing hobby. Your little nephew is so very sweet and in his way, he’s helping too. My prayers are with each of you.

    • kanak7 says:

      Mildred, thank you! It’s a joy to see my nephew as he runs around the garden. And when I take pictures of the blooms and the butterflies, he’s always by my side!

  6. David says:

    It’s so wonderful to see the pictures of the garden I know so well. Dilip da was one of the most wonderful humane beings I have ever met. And I think the garden and the way it is growing shows a little of the kind of person he was. Serene, pure and comforting.

    It was such a shock for me so far away in chennai hearing we had lost him just Two weeks after we all had gone and come from Haflong together. That memory is forever etched in my heart. This Garden with its aura of peace and Udi with his collection of rocks and didi’s smile gives me peace too. I am sure that the garden he is in now is as beautiful as didi’s garden on earth.

    • kanak7 says:

      David, not a day goes by without thinking about Dilip. I go as often as I can. Till now as I open their gate, I can imagine him with that big smile of his standing on the doorway…His presence is everywhere! I’m glad that Raja feels the need to be there whenever he’s in Guwahati, sleep on the very bed where he breathed his last. He’s now wearing his Amousha’s jacket, somehow keeping the connection stronger…if that’s possible.To see Moni and the kids, the house and the garden, I feel that Dilip must at peace too.

  7. aerie-el says:

    So sorry for your loss. A memory garden is a perfect healer for the aching soul. Wishing you and yours peace in the coming year.

  8. Such a sorrowful thing, a sad story. To leave his son while still so young, to grow up without a father. I am thinking that your SIL is a strong woman though, and the child is very blessed to have her to get him through this. Yes, a garden can be so healing. I had been mentioning Smita to you because of this. I follow a lady named Smita, she has a food blog. And she lives somewhere in your area. So when you mention your friend Smita, I just assumed it was the same person. Now you know I am not crazy after all!

    • kanak7 says:

      Ginny…oh no, you’re not crazy at all!! Similar names after all. I did check her out after seeing her name on your comments section. I’ll visit her again soon!
      Yes, despite the shock of losing a loved one, I’m proud of the way my sis is handling everything. Thank you for your words…

  9. Andrea says:

    Hi Kanak, i’ve been reading about that loss of your brother, however i dont know what happened to him. I think i missed that part. The garden is so very well tended and i like the big area. It’s good water there is sufficient. The cute little nephew is still very young, good he has your son as a bigger brother to look into. And at least he has other older male relatives around for a father. Everybody moves on, you and your in-law will eventually.

  10. Titania says:

    Hi Kanak; it is a terrible thing to happen for a young family to loose husband and father. Your sister looks so lovely and gentle. Her garden is wonderful and it seems her little son follows in her footsteps. I wish her and her family all the best. Are you living far apart or can you visit her often?

    • kanak7 says:

      Hi Trudi, thanks. We live in the same city so I can visit her often. Now the frequency has come down but whenever I go out on errands or near her area, I make a quick detour to her place. But we talk on the phone every day, sometimes several times a day.

  11. Stephanie says:

    Kanak, both of you really look alike. Wonderful smile always! Nature indeed has its way to bring joy and laughter. Love the mums and the garden… gosh it is beautiful!

  12. Autumn Belle says:

    Kanak, I am so glad to see the smiles back in their faces, your beloved sister and the young ones, such delicate souls. You are so correct with the title, for indeed a garden does heal. It happened to me when I lost my parents. I like your this garden, the sandy paths surrounded by beautiful plants, just like the garden I used to play in when I was a little kid. I would like to wish her all the very best in this year 2011. Thank you for the update, and I will gladly welcome any future updates about her garden.

  13. Kiki says:

    Hi kanak..what a beautiful post..such a magnificent healing space..your garden is a dream..beautiful! HUgs..I am sad to hear about your thoughts and heart are with you and your family! hugs!
    Wishing you joy always! Thanks for sharing this beautiul heart touching post!

  14. Tracie Fish says:

    wanted to let you know that thanks to Kristin at “My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia” my first ever link party for Cottage Flora Thursday’s is up & running! Inviting you to come over & link a cottage garden post you may have & please advertise “Cottage Flora Thursday’s” on your post that you link….& if your not already a follower – please follow me!

  15. Linda says:

    The garden is a great way to heal wahtever the reason is!

  16. Linda says:

    Kanak! What kind of yellow flower is it on the photo with the boy ?
    Photo nr. 7.

  17. islandgal246 says:

    Kanak It is so beautiful! I am so happy to see your sisters garden blooming and your sister smiling. The garden is such good therapy for healing the soul. Hugs to you and your Sis and thanks for sharing her garden with us.

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