Collected by Obehi Ilenikhena
“I am interested in gardening because it has a lot of benefits. It brings me closer to nature and teaches you about the world (natural world) around you know and learn to appreciate the significant of rain, the sun, and even the absence of light.” (Adeloye) This is what my friend explained to me when she stated her interest in gardening. She believes that nature is life. At a young age, she began to know the meaning of gardening and how it can bring people and nature together. To her, in her community, there was a silent rule which states that any plant that wasn’t own by anyone in the neighborhood is maintained by everyone in the neighborhood. Since this was the case, she bonded over the grass and the shrubs around their houses with herself and neighbors. They became friends over conversations based on how to plant certain flowers and the best ways to trim shrubs and what tools are needed to cut and trim grass. Adeloye had a sense of how to benefit from nature as human as she had people around her that were passionate about preserving nature and human connection. Her mother taught her that a woman who knows the benefit of having your own vegetables in the garden makes life a lot easier. Also, her father was a professor for agricultural science in Nigeria and the loves plants life and anything and everything that has to do with agriculture. Moving to USA hasn’t stopped Adeloye and her family connection with gardening. They still continue to garden as they own a yard in the suburbs and get tips from neighbors who also garden. They share information and she, herself, has gotten to know her neighbors better than her previous as she moved from a different neighborhood to her present home.
All the plants in her home have special meanings to her as she began to reminisce about her childhood experience with a lemon tree. The lemon tree stood is important to her due to the fact that as a kid they get lazy and hungry at the same time and the lemon tree was their hanging out spot because all they had to do was to reach over and pluck the lemon. She believes that the lemon is an hybrid lemon— when it is green it tastes exactly like lemon which has a sour taste. When it is slightly yellow, it taste more like an orange and when it is really ripe, it taste exactly like tangerine. I think this is cool as I haven’t had a personal experience with lemons.