There is something deeply calming about growing plants and watching them bloom. Poonam Arora, a resident of Delhi until six years ago left the city life and moved to Dehradun. While she was always interested in growing plants and nurturing them, there was no space in her home in Delhi to do so.
Speaking to The Better India, she says. “Moving to Dehradun did us a world of good. We moved away from the polluted city life and settled down here with so much open space. I have been able to plant so many colourful flowers and I see how good they all make me feel.”
Taking her love for plants and flowers further, Poonam also started her YouTube channel dedicated to teaching others gardening. With over 200 videos on YouTube and over 50,000 subscribers, Poonam says she is happy to have found her true calling.
‘Gardening Has Become my Full-Time Job’
“At 47, I finally feel very connected to what I am doing. Gardening has become my full-time job now. It has not only brought me happiness but also a lot of peace and calm,” she says. Poonam also says that in growing her own vegetables and fruits a lot of the health issues that the family was dealing with have been resolved.
Whilst living in Delhi Poonam says that the pollution and fast-paced city life led to several health issues. “It got so bad that he had to quit his job in Delhi. Given that I grew up in Bareilly, my family would often urge us to move there and experience a better life. We decided, however, to make our home in the mountains and that is how we moved to Dehradun.”
A lot of thought went into constructing their house in the mountains. Poonam says that she was sure of wanting a garden space and paid special attention to getting that done. She says, “As a child, I have seen my mother take great interest in gardening and also used to help her out. My own interest started way back in my childhood. With time, I started showing an interest not just in the plants but also in understanding the soil type, weather conditions needed for each plant and making my own compost.”
‘I could not even identify flowers when I started.’
Even though Poonam had an interest in gardening, she says that until four years ago she could not even name the various flowers that she saw around her. “Today, I have over 300 flower varieties in my garden and I can name them all.” Poonam also takes great pride in making a lot of the planters herself. She is very thrifty and says, “I watch a lot of the DIY videos on YouTube and learn from there.”
She also grows many bonsai plants, petunias, poppies and zinnia plants in her garden.
Now she also shares her learnings and all her DIY projects with her subscribers. “Now, my husband and children also help me in gardening. They have also started taking an interest in it,” she adds.
Poonam’s husband, who had quit his job due to bad health, has now started to feel much better. One of the flowers that bring Poonam immense joy is the orange trumpet vine, which beautifully envelops the entire compound wall of her house. “These flowers are such that no passer-by can go without admiring,” she says with pride. The orange trumpet is in full bloom now and remains this way for almost three months in winter.
To watch the videos that Poonam uploads, click here.
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)