Public relations practitioner shares three life lessons learned from tending her urban garden

Two pots of Greek basil that I just pruned. (Villa)

By Roselynn Jane Villa

Public relations practitioner and urban farmer Roselynn Jane Villa shares, in her own words, three lessons she learned from tending her rooftop garden.

READ: Public relations practitioner shares how she started her rooftop garden in Manila

Two pots of Greek basil that I just pruned. (Villa)

I have learned to listen with all of my senses. Listening is not just with the ears, but with all of our senses. When we observe another living creature we will know what they need even if they don’t talk. In fact, plants are more straightforward and unequivocal than humans. They don’t confuse me. I have also learned to watch my environment more and am able to understand it better.

I have learned to give up control. Plants need proper space – literally with proper spacing between plants, and figuratively with proper spacing between watering and pruning. If you cramp them, if you tend to them more than they need to, they will die. I think it’s the same with humans and I have learned to respect the different types of space we need as humans as well.

There is enough for all. When we start out with planting, we have this instinct not to share with “pests” so we want to kill them off. But actually, they just need to eat, and soon they will invite their own predators who will eat them. That’s why I mentioned the “offering” or “alay” earlier. Sometimes, you just got to leave some to others so that the rest of your plants will grow in peace. The trick is to grow more than you need so that there will be some to offer to others. So it is with real life, is it not? We should strive to earn more than we need so that there will be left over to share. We will find that even with what we give to others, we still have enough for ourselves.

Photos by Roselynn Jane Villa

This article appeared in Agriculture Magazine’s December 2022 issue.

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Agriculture Monthly magazine is the Philippines' best-selling magazine on all things agriculture. It is packed with information and inspiration on how to make the most of your farm or garden.

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