The After-Dinner Gardening Book by Richard W. Langer was one of my favorite books back home in Southern Finland. The book is an urban gardening guide telling the author’s quest to grow tropical fruits indoors in New York City.
Deeply inspired by the book, I also tried, with ever changing success, to grow avocados, mangos, pineapples and lemons in my studio apartment in the middle of Helsinki city. I controlled temperature and humidity with different plastic foil structures around my window garden to create tropical mini climate and experimented with different soil combinations and DIY watering systems that were supposed to imitate the rain showers. Every once in a while the magic happened – I managed to get the seeds to sprout!
Seeing that tiny fragile sprout appearing from the black soil always filled me with pure joy and amazement. I nurtured these baby plants with love and tried to make them feel a bit more like home by telling them stories about the faraway tropical islands where turquoise waves break into white sand bars and palm trees provide shade from endless sunshine. I played them nature sounds from rainforests and named them with exotic names like Angelo, Alejandro or Consuela. I even considered Spanish studies to talk to them with more native sounding language.
Despite of the endless efforts and complex care my fruit plants usually died a few months later. The harsh Northern life was just too much to handle for their tropical souls.
It never even crossed my mind during those years that there will be a time when I can grow myself an avocado tree like this: Buy one perfectly ripe and delicious avocado from the local market. Eat it. Push the seed to soil without giving it another thought. Realize two months later that you have a strong baby avocado tree growing in the garden. Oh dear. I will call her Consuela.
Saila, Sales Manager