These empowered women find solace in surrounding themselves with nature.
It was natural for Julie Boschi to nurture a connection with nature, having been surrounded by the enthusiasm of her grandmother Gloria and mother Melissa for gardening. “My mom used to breed orchids and my grandmother had her fruit orchards,” she says.
Techie Hagedorn similarly loves plants and adores the lush gardens of her friends. However, she claims, “I was always more of an admirer and was not greatly involved in gardening.” Still, she likes collecting familiar, easy-to-care plants, much like how she creates breezy style pieces for her brand ALEGRE.
The two women may be busy with their respective work and routines, but being with nature helps them find solace and a sense of renewal.
The lush garden
“I needed to be surrounded by plants even when I lived in the city,” Boschi says. She started tending to orchids, using this time to de-stress from work. The beautiful hues and aroma of these plants do good for the mental health and physical as well—their medicinal properties make them ideal for such purposes.
“I like my garden wild, trimming the plants only when necessary,” she adds. From growing orchids, flowering, and fruit trees, she shifted to herbs and vegetables now. “The pandemic pushed me to study medicinal plants and herbs.” However, she discovered it a challenge as these require meticulous care.
“I have the ternatea or butterfly pea vine which helps with inflammation; malunggay and alugbati; oregano which wards off mosquitoes and excellent for coughs; and banaba which is excellent for [urinary tract infection].”
For Hagedorn, she admits riding the wave of the “plantita” trend last year. “I had my equal share of success and ‘deaths, which I took to heart,” she admits. Different plants demand various degrees of care and it was challenging for her to grow all of them.
With this, she decided to care for low-maintenance ones but are “still very pretty to look at.” Currently, her range of plants and shrubs doesn’t require extensive gardening expertise. These include Birds Nest Fern, Dwarf Century Plant, and Palm Trees. She also has massive, beautiful Elephant Ear Plants that give a lush and bold tropical effect to her garden in Laguna.
Among Boschi’s prized trees are her Kalachuchi or Frangipani. “Our farm in La Carlota in Negros has this [kalachuchi] tree in the lanai that I have spent countless hours with my grandmother,” she recalls. “Whenever I see [kalachuchis], I remember her.”
Currently, she is trying to grow her basil lineup. There are many varieties and so she continues to study how each one should be tended to. Her other plants range from fruits such as guavas, mangoes, and pomegranates to vegetables like eggplants, okra, and cilantro.
Hagedorn loves Wave of Love, Agave, Yucca, and Birds Nest Fern. As these can thrive in both indoor and outdoor settings, she is able to move them around when she wants to switch things up in her home. “Plants inside the home really create warmth and coziness, no matter what style of home you have,” she says.
People may have started moving on from the plantita or plantito trend over the quarantine, but those who love nature like Hagedorn and Boschi, will always allow these lush greens stay close to them.