Gardening with Love

In the early years of the Meherabad ashram, Baba, knowing Mehera’s love for nature, would encourage her to do a bit of gardening when water was available. So when her indoor work for Baba was complete (and He was with the men mandali), Mehera would often be outside puttering with flowers and plants.

Baba and Mehera actually posed for this photo so Mani could photograph them
working in the garden using a ghamela (dish) and an Indian tool called a phowda.
Upper Meherabad ~1935. (Photo courtesy of MSI Collection)

In the 1940s when Baba shifted His residence to Meherazad, He wanted Mehera to start a new garden there and look after it. Already established in the garden was a row of beautiful gulmohr trees (below).


But the topsoil in Meherazad was poor and it made creating a new garden, growing flowers and plants, very difficult. Mehera, with Meheru and the garden workers’ help, brought in soil from the nearby lakebed and added local fertilizer to create good topsoil. Yet much of it would wash away during heavy rains. And then of course in the hot, dry Indian summer season when the plants struggled to survive, Mehera had to be very careful with water.

Once while Baba was admiring His Meherazad garden, Mehera explained to Him how much work went into growing the lovely flowers He was admiring. She told Him about the poor soil, water problems, heat and so on, and Baba replied, “Yes, this is just the way I like it. It is because of the hard work and love you put into the garden that I appreciate it so much.” With that, Mehera never again mentioned all the effort it took to look after Baba’s Garden.

Mehera loved making cuttings for the garden, starting seeds, collecting them and so on. Mani and the others would observe Mehera’s enthusiasm when she’d sow the seed of a tree. And they would tease her, knowing that what she really wanted was a full grown tree by the next morning.

Such was Mehera’s vision of an abundant garden for her Beloved Baba, and such was the promise held in each and every seed she collected and sowed . . . to become something very beautiful for Baba.

Meherazad garden, mid-1980s. Mehera started all these bougainvilleas from cuttings. When they
were in full bloom, she’d ask Baba to come have His photo taken under their gorgeous branches.
She’d be so pleased to see her Beloved framed by nature’s beauty . . . a perfect reflection of
God’s Real Beauty.

After Baba dropped His body, Mehera would remark that despite harsh weather conditions, poor soil, little rain and so on, Baba always saw to it that even in the hot summer, one flower or another would be in bloom in His garden.

This very fragrant clematis begins to blossom outside Baba’s bed-
room window in the still dry heat of the summer month of May.

Mehera really loved these pompoms (Haemanthus) and every
year looked forward to seeing them in bloom, also only in May!

After many years of tending to Baba’s garden and glorifying Him with her beautiful offerings, Mehera would often say to Baba’s lovers, “Just a single flower, a single petal offered to Baba with love is enough. It’s not the flower. It is our love that He wants.”

—Kacy Cook for Avatar Meher Baba Trust, 25 June 2015