Picking Flowers For Krishna

by Jayadevi dasi

I suppose Krsna heard me when I told Jaya Krsna that I loved gardening, and he said I had come to the right place. Shortly thereafter, I began working with Gopalasyapriya at the Palace gardens.

Anybody who picks flowers should know the process from beginning to end. It takes weeding in icy sleet and cold rain; preparing the soil by wheelbarowing loads of mushroom manure to enrich the soil, and sweating in the greenhouse while sorting through all the Canna Lillies, starting the seeds and transplanting them into flats, then the final process of transplanting into the prepared beds.

Having gone through all these processes, I can fully appreciate picking and making garlands for the Deities. The peak experience of picking culminated at the Puspa Abhisheka, when I watched the Pujaris pour Queen Anne’s LaceĀ  and many other flowers over Sri Sri Radha Vrndavana and then the other Pujaris throw the petals in the air at the feet of the Deities.

I also have the pleasure of picking from neighboring gardens and along the lake the beautiful vase flowers, some that I’ve nicknamed “swan weed.” I meditate on Srila Prabhupada’s statement that Krsna appreciates what is grown and picked locally 100 times more than commercially grown and purchased garland and vase flowers.

Along with picking, I’ve increased my service to several lengthy and small garlands and know the difference between grabbing a handful of purchased carnations and roses to quickly string the bigger garlands and picking the seasonal peonies and pom-pom marigold appropriate for the length and the size of the Deity. I counsel the other garland makes to be patient with me as I try my best to facilitate everybody’s needs and make the garlands the right size and to provide everybody with enough flowers.

The ultimate joy of picking is being engaged in Srimate Tulasi Devi’s service to pick her leaves and manjaris. I travel to a different plane when I capture the clove-like scent of the freshly picked manjaris. There will only be a few short weeks left that I can relish this service, therefore I humbly seek the positive feedback of the Deities and devotees while I continue to pick, and view the world as a giant petal tray and flower garland.

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Reader Comments

I like your article Jayadevi! I never realized that making garlands was an art until I saw a lei how to do book from Hawaii and when I tried to instruct someone to make a garland who had never made a garland before. I handed the visitor a needle,thread, flowers, brief instruction and went to do something else. When I returned and she proudly showed me her garland I cringed because now I had to do it all over. I appreciated her service but flowers were pierced in lopsided and the garland was on verge of falling apart.