Din Din and his new hobby

Din Din had discovered a new hobby. This was a hobby which gave him a lot of pleasure and made him lose track of time. Dazel found him one day near his cave settlement in Fruit Park.

"Hi!" Dazel squawked as she landed on her favourite spot on top of Din Din's back.

"Where have you been my friend?" asked his duck friend.

Din Din wriggled his back, "First, get off my back so that I can see you," he said good-naturedly.

With a laugh Dazel flew off his back and sat on a rock before Din Din.

"What's happened to you?" cried Dazel as she saw Din Din's paws and body smeared with mud. Sweat trickled down his green forehead.

"Behold! My new hobby," said Din Din excitedly as he pointed to a patch of land before him.

Dazel looked at the empty dug-up land in confusion.

Din Din exclaimed, "I have started gardening! And this is my garden patch!"

"Wow! That's great," said Dazel. "What have you planted?"

"I plan to plant all the most fragrant of flowers," replied Din Din, glad to have his friend share his interest.

The next day Dazel flew to the lake to meet Delma.

"Did you hear about the new hobby Din Din has taken up?" Dazel asked her dolphin friend.

"Yes. Din Din was here earlier today. He wanted to meet Bea the Beaver and ask her Burrow the rabbit's address. Burrow is a very good gardener himself. His garden patch has an array of vegetables and flowers which are a sight to behold. Din Din wanted a few tips from him," explained Delma.

"I also want to learn about gardening," cried Dazel. "I'll go join him at Burrow's place. He lives near the Dark Forest, doesn't he?"

"Yes," nodded Delma in agreement. "Tell me all about it," she cried out as Dazel flew off with a flutter of her bright wings.

Burrow lived in the shade of a hill which led to the Dark Forest. Din Din had just reached there when Dazel caught up with him. "Hi there! I'm also here to learn about gardening," said Dazel.

Din Din was delighted to see her, "I'd love the company!"

Just then they spotted Burrow near his garden patch beside the hill.

"Oh my! This is incredible," exclaimed Dazel as they saw the huge expanse of Brightly coloured flowers.

Rows of yellow, pink and red flowers dancing on their stalks greeted them. Burrow was watering his flowers with a can when he saw them.

"Hey! What are you two doing here? This is private property," the old rabbit said.

"Sir, we have heard so much about your garden and we are here to learn from you," said Din Din, a little taken aback at the rabbit's discourteous manner.

"Oh! I see. Well, come along," said Burrow with a sudden smile. "Actually, I have to be very careful who I allow near my garden. A lot of creatures pluck my flowers or trample over them."

The two friends were relieved. "I would invite you inside my burrow but you would not fit in," Burrow said looking at Din Din.

They sat under the shade of a sprawling beech tree near the colourful flower garden.

"So what do you want to know?" said Burrow after they were comfortably settled.

"I'm trying to make an ideal flower garden and I needed a few tips from you," said Din Din.

"Well, the first thing to remember before you begin planting, you must remove large stones from your garden. A garden needs the basics — light, soil, and water. Garden soil is made up of clay, sand, and silt. Gardens grow best when your soil has the right balance of these materials," said Burrow.

"I have done all that, Burrow Sir," Din Din said reverently. "I am mainly interested in planting fragrant flowers and I'd like to know what kind to plant. Your garden here is breath-taking."

"Ah! Flowers are my most favourite thing. Look at my garden. It has taken years of patience but when creatures like you come and compliment me it makes it all worth it," said Burrow.

"Jasmine is one of my favourites and it survives even in the scorching sun and in the evening, the scent is wonderful. Magnolias have an interesting scent - kind of citrusy and almost astringent. Polianthes Tuberosa also commonly called Tuberose, has a divine scent and so does Milkweed. And of course, the old fashioned red roses have the most beautiful scent that can be smelt from afar," replied Burrow animat¬edly.

"Wow," breathed Din Din. "Where can I get the seeds of these flowers from?"

"I'll give you some saplings," said Burrow promptly.

Din Din and Dazel smiled in delight.

"But you also need to know that there are many dangerous plants that grow in gardens. Monkshood is a vibrant purple plant which is commonly found in gardens but is loaded with a poisonous chemical and so must be handled carefully. Oleander is also an extremely common evergreen shrub but is one of the most poisonous plants. I'm warning you because it has bright, candy-coloured flowers but it is a very poisonous plant that will stop your heart. The presence of such plants makes it important for all gardeners to wear gloves."

"Wow! There is so much to learn about gardening," said Dazel in awe. "It makes me want to plant a garden myself."

Soon the two friends left. Din Din left for his garden patch armed with the saplings Burrow had generously given. Dazel went to Delma's lake.

"Delma," she said as she spotted her Dolphin friend. "I'm going to plant a garden too."

"That's great," smiled Delma.

"And you know where that's going to be? Right here near the lake's bank so that you, my friend, see it," cried Dazel clapping her feathers together in delight.

"Oh Dazel! You are the best!" said Delma in glee. And the two friends hugged in joy.

The Adventures of D'Land
Animated Series

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