Roma’s garden: Want to take your mind off COVID-19 stress? Smell the fragrances of Spring

Roma Siachou, President of the Coordinating Committee of Pontian Genocide, is known and loved in the Greek community of Melbourne for her fresh approach to life. With a cornucopia of love for those around her, it comes as no surprise that her garden is a paradise on earth.

“I try to act as though the situation with COVID-19 has not affected me, however it has,” she said.

A unique way for Roma and her husband, Dimitris, to take their minds of things is to tend to their yard.

“We don’t have a garden per se, so we have filled the area with pot plants which we brought over from our old home. We have a lemon and orange tree in their pots and at the back we have flowers in barrels. We improvise so as to beautify our space,” she said.

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“We sit on our verandah, drink our coffee and enjoy our orchids.”

She appreciates them all the more after nearly losing them once when she left Melbourne to travel to Greece without her husband.

“I was still in Athens and Dimitris said, full of enthusiasm, ‘you should see all the work I’ve done, I’ve taken the orchids out of their pots to replant them’,” Roma remembered, adding that she “froze” upon hearing this as she knew that this is something they had already done. “I can tell you when you replant them the next year, they won’t rebloom,” she said.

“I went crazy. That’s it, he’s spoiled them.”

Despite the initial shock, her orchids blossomed somewhat justifying her husband’s gardening skills.

Ms Siachou said she feels connected to the earth.

At her old house she had a large garden, and her weakness a bougainvillea had to be left behind.
“I’m a village girl. I grew up in Katerini. I learnt to love the earth. I was always in nature, amid its colours and fragrances… in mud and soil,” she said.
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