‘Plant ladies’ – Monica Borel

Visio Divina for women: Thursday, April 22
April 22, 2021
The Power of Choice
April 22, 2021

‘Plant ladies’ – Monica Borel

Monica Borel is a parishioner and Lay reader of St John the Baptist RC Church in San Juan. She is also a retired Nursing Assistant who served at the St James Medical Complex for more than thirty three years, but has now been retired for the past 19 years.

This beautiful 79 year old parishioner who confesses that she now stays home and looks at the Archbishop on TV since the Covid 19 lockdown of 2020 says the correlation between her garden and her faith is that “I find peace with both of them” Her Catholicism and plant life go hand in hand, both passed on from her mother to her daughters.

Her garden is a nature lover’s delight, filled with over 100 varieties of Cacti, succulents and, flavoured with Orchids and numerous other houseplants. She is known for her knowledge of plants, and her exchanges and visits to other parishes and various flower shows, where she shares her joy of plants with many.

When asked what her favourite plant is, she answered, “Everything is my favourite plant, and I love all plants”. Then she said, “I have lots of orchids, though they are not flowering now, I love a lot of ferns too and I love cacti, I have a lot of house plants and succulents too” she laughs, “Girl up to Tuesday I went to get some more cacti”.

She gives her advice for succulent lovers, “Succulents need a free flowing soil that dries off fast, some like sun and some like partial sun, and they don’t like too much rain. But when you now get a plant from the plant shops, don’t put it in full sun, you should put it in an airy space but if you bought it from someone who had it outside then you can put it outside”. She laughs at herself and says, “I bought some string of pearls when they now come out eh girl, and I kill them already, so I am not buying that again”. She sighed, “Oh gosh that string of pearls really give me a run for my money yes!”’


Her advice for beginners in the plant game is: – “Three easy plants to start with are: Cactus, Ferns and Dieffenbachia’s (dumb cane). For persons who think they don’t have a green thumb, her advice is, “You have to try and you have to know the conditions, if you have an apartment choose cactus. Some cactus can take 3 weeks to a month without watering”.

Monica says, “When I watch the plants I know that my God is alive” She confesses that although many parishes in the area usually ask her to donate plants for their harvest, she just goes and buys plants for them rather than part with her collection. “ Girl I love all my plants”.

We sincerely thank Wendy Mitchell of St John the Baptist in San Juan for her photos and for submitting Mrs. Borel as this week’s Plant Lady.

Is there a plant lady in your parish community that you would like to share with us? Take pictures and send us at forwomen@catholictt.org.