Thursday, May 3, 2007
May marks the official beginning of summers in North India. Although the day lengths have increased but, because of the heat, the actual time spent by me in the garden has come down. Summer annuals are too young to flower and winter annuals are on their way to be one with the soil, meanwhile the foliage plants more then compensate for the temporary absence of flowers. Prudently arranged Foliage plants are a sight to behold. The intricate pattern or the color scheme in the leaves along with their diverse arrangements, the sinuous branches, all of them show how nature can be artistic and beautiful without being ostentatious. Caladium leaves so similar yet so different, one with a sprinkle of colors other looks equally striking with its prominent venation. The crotons-no flowers, still so complete and attractive, managing to hold attention in the colorful pot Buddha belly plant with its multi-lobed leaves make my morning merry like a laughing Buddha with a really big belly! Diffenbachia, adding to the beauty of foliage garden with its leaves. I've heard that its leaves are toxic if chewed and may cause a temporary inability to speak, earning it the sobriquet 'Dumbcane' Disanthus with its beautiful heart shaped leaves. I am waiting for the leaves to change colors with change of season. Chlorophytum comosum or the spider plant- I love the way it self-propagates. It looks much better in a hanging basket, where I am going to put it shortly. With these lovely variegated leaves, the plant is called 'manihar' locally Sanchezia speciosa, an evergreen shrub with such prominent yellow veins. Coming times with ever rising humidity are going to be good for this plant A sine qua non of foliage gardens,this is Money Plant or the Pothos. Contrasting with the soothing green of the money plant is this plant with piquant purple leaves.I don't know its identity and don't even remember where I got it from but it is providing a welcome contrast to my otherwise green garden Flowers epitomize the beauty and complexity of nature and no gainsaying the fact that their presence overwhelms and overshadows everything else growing in the garden but this time their absence made me realize the silent unassuming beauty of foliage plants. Till the summer flowers show up, the green foliage is providing succour to my soul.