Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pumpkin ahoy!

It was about 3 years back that I got the first pumpkin of my garden – well, the first and last. For the last 3 years this vegetable has eluded me. 3 years back, when carrying out routine cleaning and pruning work, I noticed this thing growing behind some thick undergrowth. It was a pleasant surprise. This lone pumpkin escaped unnoticed, as it was hiding behind leaves and twigs. Well, there are some advantages to be had when you are a thoroughly unplanned and clumsy gardener because then you fail to look properly where and if you sowed any seeds, and then such things spring up as a surprise! Well, that was 3 years back. Since then my attempts to grow pumpkin bore no fruit…or vegetable…whatever. But, yesterday it felt as if I had finally hit a 'Pumpkin Patch'. This thing was hanging from a pumpkin wine which had entwined itself around a pomegranate tree. Now you can only call it Nature’s satirical sense of humour; I’ve a pumpkin after a gap of full 3 years, hanging by a thin lifeline, which will snap prematurely sending my much awaited and cherished pumpkin biting the dust. Things might not have turned out exactly the way I would have wanted to, but there is a brighter side – I think the jinx which was holding the pumpkins back has been broken and will soon have a huge healthy pumpkin kissing my garden soil.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Why Weeds?

The other day I was reading an article which said that Plant Weeds are a major contributor in purifying the environment. Well, that sure was news, as till now I have despised the existence of weeds with the contempt reserved for an unwanted, unannounced guest dropping in at dinner time. The rainy season has had a very healthy effect on all my plants, and as usual the weeds turned out to be the best adapted to exploit the favorable conditions (I guess that’s why they are weeds!). Post rains they showed an explosive growth. Earlier I used to mount an all out offensive, but this time, with the above said article in my mind, I treated them with a little respect. Oxalis were, thanks to blogging, found to be decorative plants elsewhere.It seems that plants qualifying as weed differ from place to place.Periwinkle is the most omnipresent among the pack. It grows with so little fuss – in fact it grew without my planting it at all – that it has always been there ever since I remember. Like all other things which need no pampering and become for granted in life, this flower felt like an unwanted presence. With a changed perspective it now looks beautiful to my eyes! Butterfly weed was sourced from a local nursery. Now that appears paradoxical- why should one buy a weed? Well, I was charmed by its looks…I still am. Its just that it spreads so fast that it gives an unhealthy competition to other plants. Like Oxalis, Lantana too is ironically a beautiful weed. There are vast stretches of land made beautiful by a covering of prolifically growing Lantanas, but in a home garden there rapid growth can be a menace. Castor plant is grown as an ornamental in many parts of the world b'coz of its star shaped, multilobed leaves. It has a copper variant too, which looks very interesting in garden landscapes. Here it grows profusely and multiplies rapidly, thus categorised under weeds. Though highly toxic, paradoxically it is also used in many Ayurvedic medicines since ages. This is something which psyches me out even before touching it! For a gardener the psychedelic properties of Cannabis,or Marijuana, or Bhaang as is known locally, are evident as soon one finds it growing unabated in the garden, unabated and remorselessly. It is especially during spring that I have to struggle hard to keep the plant in abeyance. The name of this weed is not known to me but both the leaves and the purple hairy flowers are very interesting.The leaves are initially green but change to yellow later on! They are beautiful, but their beauty is compromised because they are plenty.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - September 2009

Things have been moving in the garden now. A delayed spell of rains has ensured that garden is back to its green glory again. Fresh rain washed blooms of September are enlisted here as part of GBBD started by Carol at Maydreamgardens. Plumerias Buddha Belly or Jatropha Podagrica Pentas Water Lily Queen of the night or Cestum nocturnum Shrimp plant or Pachystachys lutea Crepe Myrtle or Lagerstromia Hibiscus Gaillardia or Blanket Flower Plumbago Mirabilis Jalapa or 4'o Clock Plant Brazillian Button Flower or Centratherum intermedium

Friday, September 11, 2009

Mid Blog Life Crisis!

The other day I sat looking at the four year old pictures of my garden. It was astonishing to see the amount of change that has taken place in the character of space available to me in these 4 years. Gardening is perceived to be a relatively slow activity but comparing the older photographs with the recent ones made me wonder if that is really so! The change has been positive and very heartening. Till about 4 years back, when I got this space to myself, I only had my interest, bordering on passion, in gardening, to do something with it. It all started very gradually with information collected from other amateur gardeners in neighborhood, or from plant sellers in various nurseries. But the real impetus came through blogging. When I started my blog, around 3 years back, the garden was in infancy, not very different from the lawns which are there just to add a touch of green to the house. But the ideas and gardens of my fellow bloggers, the desire to show something novel and new in my blog, the pressure to gain knowledge to try and match the standards of bloggers in blogosphere, made my garden a better garden and me a better and more knowledgeable gardener. I continue to be in awe of the way people around the world love and maintain their greens, at the same time I keep getting enriched by the mutual interaction which has been made possible by the internet and blogging. They say that the biggest room in this world is the one for improvement. In that spirit I thought that time was ripe to introduce changes in the way I blog. Like all activities, blogging too becomes a monotonous activity if it continues unchanged for a pretty long period. Over the years there has been a drop in the frequency of postings, and it has not only been me who is suffering from this mid-blogging-life crisis; many of my fellow bloggers too, I find, are finding it hard to keep their posts regular. For me it had become a little hard to keep up with regular postings because of time constraints, shortage of good ideas, or simply because sometimes nothing major happens in life, but that shouldn’t have prevented me from writing frequent small posts. There is always something little but interesting happening around, which could’ve been put in the form of a post. Now I hope that these little mood or monotony related impediments will not stop me from blogging regularly, and a little change in the blog will recreate the interest. Blogging, for me, is too precious an activity to be shelved for want of change or better ideas. I made some cosmetic changes to my blog which I hope will help keep my blogging spirits alive and kicking.


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