Thursday, December 24, 2009

Coleus in my Garden

I guess I will have to concede defeat there – Regular blogging is not easy. I got irregular with posting a number of times in the past, but now becoming irregular has become a regular feature and I feel that regular blogging is not a choice one makes, it’s in the genes. Anyway no more tall claims about getting regular now, I will just stay cool about the regularity issue. Thankfully, tending to plants is not a victim of bloggers’ block. One can be lax in her blogging rituals but the plants keep receiving their due attention. Just like a human baby, who with her innocent look ensures that she remains the centre of attraction, nature has made the plants so beautiful that it is well neigh impossible to neglect them. Foliage plants, like this coleus, hold good hopes of giving the look to a garden during the frigid weather, which lasts here for around a month from December end till January last. The leaves in various wonderful shades of the coleus family keep changing their color tone and in a fortnight they will be the ones providing a colorful ambience, when rest everything will wear a denuded forlorn look. Besides, coleus are a typically no fuss plants: just plant the cuttings, water them…rest is managed by Mother Nature. I wanted to have a coleus dominated landscape this winter providing a nice change from the usual chrysanthemum abundance, but was too lazy to do so…maybe next time.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Red and Yellow make the winters mellow!

There is a lull in life. It happens every year; round one festive season – Diwali etc. – is over and there are still few days to Christmas and New Year. Thankfully, garden is not yet reflecting the somber winter mood, there is the loving passionate warm glow of red, and mixed with the cheerfulness of yellow, it has created a perfect mood brightening symphony. The Butterfly Weed (Gosh! They call it a weed!) With admix of red and yellow is the perfect cocktail for the spirits. Chrysanthemums bloom in abundance at this time and I try to ensure that there are plenty of them in various hues and shades of yellow and red. We generally get rains around third to fourth week of December and they do not augur well for the mums, but before the frigidity sets in it’s a mum dominated Gardenscape. Even the butterflies are warmed by their red-yellow soothing glow. Sometimes nature tries its hands at origami, and when it does…this is the result. This beautiful Rose, with its wonderful yellow shading and the papery petals, gives the impression of an exquisitely crafted origami specimen. This small, but not insignificant by any measure, Portulaca loves Sun. A typical tropical plant it closes by late afternoon and blossoms again with sunrise the next day- didn’t approve much of the camera coming between it and the Sun.The Heliconias which are typically tropical were a gift by the nuns of a local convent school, who got the plant from Kerala. The plant has thrived well and is another pretty red-yellow combination in the garden. The exuberance of red with a dash of yellow for the tip gives the Gaillardias a glamorous outing in the wintry outdoors. Amidst the relatively dense foliage, embossed, are the cute red-yellow aromatic clusters of lantana. There is a predominantly red-yellow tone in the garden. The warmth of these colors and the gentle sunshine make winters a fun season, but of course only till this colorful landscape lasts…after that it is going to be all grey-white, and outdoors…Brrrrr!!!


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