Saturday, February 28, 2009

New colors on my canvas

Garden is like a canvas on which we can paint the beautiful colors of nature; a fresh new painting every season; different colors to regale the eyes with a new fragrance in each bloom. This spring, painting on my canvas got some new colors on it: All collected from various sources; leading the pack is this Marguerite Daisy... Here in my city in addition to the local nurseries we have vendors who go from house to house selling plants. Earlier I used to be in doubt about the range and viability of plants available with them. But these Nemesias which I bought from one such door to door vendor forced me to change my opinion as the plant is doing very well. It also taught me a lesson to not to trust illogical preformed beliefs rather to try and find out things after experiencing them. Camellias, I was made to believe by gardening books, doesn’t like warm temperatures. But as the latest theme at Indigarden was to learn things the hard way i.e. by doing them, I decided to give it a try and brought it home from local nursery. To be fair to the gardening literature this pretty plant did keep lying dormant through the months of March to November, and it was the cold of December which made the beauty feel at home and showed signs of change manifesting in a marvellous bloom in February. . The Cornflowers... ...the purple Salvias...and the Brachycomes, were all passalongs, gifted by the gardener at my workplace. I had planted them with special care befitting the affection with which they were given to me. And, thankfully, they have bloomed gorgeously. I guess it will be sometime before, thanks to modern developments in genetic engineering, that we will be able to grow all existing variety of plants and vegetables in any climate zone. Till then, sadly, I will never be able to grow my own orchids. But, there is this ‘Poor man’s orchid’-Schizanthus which is doing very well here and providing succor to my soul in the absence of the real thing. But I have been definitely able to grow something which till now didn’t belong here and whose first inflorescence I harvested today. This lovely powerhouse of a vegetable is a relatively recent addition to Indian cuisine, and is still not available easily in my city. I think my local nursery man gauged the changing tastes before the vegetable vendors could, and thanks to his foresight I got the seedlings which grew into a healthy looking inflorescence. Planting a new seedling is almost like a cute suspense movie where the final plot is truly revealed only after the bloom, and when these little additions to my floral kitty bloom, they make me jump with a child like joy.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Buds & Blooms

Its spring time! The year has gone by in a jiffy bringing back the lovely season of buds, birds and blooms. It is always wonderful to see a sea of sunshine sweeping the flora which keeps springing everywhere. Plants look happy with the numbing winters behind them. The warriors among the plants, who survived the frigid winters, are standing tall, fully eligible to enjoy the conducive weather, like this fiery red Kalanchoe. And then there are those, like Camelias, which will make their first appearance in my garden this spring. The Annuals which were planted way back in November will now get a chance to show off their blooms. It almost seems like nature’s way of providing delayed gratification to a gardener for having observed restraint throughout the winters. And isn't it gratifying to see the blooming Calendula which appears to radiate a gorgeous glow from inside... Spring has traditionally been represented with the color yellow, and the nausturtium along with the calendula is an apt representation of the season. I was gifted the seeds by a patient which was her way of showing gratitude. But as I see it bloom I feel more grateful to her, than she would have, for this lovely gift. Within a fortnight the theme of the garden has changed from the monochrome of Winters to a riot of spring colors. But everything is not as hunky dory as it appears, on closer look,I found the Hibiscus to be teeming with mealy bugs and it gave me jitters.Spring also brings some problems along with it! Well, a few bugs cannot dilute the sweetness of spring and a good season has to be naturally loved by all life forms; be it bugs or mosquitoes. So they are welcome here provided they do not mess around much with my spring blooms. That seems to be the sentiment of these pansies lost pensively in deep thought The buds and the blooms, together on plants, offer a lovely present and promise an even better future. Spring won’t last forever. And thankfully so. All good things loose their charm when they become a routine and we don’t want the charm of our precious spring season diluted…do we?


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