QUOTE OF THE MONTH: A garden is never so good as it will be next year. - Thomas Cooper

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Sunday, 21 June 2015

From my Summer Garden

Last year, around this time only, I did a post showing my portulaca blooms. This time around, it's the portulacas again. Last year it was 22nd June, this year, it's 21st June. The portulacas that I got last year from the plants nursery bloomed, and did that beautifully, and throughout the summer, providing me much needed relief from the excruciating summer. This time around, though the summers haven't been that excruciating, because of some wet spells of untimely rainfall and some dust storms that have, ended up gicing us some respite from the summer heat. However, the last years portulacas had spread hundreds of tiny seeds in the pots they were planted in, and also in some of the nearby pots, and this time, since January, as the windet season set to come to its end for the year, the seeds germinated into tiny seedlings, and over time those seedlings grew up well to give me blooms for the summer season. Though, the variety of colours I had were missing this year, with the yellow ones taking it all, red ones were not too far behind, and then there were a few white/off-white coloured blooms, once ina while, that changed the overall look, and then, the portulaca grandiflora variety too is doing a great job this year.

There was a time, I used to have three different colour varieties of the grandiflora cultivar. However, over some years, due to some negligence, and the rainfall giving us a skip in monsoon, last year, I am left with just the pink one. The white and the mixed pink-white are gone. Anyways, as I always do, I took some shots of the blooms, to share them with you all. Here are the pictures. I sincerely hope that you'd enjoy the beauty of the blooms. In the meantime, I planned on getting a timelapse video too of the portulacas, however, this isn't happening of some odd reasons. As usually happens, I end up clicking photographs of the same flowers from different angles, and when I try posting them here, I find it difficult to remove too many shots to form the ones that would finally make it here, and hence post them all, so, you might end up finding shots of similar looking blooms throughout the collection.


I'll keep you guys posted with all of the happenings in my garden, which has turned out to be a happening place these days, due to the untimely spells of rains we are seeing since the beginning of this month. A lot is happening down there, and there's a lot to share with you all. The miniature roses I introduced last year are in blooms, something, that is somewhat odd for me to see. Then, II had got some stuff from my Garden Tourism Festival visit. The yellow Tulip was one of them. Though, it couldn't make it to the next year, as the only bulb died in the early summer heat, other stuffs like the Glorissa lily have germinated and seem to be doing good. Apart from that, the lily bulbs I had got last monsoon too have grown into many plants, and I am expecting them to bloom this monsoon. Apart from all these, the rains seem to have given a new lease of life to the Arabian Jasmine plants, both of which are in blooms, and are blooming for a third time this summer. I will get back with something more, in the upcoming posts. Till then, keep trying and HAPPY GARDENING!

Metro Greens: Red portulaca
Red portulaca
Metro Greens: Yellow portulacas
Yellow portulacas
Metro Greens: Portulaca Grandiflora (Pink)
Portulaca Grandiflora (Pink)
Metro Greens: Portulaca Grandiflora (Pink)
Portulaca Grandiflora (Pink)
Metro Greens: Portulaca Grandiflora (Pink)
Portulaca Grandiflora (Pink)
Metro Greens: Red portulaca
Bunches of red portulacas
Metro Greens: Portulaca Grandiflora (Pink)
Portulaca Grandiflora (Pink)
Metro Greens: Portulaca Grandiflora (Pink)
Portulaca Grandiflora (Pink)
Metro Greens: Portulaca Grandiflora (Pink)
Portulaca Grandiflora (Pink)
Metro Greens: Red portulaca
A pot full of red portulacas

Metro Greens: Red portulaca
Red portulacas
Metro Greens: Portulaca Grandiflora (Pink)
Portulaca Grandiflora (Pink)
Metro Greens: Yellow portulacas
Yellow portulacas
Metro Greens: Red portulaca
Triplets of red portulacas
Metro Greens: Red portulaca
Triplets of red portulacas - A closeup
Metro Greens: White portulaca
White portulacas
Metro Greens: Yellow portulacas
Yellow portulaca
Metro Greens: Yellow portulacas
Yellow portulaca
Metro Greens: Red portulaca
Red portulacas
Metro Greens: Red portulaca
Red portulacas

Metro Greens: White portulaca
White portulacas

        I'll keep you guys posted with all of the happenings in my garden, which has turned out to be a happening place these days, due to the untimely spells of rains we are seeing since the beginning of this month. A lot is happening down there, and there's a lot to share with you all. The miniature roses I introduced last year are in blooms, something, that is somewhat odd for me to see. Then, II had got some stuff from my Garden Tourism Festival visit. The yellow Tulip was one of them. Though, it couldn't make it to the next year, as the only bulb died in the early summer heat, other stuffs like the Glorissa lily have germinated and seem to be doing good. Apart from that, the lily bulbs I had got last monsoon too have grown into many plants, and I am expecting them to bloom this monsoon. Apart from all these, the rains seem to have given a new lease of life to the Arabian Jasmine plants, both of which are in blooms, and are blooming for a third time this summer. I will get back with something more, in the upcoming posts. Till then, keep trying and HAPPY GARDENING!

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Herbs on my terrace

Gardening through my adventures, I have been introducing new plants in my rooftop garden. While most of these are blooming perennials like roses, tuberoses, and lilies, I have been trying out vegetable plants once in a while. The brinjal experiment last year was quite a success. Apart from that, the chillies, that feature in my garden almost every time, always give me some great results.
Herbs too have always been part of my garden. Be it the curry leaf plant that I always have in my garden for the culinary uses of the leaves. You might be knowing that curry leaves are widely used in south Indian cuisines, and being someone who likes south Indian cuisine quite a lot, it really makes sense for me to have an important ingredient of this cuisine, rather than going without it. Apart from curry leaf (Bergera koenigii) plant, I've got Tulsi (holy basil) plant as well. It's much more important for religious regions. Beyond that, tulsi plant is considered an important medicinal plant, as leaves of this plant possess many medicinal properties.

Beautiful curry leaf blooms. Looks like miniature lilies, isn't it?
Beautiful curry leaf blooms. Here's another bunch of those beautiful blooms.
Fruits on the curry leaf plant. These will drop down and germinate, giving me more curry leaf plants.
Fruits on the curry leaf plant. These will drop down and germinate, giving me more curry leaf plants.
The holy basil (tulsi) plant. As far as I know, we have two varieties of these, one with green stems and green leaves, and another one with dark purplish tint to the stems, and this is the second one.
I have, time and again posted about the fennel plants, which again is an important herb, seeds of which find an important in our culinary preparations. I, however like it for its beautiful yellow coloured small blooms, which bloom in large clusters. Some time back, in this summer, I arranged a bay leaf plant for my garden. The plant was in some kind of shock having been travelled more than 1500 kilometres, and being planted in a grow bag, 20 feets above ground. But of late, it seems to have settled down, and has started showing signs of live. Again, leaves of the Indian bay leaf (malabathrum), is widely used in our cooking for its strong smell and flavour.

The bayleaf plant. It's looking better these days.
The beautiful blooms of fennel.
The beautiful blooms of fennel.
Then recently, we found something odd growing in one of the pots. This was something like some really wide leaved grass, and luckily, it got spared being pulled out by the neck. We let it grow, and it turned out to be turmeric. Do I need to tell you about that too? Okay, turmeric too is widely used in Indian cuisine, and has been proven to carry tonnes of medicinal properties. And then, mint has always been a hot favourite. It has got many uses in our cuisine. And then, mint is known to be a refreshing herb, and can be used to prepare refreshing drinks.

Turmeric plant
Mint
With these, the herb collection that's there in my garden, at this time is over. I do grow some seasonal herbs like coriander too, but that's something done in winters. For now, I will wrap up. Will be back with something new, since, the weather has turned somewhat good, it has started raining once in a while, giving us Delhiites, much wanted relief from the scorching summer heat. And then, the monsoon season is around the corner. That means, I will again have the tuberoses blooming, and who knows, the lilies too might bloom this time around, giving me a visual treat. I'll keep you guys posted with all of the happenings in my garden. Till then, keep trying and HAPPY GARDENING!

Sunday, 7 June 2015

D for Dianthus

Encouraged by the dianthus blooms from the last year, this year, I decided to get more dianthuses, and winters was the time to do that. So, in December, during one of my visits to the nearby plants nursery, I got some dianthus saplings.
The saplings did good and started blooming by the end of February, and still, have been blooming once in a while. The beautiful pink and white blooms had to be captured and stored to relish the memories of the blooms. And these are what I am sharing here today.



















I will be back, next week with some herbs that I have been growing in my terrace garden. Till then HAPPY GARDENING!

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Lilies to spice it up!

So, some weeks back, I had my Amaryllis lilies blooming full on! Yes, full on. This was the second year of their blooms, and only 3rd year of being introduced in the garden. Last year only one of the 4 plants bloomed, and that was red. This time around all four bloomed, one at a time, and a few others at once. And I was in for a surprise. The first one to bloom was the red one, that bloomed last year, and then bloomed a striped red and white one, something I had never seen before, okay, let me confess, I haven't seen amaryllis lilies blooming too much, but yes, I never saw one like that.

This time around however, I had a new piece of equipment, and boy, handling it was a big thing, half a kilo of expensive equipment I had bought after longing for it for years. And the learning curve was steep, too steep, as I was moving up to a dSLR from a okayish cellphone camera. It was still learning time for me, so, I did some goofups at places.

And since almost everyone learns by those goofups, I won't hide what I goofed up with. Here it goes.

Metro Greens: Striped Amaryllis Lily
Striped Amaryllis Lily
So, I guess by now you might have noticed the goofup. The bottom petal of this striped amaryllis has got shadowed. I didn't realize that extending the lens barrel of my newly acquired camera will block the light from the inbuild flash. Still, the photo turned out to be worth sharing, so here it is.

Metro Greens: Striped Amaryllis Lily
Striped Amaryllis Lily
A daytime shot of the striped amaryllis lily bloom. Watching those 4 flowers bloom on the top of that stem was a feast to watch.

Metro Greens: Red Amaryllis Lily
Red Amaryllis Lily
Metro Greens: Red Amaryllis Lily
Red Amaryllis Lily

And here it is, the red amaryllis bloom. The velvety skin of the petal is amazing, and imparts the beauty to the otherwise non-fragrant flower.


Coming up next week will be some dianthuses that bloomed this year. Though, they turn out great, I still clicked them, and will share them here with you all. Till then HAPPY GARDENING!