QUOTE OF THE MONTH: "Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into."-- Henry Beecher

Header Slider

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Working up for the Winters

Winters are round the corner. With the summer season almost gone, and some rains of the monsoon season, reaching us pretty late, the usual shortening of daylight hours has started. The morning sun comes up late, and in the evening goes down early. And as usual, there is a lowering of the average temperatures, which is normal around this time of the year, in this part of the earth.
I, as I normally do, have started working up towards making my winters beautiful with the splash of colours from flowers of my plants. This year, I have planned to get some plants that I haven't got till now. The cosmos plants, which I bought a while back, and which usually bloom throughout the winters are growing quite well, and some of them have started blooming. The dahlias, which I've been getting since two years, I've decided to try and get them, a pretty early, if I could get them, to allow the plants ample time to develop into healthy plants and give me great blooms. This year, I have thought of getting some Pansies and Petunias as well, which, as I've seen, are a normal feature in winters and have the ability to bring the landscape to life with the small but colourful blooms.
Last year, I got some red gladiolus plants. But, for some reason, the plants died, before I could get some blooms. I removed the dead plants and stored their bulbs (which are called corms) to try and grow them again, the next year. So, in the summers, I planted these corms in pots, and the plants are now there, almost, all set to bloom in the winter season. Today, I'll be sharing my gladiolus plants with you all.
Gladiolus, a great cut flower variety, mostly used in making flower bouquets, and flower decorations, are favourite among bouquet makers owing to the number of colours one can get them, and the tall stalks with large and attractive looking flowers, which again come in varying hues of different colours. Having tall stalks of flowers, gladiolus, much like Mexican tuberoses, are perfect flowers of bouquets.
Common Name: Gladiolus, Gladiola, Sword Lily
Botanical Name: Gladiolus Communis (name for the species)
Varieties: Gladiolus is known to have about 260 different varieties.
Colours: Shades of Red, ranging from Pink to dark Red, White, Cream, Yellow, Orange, hues of Blue, Purple.
Flowering Season: The gladiolus is an annual plant that blooms during winters. The corms are to be removed once the blooming has finished and replanted in spring.
Climate: Gladiolus likes to have full sunlight with moderate amount of water. It blooms in winters.
Soil: Well drained soil with some amount of vermi-compost/other organic manure thoroughly mixed with soil is best suited for gladiolus blooming.
Care: The flowers appear in long stalks with the earliest blooms happening at the bottom end and moving upwards. This means that a single stalk of gladiolus can bloom for anything between four to seven days. It is better to remove dead flowers and stalks once all the flowers have withered.
Storage: Gladiolus are capable of propagating by both - corms that develop under the soil and seeds. Seeds once ripened and dried on plant should be removed and corms once the plant finishes blooming and dies, should be dug out of the soil and both should be stored away from sunlight and moisture, normally at room temperatures, so that these could be used for the next season.

Metro Greens: Gladiolus
A newly germinated gladiolus corm
Metro Greens: Gladiolus
A couple of newly germinated gladiolus corms
Metro Greens: Gladiolus
Some new gladiolus saplings, growing up
Metro Greens: Gladiolus
Some new gladiolus saplings, growing up
Metro Greens: Gladiolus
A new gladiolus sapling, growing up
Metro Greens: Gladiolus
A growing gladiolus plant.
Metro Greens: Gladiolus
A couple of growing gladiolus plant.
Metro Greens: Gladiolus
A gladiolus plant.
Metro Greens: Gladiolus
A couple of gladiolus plants.
For now, I have got around five plants from corms I got from two plants I bought last year. The plants are doing pretty good, and I am hopeful to get some great gladiolus blooms this winter. I will be back with the update on my brinjal plants, which are bearing small brinjals, in the next post. Till then, keep trying and HAPPY GARDENING!

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Beautiful Gaillardias

It's awesome to imagine how nature manages bringing in so much of colours, that too with such a perfection. This becomes more evident from the plants and flowers which we see almost everywhere. Being a gardener, who loves flowery plants, I like bringing new flowering plants to my small gardening space. I have tried germinating seeds that I have sourced from the local plants nursery, plant/seed sellers to online gardening supplies stores, most of such experiments, miserably failed. I am not sure of the reason for these failures, but, then, most often the plants I managed to get from the seeds were the ones I myself got from actual plants. Gaillardias were among the first seeds I got from an online store, biocarve. The seeds failed to germinate, not just the gaillardia, but, all the four plants' seeds, including the vincas, ghazanias and asters. Maybe I didn't provide favourable conditions for the seeds to germinate, but, the jist is, I failed to grow plants from seeds, mostly.
This year again, along with the cosmos saplings I brought from my trusted plants seller, I got a bunch of plants, that I casually planted in different pots. Though I didn't know what plant saplings I picked up, and I didn't bother asking the person there. Most of the plants died in the extreme rainless summers we faced this year, just two managed to live on. Out of these two, there's only one plant that has grown enough and is blooming. Only after it started blooming that I came to know what plant it was. It turned out to be a gaillardia, the Sundance, also known as blanketflower or the Indian Blanketflower. This summer loving plant loves full sun and hot, dry conditions. Originally a native of Central United States, owing to its hardy nature, it managed to thrive throughout the world where it found favourable conditions. The variety, Gaillardia Pulchella, particularly a beautiful looking bloom with the flower being dark red and the florets of the blooms having yellow coloured edges which look contrasting, and thus attractive.

The beginning: A Gaillardia bud developing
The beginning: A Gaillardia bud developing.
The only plant which is blooming now is bearing these beautiful blooms, at a time when I have nothing but just some portulacas blooming, everyday, some hibiscus in the morning and the Jasminum molle a.k.a. Juhi blooming in the evenings, on some days. So, it's a good addition to the garden at such a time.

A beautiful gaillardia bloom, with florets with contrasting colours
A beautiful gaillardia bloom, with florets with contrasting colours
A dying bloom with withered away florets. This would go on to develop into seeds.
A dead bloom with withered away florets and seeds that have fallen off. This part can be removed now, letting the plant have more blooms.
Upcoming posts will have some updates from the garden with new additions like the new stem of the Harshringar - Nyctanthes arbor-tristis, a night blooming jasmine tree, that bears very attractive looking white and orange blooms which have quite a great fragrance, that brought from the nearby park, one fine morning, after my morning walk, with the intention of growing a new plant of my own from the stems. Though, this activity took place a week ago, the stem, which I divided in two parts, are still green, thus keeping me hopeful that I might succeed in  getting my own plants. More on that later, as I move forward in my gardening adventures, I'll keep you updated on this new member in my garden. I will be back with new contents in the coming weeks, till then, keep trying and HAPPY GARDENING!