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QUOTE OF THE MONTH :

Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.

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Sunday, 20 May 2018

Months in review

It was quite long ago when I last posted here. Things are going great in the garden, but not the same with me. For some reasons, I have been tempted to neglect the blog, which was once a passion for me. It has been months since I last posted here on this blog, although my garden still goes strong and great. I have been introducing new seeds and plants and am getting whole different set of results for the work I do there. There have been threats as well, to my plants, be it the lone neem plant that’s left from half a dozen that I originally planted in the garden. The strawberries, two of which finally made through and bore lots of fruits and I was able to get just one. There were lilies lined up to bloom and the threat strikes. Cow beans, roses, ridge gourds, neem, tomatoes, you name it and it all got affected, and I was furious to the extent that I once decided to eliminate the threats, however, I have always resisted the feeling to do so.
Strawberry plants with the first bloom of the season
The tomato plants
The threat, I am talking here about are the ubiquitous rodents, the Indian Palm Squirrel, or the three-striped squirrels. This species of the squirrel is present across India and are very common to human habitation and are very adaptive to the living conditions. I always liked them for their cuteness, their social behaviour, and their looks, till they seemed distant. However, since last year, I have started getting these rodents on my rooftop. Apparently one of the two outdoor units of Air Conditioners serve to them as an easy nesting place. The throughout the day cool surroundings within my plants, and the bird feed we place for pigeons also seem to be an attractive factor to these creatures.
A beautiful poinsettia, gifted by a colleague

Some of the first blooms of the strawberries.
Some of the first blooms of the strawberries.

Sometime back, I had two tomato plants that grew pretty well, and were bearing fruits. Every other day, I would see one or two tomatoes ripening, and as soon as the tomatoes turned yellow, I would see the fruits bitten partly by these nasty creatures, the very next day. I started picking up the fruits as soon as they turned yellow, and these creatures adapted, and god knows how they got to know that a particular fruit is about to turn yellow the next day, and I started getting half eaten tomatoes ripening, and the very next day, the ripened yellow half eaten tomato will vanish.


Anyway, getting back to the garden, as you might have read earlier, I transplanted one of my two mango plants to a bigger container, as the earthen pot it was in appeared quite small. Since, I have seen the plant grow, but lately, I am able to see the leaves drying almost half. This appears to be a root rot, for which, I have taken a couple of measures, in the hope that the new leaves will turn out good, and the plant will get a good opportunity to grow, and who knows, I might get to eat mangoes of my own plants, right on my rooftop.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Dahlia delights

Wishing you all, a very happy new year.



The season’s great and while the winter season has almost reached its end, it’s still not the complete end of it. This year, we’ve seen drastically less severe winter season, compared to some years back. This year around, due to some things that have changed from the previous years, I still haven’t got any winter seasonal plants in my rooftop garden. I got some iceplant seeds, which aren’t doing very good, the pink dahlia, which has stayed with me for almost three years now, somehow made its way to grow into a healthy plant, though, this was something that happened with a lot of luck. The chrysanthemums happened to bloom this year too, but, as I’ve been thinking to get some new varieties of chrysanthemums into the garden, since a couple of years, it still couldn’t be done this time too. I always liked the spider varieties of chrysanthemums, the numerous colours and varieties they come in, and have always wanted them in my garden. Hopefully, next year I’ll be able to get some into my rooftop garden.
In other stories, the pink dahlia plant, that narrowly escaped dying out while being stored in hibernation, grew to be a healthy and beautiful plant, and has had one of the most beautiful blooms of a very bright dark-pink bloom, in the first dahlia bud that bloomed this season. The plant still has a couple of buds, and the second one has started opening up for now. I am expecting a couple of more blooms by then the season will end.
Here’s a couple of dahlia blooms for you.


The georgeous pink dahlia bloom


The georgeous pink dahlia bloom


The georgeous pink dahlia bloom, with a new bud coming up soon

Chrysanthemums have bloomed and withered away, since the season has gone. I however have new blooms in the different roses, the white one's blooming beautifully these days, and it's bearing a lot of buds too that are about to bloom in the coming days. The marigolds too are blooming, and have given me colour at a time nothing was there, so is the lone cockscomb plant, the bloom of which has stayed just like that for more than two months now.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Weekly updates - October 31

Hey guys, in this part of the weekly updates, here's what happening in my rooftop garden.

A de-rooting of my 4 year old grape vine, which had been showing symptoms of stunted growth, because the plant had grown up to have a very dense root system, too much for the plastic container it was planted in. Even after my best efforts at giving it the nutrition it needed, there was not much happening in the right direction. A good enough reason for me to decide on whether I had to keep the plant with me (which obviously meant derooting), or discarding it for a new grape plant. I chose the former, sent on to remove it from the container, get rid of excess roots and then replant the grapevine in the same container, after changing the soil and adding some nutrition, compost, insecticides and such. Two days later, I got the indication that the operation had gone gravely wrong when all the leaves of my beloved grapevine dried up. Not really sure if this is the actual case, or the plant is in shock, after which, there's a possibility of having it bounce back to life. The good thing is, we had already removed and planted a small sapling from the grapevine, before proceeding with this operation, to ensure that we had the plant with us, just in case something goes wrong. This plant as of now looks good, though, has its leaves turning yellow and falling down, however, the plant is still green. If in the end I see that the main grapevine isn't responding, or is actually dead, I'll have to replace it with this new plant.

In other news from the garden, I've finally done a transplant of the two year pomegranate plant, which has been successful and the pomegranate plant is doing well in the bigger plastic container, than it was doing in the small earthen pot, it was born in. I'm still waiting to get a fruit this year, even though since end of August, the plant has seen two separate batches of flowering, but no fruits as yet.

My chilli plants which were having all blooms but no fruits for around two months now, have finally started bearing fruits, loads of them, after I decided to bring in some insecticides in my last visit to the plants nursery. The insecticide worked wonders, got the plants rid of aphids, and as red ants which came in because of these aphids. Twice a week I have to spray it on the plants as the aphids come back, and so do the ants, and which, I now know is negatively affecting the productivity of my plants. I'll just keep things in check for the time being, and expect a good harvest from the chilli plants.

Sometime back, disaster struck the garden, when a couple of squirrels started damaging my plants. I am not really sure what caused them to move down to my plants and start damaging them, when for these many years, they've been so calmly visiting the rooftop for grains and water we've been putting for squirrels and birds, pigeons and sparrows. A visit to the internet didn't help much. However an SOS call in one of the many gardening groups on Facebook got me some leads. One of the facebookers suggested me to use spare CD's and hang them in the affected places, which will probably ward off the squirrels. I tried this the very day, and I think I've hit success. The plants are these days seeing less squirrel attacks, though, I am still not sure if this is actually sorted out.

The coming posts will see individual updates on the pointers I've shared in this version of weekly updates. Keep gardening!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Blooms this week - Harshringar

This time, here I am with some freshest pictures from one of the plants that has bloomed for the first time. This is the harshringar, also known as parijat or parijaat. Nyctanthes arbor-tristis is a plant that owing to it's beautiful blooms, has attained an almost divine status, especially in Hinduism and Jainism. Parijat, in Hindu mythology and scriptures, is a heavenly tree from the abode of Lord Vishnu (Vaikuntha), which in the ancient scriptures, is said to possess powers to impart everlasting youth. Though, there is no scientific evidence to show that this plant possesses any such qualities, the plant is still called parijat and and thus has a divine status.

Owing to the beautiful and unique flowers in white and orange, and having an immensely strong fragrance, the flowers are quite beautiful. The flowers bloom late in the evening, in bunches, spreads its fragrance throughout the night, and as the day comes up, all the flowers fall down on the ground. As for my plants, I tried growing them from cuttings I brought in from a nearby park, and tried planting them for three years straight, and finally succeeded with the cuttings in the third year. This year, it's the second year, and I am quite lucky to have two of the stems growing pretty well. These days, both the plants have lots of flower buds which are blooming and spreading fragrance.


I’ll leave you guys to enjoy the blooms, till I get some stuff done for the upcoming next post for the transplantation of my pomegranate plant I carried out in the last week, and the new plants, I introduced in the garden this week.