counter for blogger


Gardens are not made by singing "Oh, how beautiful," and sitting in the shade. - Rudyard Kipling

Header Slider

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Journey begins

The Journey begins.......

Being brought up in a lower middle class family in India, my father served in the Indian Army. His tenure in the Indian Army, probably inculcated in me, the love for nature, the flora and fauna, and the in colours of nature, possibly, because, of the vast expanses of free lands available in and around the Married Accommodation (as they are called in the armed forces) provided to the married soldiers and officers for their families, in the Army Cantonments, which have been used for ages for activities like kitchen gardens and the well decorated surroundings in and around the quarters, recreational facilities like parks and swimming pools, dedicated shopping arcades, and even our schools, that were run by the Indian Army, probably had a long lasting impact on the mind of a child, who, when started to understand things, saw the beauty of nature, green trees turning yellow and brown, then going bald, and then getting decorated with new light green tender leaves, and then a sudden burst of colours getting over and above the green leaves in the spring season. I, belonging to a notorious category of children, used to climb huge trees like, mulberry or shehtoot, the Indian plum or ber, Jamun (Syzygium cumini), of which, clusters of trees used to run through on both sides of roads in the cantonment areas.

I was particularly much interested in the trees and flowers, and had been smuggling off plants from here and there (what more can you expect from a child who, wants to have a flower, he sees somewhere bloom, to bloom in his garden also). My love for flowers increased day by day. Everywhere, we had an opportunity to build a kitchen garden adjoining out quarter, there used to be a section with flowering plants, as I used to smuggle plants, collect seeds from dried out flowers and used to sprinkle those in that section in my garden. And whenever a plant used to flower, I used to get a feeling, I even now, can't describe in words. I used to get particularly interested in roses, and during summers, there used to be three colors of portulaca grandiflora in my garden (the dark pink one, the white one and the mixed one that has a mixture of dark pink and white in the petals) portulacas is also commonly known as moss rose or the 10 'o clock flower, which too used to make way into my garden through smuggling. Since, I learnt that even if I get a stem, I can get a whole plant, I used to pluck out a stem from wherever and whenever I used to get it, and that's it.

My father's tenure got over in the Army and he got retired from the Army, and then the spacious quarters and adjoining spaces for kitchen garden also went missing. For the purpose of completing my graduation and that of my younger brother, we moved to Delhi, a large metropolitan city, the capital of India. We moved into a small rented accommodation, where, I learnt that the land here is so precious that, people used to encroach even on lands next to huge drains, even ignoring the bad smell. I spent the next five years with my parents in that rented flat, carrying on my studies, and during that time, all we had was a tulsi plant, which my mother used to worship. While leaving the last army accommodation, we carried with us, bulbs of rajnigandha (Mexican Tuberose) flower , which, due to lack of space and land, was given to my aunt (my father's cousin sister), which she put up in a large pot on her roof. Thanks to her, when we got our own small house, I again got a few bulbs from that pot, and now having two pots full of rajnigandha plants.

When we moved into our own home a year back (2011), here in Delhi only, I was now mostly free to plant up whatever plants and flowers I wanted, with the only restriction that, I had to put it all up in pots on my roof. At least I had an opportunity to grow flowers. The first was the Rajnigandha bulbs, that I collected again from my aunt's home, then followed a red rose, an orange rose, red hibiscus (hibiscus rosa sinensis), night blooming jasmine (Cestrum Nocturnum) for it's superb smell, and an arabian jasmine (aka chameli). Then I got, Chrysanthymums, Crepe Jasmine (two varieties), four more colours of roses, spider lily, ghazanias, Adenium Obesium (desert rose), and a Calamondin orange. I wanted to get some creepers, searched for the cypress vine, but couldn't get it, so, got myself a rangoon creeper, locally known as madhu malti, and then got a grape vine. Since then, I have been on the hunt for plants/seeds. While one of my trips to Lucknow, for official purposes, I purchased a few plants (a bunch of marigolds), two plants of ixora, two plants of chrysanthemums, and the night blooming jasmine. After that I did something, which my colleagues still consider one of my extremes in online shopping, - purchased a few seed packets (including one each of venedium, California poppy, gallardia, sunflower, ghazania, vinca) from biocarve, none of which, unfortunately, ever became a plant. On one of my official trips to Dehradun, I got seeds of Snowdon Alplily (the rain lily), which still hasn't reached a flowering stage.

I've been visiting various plant nurseries and points selling plants in search for plants and supplies like vermi compost, insecticides to remove some hardy insects like the mealybugs and aphids (greenflies) which have been damaging my plants particularly the chrysanthemums and the hibiscus.

Still, the journey carries on...... and so does the search......

I particularly like clicking photographs of my plants, flowers with my Cellphone camera, and for quite some time, have been sharing some of those. Will be sharing some of those here too...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hello! Thanks for your comments! Be sure to check out again for updates and new content.