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

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Wednesday, September 15, 2021

And then, there were five!

It's been quite some time since I posted in here. Life changed, over the past few years, and things took control of me and my time, so, even though I still have the same amount of passion I used to have all those years back - for gardening, the time to share updates here, is somehow lacking! But then, I have kept the blog up and running, without any changes whatsoever, to anything that set us apart, from the others, so that I could have a place, if I ever chose to come back and share my love for gardening with other fellow gardeners. Here I am, still, doing the thing I do best - gardening on my third-floor rooftop, in the small space, in containers, trying to make the most of whatever I have.As I already said, my passion and love for gardening never took the back seat, even though, my blogging did. Here I am, trying to revive my gardening blog, to share updates about where my rooftop gardening journey has lead me, in all these years.

The past year and a half has been rough on almost all of us, and I really do hope I find you and all of your well in your places. For anyone, with whom things didn't go that well, I hope things work out good soon. A few months from now - we, here in India, faced one of the biggest challenges thrown at us by this pandemic. Things looked bleak, and with news of the wracked system, apathy of the establishment, sympathy from fellow humans, and above all, the helplessness of all of us as an individual, and collectively as a society, pouring in from almost everywhere, for me, it used to become extremely hard, and even while writing this, my fingers are trembling at the thought of it. Some days, it would particularly become hard to even sleep at night, let alone, concentrate on work (the one, I do for a living) during the day, when we all were locked up in our homes, for the sake of our lives, and yet, someone or the other would come up requesting for a leave for themselves, or their family members, someone else would request help in locating medicines, beds, oxygen cylinders, oxygen supplies, ambulances, and anything and everything we took so casually.
Particularly on these hard days, during day, I would move up to my rooftop garden, to try and find some solace in my plants, which, I know won't talk back to me, but, would really help calm down the waves of thoughts going on in my head. My plants did a lot to get me over it. It was a really depressing situation.

With the last a year and a half, we have restricted our movements outside, so there were hardly any new members in my rooftop garden. With the pandemic eased out these days, I was craving to get in some new plants, and around this time, what better than adding some exotic winter flowers in my garden for quite some time now. The last winter's exercise went haywire and resulted in a total loss of a bunch of tulip bulbs I had ordered online, from a famous plant supplier stores, that did break me up quite a lot. Besides being costly, I wasn't even able to see even a single flower, out of a bunch of five tulip bulbs I had bought for 450, worst of all, all my efforts to save the bulbs failed, as the last of the bulbs rot out in the moist coco-peat I stored them in.

This time around, since winter is almost round the corner, I again got some new members. There's a new Yellow Allamanda creeper that I got a couple of months back, and another bleeding hearts plant, that I got roughly a week back, and its appears to have settled down well in the new home. Just yesterday, I received a package I ordered containing some asiatic lily bulbs, gladiolus bulbs, freesias, and a couple of seeds including cypress vine, that I have been trying to get my hands on for a really long time, just that I couldn't get the red and white ones, but was lucky enough to get the pink one, at the least, and a couple of other seeds, that I plan to sow soon as this is one of the perfect seasons to get in new plants and sow new seeds, as there is neither too much heat or cold, and there are still frequent rains in this part of the country these days, which make it much favourable for the plants to survive the initial replanting shock, and for seeds to germinate well.

Growing Medium

As of today, I have planted the asiatic lily and gladiolus bulbs, the lilies came in well germinated, so luckily it won't really take too long to grow into green plants, which I can't wait to share with you all. The first step was to prepare the growing medium. The soil I have with me is primarily clayey soil that holds water for a good amount of time, and with most of my earthen pots ageing, I have not been pruning their roots too often, or trying to remove old soil, and replace it with new one, as I could end up with a lot of damaged pots to replace. The growing medium mixture I made was a mixture of around 35-35-30 (35 parts of coco-peat, 35 parts of soil, and 30 parts of vermi-compost, mixed well together, after wetting the powdered coco-peat with water.) For now, I will leave you with the pictures of bulbs I have planted today.

Asiatic lily bulbs
Asiatic lily bulbs

Asiatic Lily bulbs sown

All the five gladiolus bulbs sown together

I'm eagerly waiting for all the bulbs to grow and start blooming, which should start happening in the coming couple of months. I'm too excited for that to happen, as my previous experience with the asiatic lilies and gladiolus has been great. You can check out my earlier posts from around four years back on the Asiatic Lilies here and here and gladiolus that featured a number of times, in 2014, 2015, and 2017 - here, herehere and here. I know, it's been a really long time since I posted anything here, but, in the coming weeks, I'll try to be regular, as I try to revive this blog, and share the updates on a regular basis, on what's happening back here, in my garden. I have got a lot to share with you all!

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