Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas At Erica's

Every year we spend Christmas Eve with Erica and Dinker.
Last evening was wonderful...the house was full of Christmas
cheer. The decorations were beautiful, and the food yummy!
The best part was meeting so many friends all at the same
time with carols playing in the background...

Before leaving for Erica's, I spoke on the phone with Sunita
of The Urban Gardener. This was the first time talking to
another blogger. And a Blotanist as well! The whole conver-
sation deserves a separate post! So I'll keep it for later.

I'm posting some of the photos taken at Erica's. I'll be
visiting my sister in south India and will be out of
blogosphere for 10 days. So replying to any comment will
be after I get back.

I wish you all........ A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Erica is answering some of the several messages that started
coming in. Vikram is in the foreground.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

What's Blooming Now?

The red bleeding heart has turned out to be a profuse
bloomer. And she's been at it for more than a month!
Quite the bloom that anyone would like to see first
thing in the mornings!

The fittonia is flourishing in partial shade and is also
blooming. The blooms are yellow and really tiny.

When I bought this azalea from Shillong in April, I prayed
and prayed that it would survive the heat of Guwahati. It
has somehow not only lived to tell the tale but is in bloom!
And there are two more buds too!


These two photos of the Rangoon Creeper blooms were taken in
summer. Looking back to this year's blooms, there were many
that brought me much joy. But this one came back from a brush
with death...obvious Guwahati reasons are rain, and more rain
followed by flooding. I simply love the way it changes colour.

The blooms are white when they first appear. Then they turn
to a light shade of pink. When this change takes place dark
pink stripes form at the back. Finally the whole flower turns
a dark pink before it withers and fades away. These were shot
in the kitchen. My earlier post on the same flower has photos
taken outside.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Luna's Chrysanthemums

One of my friends, Luna, has a wonderful collection of
potted plants. Her surroundings come alive in winter when
the flowers of the season get all ready to show off!:)

I went to check out her potted area today and here's
what I photographed . There were other blooms too,
mainly marigolds, but the mums were what I fell for!

A group photo of the usual suspects...Front row--(from left)
Indrani,me with my eyes closed, Ruby, Chandana
Second row--(from left) Lisa and Luna. This was taken on
Lisa's birthday at her place.

Indrani often comments on my posts. Some of you must've
come across her name in the 'comments' section.

While at Luna's, I couldn't resist taking a photo of her
informal sitting area. It's got a very welcoming look with
cane furniture and potted plants. A colourful garden umbrella
from outside is reflected in the mirror.

As for my mums in my mixed flower bed, they're yet to bloom

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ah, Shillong!

104 kms away from Guwahati lies Shillong, the capital of
the state of Meghalaya. The drive to this beautiful place
is scenic. There are rows and rows of terraced pineapple
cultivation before the landscape changes into forests of
pine. With a climate that's in the mid-twenties Celsius
in summer and winters between 4 to 8 degrees it is unlike
the heat and the dust that is generally associated with

And that goes for so many other hill towns and cities
situated in altitudes ranging from 3000ft above sea
level to 8000ft. Where the summers are kinder and milder
and many flowers that thrive well in temperate zones
flourish in these cooler places. In spring the meadows
are full of wild daisies...

Just as summers mean plums and peaches, winters are for
oranges galore. The rest of my family was there this week-
end for a rock concert.The American bands 'White Lions' and
'Firehouse' were in Shillong and the response was great!
My sons clicked several pictures from the car. Big Daddy
was at the wheel manoeuvering the steep inclines. Some more
photos can be viewed at my my other blog yaoglai

Pine trees on the banks of Barapani, also known as Umiam Lake.
This is a popular tourist destination.

Oranges and pointsettias are so characteristic of cooler climes.

A view of the hotel's potted area. Some flowers blooming were
carnations and verbenas.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Why Do I Garden?

(Please click on the photo for a better view of my
signature scrawl)

This entry is in response to the Blotanical competition--
"Why do you garden?" If you're new here and want to know
more about Blotanical just click on the link. Stuart
Robinson, the founder of this wonderful gardening site,
had asked Blotanists to send in entries not exceeding
160 characters. The last date is 15 December. Do look
around...Blotanical is a great place for gardeners--
it doesn't matter whether you've just been initiated
into gardening or you're a seasoned gardener!
Have a great Sunday!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bloom time!

How many pictures can you take of the same kind of blooms?
That's what I've been asking myself every time I go click-
click! This vibrant touch of colour is enough to set my
heart a-flutter!
This variety of Bromeliad is the Billbergia saundersii. Named
after the Swedish botanist Gustaf Johan Billberg, the plant
grows upright in a rosette of five to seven leaves. The centre
of the plant is like a vase and this should always hold water.
The vase also catches falling debris that decays and acts as
a food supply.

It needs little care but during the hot summer months the leaves
look dull. I feel that the markings are more pronounced when it's
about to bloom.

Early morning dew on the bromeliad looks like sugar frosting.

The largest number of Billbergia saundersii is found in Brazil
but they also grow in Mexico through tropical America.

For a plant that does not need much care, the pink bracts and the
inflorescence are eye-catching. Clearly, even if I don't post
on this again, I'll still be clicking away till their dying day!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Spider Connection

Who doesn't love/grow the spider plant? Easy to care for
and to propagate, this is a staple in most gardens and
homes. Chlorophytum comosum is also known as the ribbon
plant or airplane.

This guy has come to check out my depleting stock of ash gourd
and pumpkin!!

My latest addition to my plant collection is the spider flower
or Cleome aculeata. You can make out from this slightly blurry
photo that the blooms are very showy. Cleome, native to south
America, likes a well-drained, fertile soil. Thrives in sunny
areas and partial shade. Propagation is by seed. Googling also
came up with this gem of information-- it can be invasive too!
The sight of these blooms at the nursery made my heart beat
faster! 'Invasive' sounds like the loveliest word ever!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Homeward Bound

Yesterday's post was about my visit to Daffodil nursery. On the
way back we stopped at an eatery located next to a paddy field.
If it's the north-east of India, bamboo rules. The shape of this
roof caught my eye.

What bliss! From our table, this was the view! Fields of rice and
the hills in the back-ground. There were flocks of small birds
merrily pecking at all that grain. They really need a scarecrow
around here!

Drop dead gorgeous marigold to usher in diners!

While waiting for the food to arrive I went around the vicinity.
This bee was hovering on a bare frangipani stump. Look at the touch
of blue!

A little stream gurgled along the periphery of the eatery. On the
bank, wild flowers bloomed.

A swallowtail feeds on wild lantana.

The outskirts of the city. The day was hazy and clear in
turns. And as the sun played hide and seek and the clouds
were all set for a spectacular afternoon show...I was glad
we'd made this trip!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Visit To Daffodil Nursery

One of the best nurseries in this region is Daffodil nursery.
I first started visiting this place in the mid 90s when it
was a place that looked like it had all the makings of
success. Next to a busy highway connecting several states,
and plenty of space, it's a bustling place with many
customers. Many smaller nurseries depend on Daffodil
for huge supplies; no wonder they advertise themselves
as suppliers of all things horticultural.

We set off in the morning. It's a beautifully warm day. My
brother is sporting enough to drive over 40 kms to Daffodil.
As we leave the city behind, the road goes uphill and in the
distance the tree-covered hills look so green.

Thunderclouds loom large over this range of blue hills and
for a few seconds, with the sun behind the thick curtain, it
feels like late afternoon. How peaceful the whole scene looks!

The sight of azaleas greet us as we reach...

Wide open spaces, rows and rows of plants! I'm so glad I've
come here!

This gazebo-like structure near the entrance is the cash-

There was so much to drink in...


admire....and then select...

One of the rough and ready contraptions used to cart plants
to waiting cars.

This boot can only hold so much!!