Saturday, March 29, 2008

And here it is, bright and beautiful!

My ornamental pineapple about to bloom

Friday, March 28, 2008

Kitchen garden produce!

Birds and berries

The last picture that I posted was of the Indian
blackberry tree in my garden. In this part of
the world, the mango and this berry ( known
as jamun) bloom in early March giving us the
first taste of Spring. All the yellow leaves will
fall off leaving the entire tree in resplendent
green. And enough food for the soil as they
turn to mulch. Oh, the wonders of recycling in
the garden!
When the fruit matures and ripens, the birds
come. Just like the butterflies and the bees
that flutter or flit about, the birds have a field
day up on the higher reaches of the tree.
There's something so delightful about our fea-
thered friends coming to feed in my compound.
Although I cannot identify every species, the
pleasure that I get watching them from the
veranda is in itself, wonderful. 

Season of buds...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Monday, March 24, 2008

Wind blown

A capricious wind ruled the roost the other day.
It first started with the sounds--of the frenzied
shaking of the coconut and betel nut trees; an
unhinged window banging against the wall, al-
most shattering the pane; the dull thud of a
certain heavy something f.a.l.l.i.n.g...............
And then a little pile of dry leaves landing
with a raspy swish near my feet. Then, as
suddenly as it had come, it was gone. Silence.
What wind? Wasn't it another sunny March
morning? New leaves, buds, birdsong --the
almost tangible feel of Spring.
After the dust was swept, it started again,
fiercer this time.Sand and dust blew every
which way creating a haze outside.
My chilli plants were bent backward and for-
ward against the onslaught. I quickly cut some
bamboo and drove the sticks into the ground
forming a support for the plants. Then I tied
plant and bamboo with bits of  string. Ah,
respite from Nature's fury. I left them holding
their heads high after the blow!
And talking about bamboo,I was pleasantly
surprised to see several blogs dedicated to
the plant. I thought I was the only one raving
about the virtues of the fastest growing plant!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Nursery called Norling

Some years ago, in the month of July, I went on a
family trip to Bomdila. It's a beautiful place in the
state of Arunachal Pradesh and we were blessed
with ideal weather. Despite the time of the year,
 there was no rain wreaking havoc on narrow
hill roads. Getting away from the heat of the plains
was great. We drove by ponds where water lilies
vied for blooming space. When the ascent started,
wild, pink begonias ran riot spilling over the road
banks. As we went higher, my young sons whooped
in delight as turbulent streams tumbled down the
steep mountainside. The sprays caught the light
and little sunbows danced in front of our eyes.
On the narrow roads, we crossed many vehicles
stuffed to the gills with tourists. Down below, the
roaring ribbon of white water rushed on its end-
less journey.
The mountains, the spectacular mountains evoke
a deep sense of reverence. On the peaks, the
Buddhist prayer flags fluttered gaily.
In July, Bomdila was a floral delight. Most homes
had begonias and fuschias growing in earthen pots,
buckets, oil and food containers. Nasturtiums
spilled out of straight and straggly fences--their
bright orange hues adding a splash of colour to the
roadside. Wild pansies tumbled out of gates and
wire fencing!
Near our hotel I noticed a signboard with Norling 
Nursery written on it and an arrow pointed towards
its direction. The next morning, we made our way
to Norling crossing a less inhabited part of Bomdila.
We also passed a little spring, a common feature of
hilly or mountainous terrain.
Norling was on top of a hill with a magnificent view
of the valley and another range of mountains beyond.
It was like entering a smaller version of Eden where
every imaginable hue burst out of containers. While
the lady showed us around, her husband made two
steaming cups of tea for us. Sitting there, surrounded
by exotic blooms, and the whisper of the wind in our
ears, the glint of the sun in the river below, and again,
the prayer flags in the was beautiful. The
conversation veered towards Tibet, they spoke about
fleeing their homeland and the atrocities inflicted on
their people. Our host even lent us the autobiography
of the Dalai Lama. He said we could leave it with the
receptionist and that he would collect it later. We
thanked our gracious hosts, paid for the plants we'd
selected and left. I've visited several nurseries but
this is one that I shall cherish for a long time.
In the evening, when I mentioned Norling at one of
the shops,the shop-owner asked me when I would
be leaving. When I told her the time, she asked me
to pick up a begonia plant before leaving. The next
morning, I walked down to the market and she
 handed me a lovely plant and absolutely refused to
accept any money!
Before I went to Bomdila, the image in my mind was
of red apples and snow. This was due to two girls from 
my school who'd earlier studied there and had often
mentioned these. But now, apart from the images of 
 red apples and snow, I've added some more endearing
 images of my own.

Friday, March 21, 2008


When the weeding is sporadic the weeds proliferate,
especially in this weather. These sudden showers
 work like potent potion for any kind of plant! When
I saw the buds I didn't have the heart to uproot a
 weed which looked this pretty. The actual plant
 this pot was intended for, lies somewhere in the middle,
dwarfed by this lushness!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Brinjal blossom

The most common vegetables have beautiful blooms.
I couldn't get a clearer picture of this bloom in my
backyard. Mauve of the egg-plant and the bright yellow
(not in picture) of the bitter gourd creeper provide colour
in my potted kitchen garden.

The soil of life!

Deep in the depths of my soul lies dark, rich alluvial soil. Borne by the river of fertility it promises
abundance, bounty! And when you hold it in your hands and let it run between your fingers you can actually feel the nascent pulse of life! I can imagine the tender green of the shoot sprouting...

My mother used to say that housework is like going around in circles. You end up doing the same thing over and over again.But  nurturing a garden gives one a sense of satisfaction...
it's soul food. This blog is about my plants and surroundings and maybe 
about other spots as well.