Sunday, July 26, 2009

Blooms From The Vegetable Garden

The flower of the Turmeric plant/Curcuma longa. This was a stray
plant in the front yard growing next to a rosebush and amaryllis.
There are still a lot of photos of blooms and garden wildlife from
my recent trip to Haflong. As for my own garden, all activity has
come to a stop for the time being.

We're extending the house--the front portion--so you can imagine
the how messy the whole area is. Not very many blooms at the
moment but I'm glad to be able to show you these from my parents'

There are turmeric clumps in several areas of the garden but no
blooms. A must in our cuisine, we always had home-grown turmeric.
We grew up with the idea that the packed ones were definitely

A kind of curcuma whose exact name I do not know. The blooms
attract a lot of bees. The fruit resembles the banana flower,
a miniature replica of the banana flower, I should say.

Here's what the clump looks like. The tender stems are edible too.

The white bloom of the Chameleon plant on the herb patch.

The yellow blooms of the Bitter gourd. Despite the bitter taste
it's a popular vegetable.

Guess who was keeping an eye on me as I went about taking pictures?!

These pretty, delicate-looking blooms, belong to the plant pictured
below. The tender leaves are generally steamed. In alternative
medicine, for people with high blood pressure, these leaves are

I noticed a spectacular swallowtail in black and flashes of blue
on its wings regularly feeding on these blooms. I've brought a
small plant along with me. I hope I can attract the same butterfly
when the blooms appear!


Weeping Sore said...

Your tumeric is lovely! I've managed to keep a tiny plant alive into its second year, but it is clearly not too happy to be growing in such an arid place. Your flowers encourage me to try to nurture mine so I'll someday get fruit too. Meanwhile, I have to purchase my spice from local sources of Mediterranean foods.

Anonymous said...

What fascinating plants/herbs you showcased today Kanak. They are unique to me. I wish you much success with the ones you took home with you. Hope you week is a good one.
I sympathize with the building going on in front of your home. That's what we've been doing since last Dec. - we had to move a lot of plants and now, of course, it is very bare!

Gail said...

Wonder shots!

Gail said...

Wonderful shots and I love your header.

tina said...

I just couldn't imagine extending the house. I am in the process of painting just one room and that is a disaster so I don't envy you at all. Your garden looks none the worse for the wear.

Wendy said...

Your turmeric flowers are sooooo pretty! And exotic looking. Mind you, everything from your part of the world looks exotic to me! LOL!

Loved that delicate-looking plant too. It's always nice to come here and see lots of interesting things I don't see at home.

Good luck with the renovations. I hate the mess, but love the finished product.

My Mother's Garden said...

Lovely blooms...I love the frilly, delicate look of the white flower that is used in alternative medicine. Good luck with your renovation.

Karen said...

Oh, sorry your garden is taking a beating! Well, you will just show us more pics of your travels and sightings of beautiful flowers and wildlife as you go about your life elsewhere. Wow, I've never seen a turmeric plant! I wonder if I could grow one indoors? I just got some roots from the store but am not sure what to do with them fresh. Any recipes you care to post? :)

easygardener said...

It is interesting to see a real live Turmeric plant. I use the powder in spice mixes but have only used the fresh root a couple of times.
Good luck with the house extension. I expect you will be very pleased to have it completed.

Stephanie said...

Kanak, now I know why many garden has those leaves/shrub... it is for the tumeric! The white flower is beautiful and 'glowing'. For me, I just keep some tumeric powder in my kitchen in case I need some for cooking. The plant in the last picture is wonderful... don't forget to post photos of the flowers later when the plant blooms yeah ;-D Good choice! Happy Monday!

NatureStop said...

Hi Kanak,seeing the turmeric plants I was reminded of Dad's garden.This time when am home will ceck out his garden closely.There will be lots to learn:)The Bitter gourd flowers look cool.I love the lighting in the third shot.

Kanak Hagjer said...

Hi WS, good luck with your plant. I gather (from your comment) that you use eastern spices. I hope the blooms do not take too long to appear.

Mildred, I've shifted many pots to the terrace. I got a very easy-to-assemble terrace garden:) Glad you liked the plant photos.

Hi Gail, thank you so much! Loved that you stopped by.

Tina, this will take some time. I don't think I'll be adding more plants at the moment. I'll have to wait till the winter planting time.

Wendy, I hope the finished product looks good! I'm so happy to read what you've written. Photos from my part of the world look WILD!!! But I feel the same visiting blogs from across the oceans...glad to see/read about stuff I may never really get to see! Thanks.

Karrita, thanks! That plant has a look-alike. Well, almost. Except that the blooms are red. A striking red! But that's not edible.

Hi Karen, thanks. Fresh turmeric can be grated and used for cooking. Just like fresh ginger. I don't know how often you cook Indian food but chicken curry would be a start:) Using fresh turmeric, I mean. There's more colour in the dried/powdered varieties.

Easygardener, it's so interesting to read what everyone, including you, has to say about turmeric. As for me I keep little containers of dried herbs from your part of the world. What isn't locally grown is, after all, exotic!

Steph! I'll surely do that! I use the powdered form. Fresh isn't bad but all that care one has to take for the stains!!! Happy Monday!

Ruby, thanks. I'm sure you'll find lots of interesting stuff in Uncle's garden. Chandana often mentions the fresh fruit for all her delicious pickles! And the coconuts, betel nuts, neem....

Ancel said...

Hi Kanak,

wonderful photos! We have plenty of turmeric growing on the farm, but I've never seen it flower, it's very pretty. The large one looks like galangal, but that's a ginger, not turmeric. I didn't even know there were different varieties of turmeric. I wonder what your edible leaf is?

Kanak Hagjer said...

Hi Ancel, thanks! I just found out the name of the plant with the edible leaf. It's Clerodendron colebrookianum. Tender leaves are steamed and the taste is good.

I hope all the turmeric in your farm bloom together. My mother often talks about turmeric flowers in the moonlight. What a sight that must be!