Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Gifts From The Garden

The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration
of the five senses
.~ Hanna Rion

Everytime I'm at my parents' garden, I marvel at the tenacity
of the plants. Willing to hold on, despite not getting the care
they've been used to, all these years. When you shower love on
your garden for years there's so much that it gives back. It's
as if the months of neglect, the luxuriant growth of weeds, the
sporadic cleaning and watering does not stand in the way of
'giving back' in much the same way as unconditional love does!

My mother's hurried sowing of chillies one afternoon in April
is now ready for several pickings. This purple variety is a
favourite of chilli lovers in this region. The purple is so deep
that the chillies look almost black.

Look who's keeping me company as I click away? In the background
you can see the chillies facing downwards. But in the next photo
they're all upright!

The green ones are not wholly green. Half of the fruit is black!

The green/black chillies have white blooms. But a closer look
reveals a careless brushstroke of purple at the back.

These pink guavas taste best when the pulp is scooped out
with a spoon. The skin isn't soft (unlike most guavas) and
the green skin is of a dark shade.

The blooms of an edible variety of Clerodendron--C. colebrookianum.
Attractive to pollinators it has a strong smell. In traditional
medicine, the leaves of this plant are used to bring down high
blood pressure.

Many of the plants are in full bloom.

Caught this squirrel early in the morning. Usually an army descends
to raid the guava trees.

A skipper on a ginger leaf.

The ginger patch. We love to garnish our meat dishes with
fresh ginger leaves.

A ginger cone ready to bloom. The recent rains are the cause of
that mud-splattered look!


The Galloping Gardener said...

Lovely pictures which made me feel I was there in the garden with you. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Kanak, I love the quote at the beginning of your post. You have shared some unusual plants to me today and they each are so pretty. I cannot imagine that you are bothered with squirrels too!!! I think I may have seen some of the peppers you mention at our international farmer's market. They are very pretty. Thank you for sharing such beauty with us today.

Weeping Sore said...

I love the way you seem to enjoy plants, critters and food in equal measure. Your Mom's purple chiles look yummy.

Susie said...

Hey Kanak, are those peppers hot? Love that purple color.

I don't believe I have ever seen a pink guava before. That fruit is such a yummy color. Can't blame the squirrels for attacking the trees.

Racquel said...

Those peppers are an interesting color, I bet their spicy too huh? That Guava looks like a yummy treat on a hot day. :)

Stephanie said...

Kanak, I saw those purple chilly plants being sold here. They are small and planted in small pots. I thought it was just an ornamental plant but now I know I was wrong. Good that you wrote this here. Enjoy the chillies :-)

Urban Green said...

Hi Kanak, I love those pink guavas. Reminds me of my childhood...You dont find them around anymore...

lotusleaf said...

An edible clerodendron!Medicinal too. I have not seen it in these parts.

tina said...

You are so right about that garden giving back after all of those years of love. Those chilis look most happy and I love the pink of the guava. Have a great visit.

Carol said...

There does seem to be such a balance between all the senses within your Mom's garden... the tastes... be it hot chillies or sweet guavas... the beauty of the fruit, flowers and leaves and visiting insects you always capture so well... one can imagine the fragrance, feel and exotic sounds of the lush garden too. Always a joy to visit you!

walk2write said...

Kanak, your post is a wonderful harvest of memories and tender thoughts. Thanks for sharing the bounty with us.

Kanak Hagjer said...

Hi Charlotte! So glad you stopped by!

Mildred, there are so many beautiful quotes that at times it's difficult to choose!! glad you liked it. The international farmers' market sounds like a wonderful place.

WS, thank you so much! For a garden blogger going to the garden to get fresh herbs takes longer because you notice an insect and out comes the camera. But something ripe/ripening catches your eye...there are a zillion things to delight in, marvel at... Don't we love it all!!

Susie, they are hot but just enough for adding that punch to a dish. There's only one tree which bears the pink guavas. The others are all creamy white. The squirrels don't like to miss out both:)

Racquel, the colour of the guavas remind me of water melons. You're right about the hot day treat. And yes, the peppers are hot but not unbearably so.

Steph, I made it a point to use these ones only when I was there. Go ahead and try these purple ones. I think you'll like the taste!

Urban Green, you're right. Even in the markets you don't come across them. I had them (fresh off the tree) after years. August is not a time for visits unless the circumstances are unavoidable.

Padma, they grow wild here. In Assamese it's called "Nephaphu". If you'd like to know more you could check out this site--
The blooms attract a lot of butterflies.

Thanks Tina. Loved to read your comment. I didn't just take photos. I weeded that patch too!!

Carol, love the way you put your words..A balance between all the senses sounds so right! Thank you. and so glad to read your words...

W2W, thank you so much! Sharing has been so much fun.

Sunita said...

Are those chillies very spicy? They must look very eye-catching used in a dish!
We use a lot of ginger too but I dont think we use much of the leaves ... that's new to me!
I love the pink guavas too. There's something so appealing about its colour combination ... apart from its taste, of course! ;)

Kanak Hagjer said...

Sunita, oh they are spicy enough! But since I'm used to having the Bhut jolokia, any other chilli tastes a little bland. You'll love it! It does pack quite a punch. And yes, used in a dish, they stand out!

We have a particular chicken curry thickened with rice flour. Ginger leaf is the traditional garnish. Coriander doesn't taste the same here:)

Anonymous said...


Your pics so much remind me of my college days that I spent in Jorhat. Some very lovely pics and equally lovely way you describe and connect to the nature.

Kanak Hagjer said...

Hi Raj, thank you for stopping by. Will be at yours soon.

Terra said...

The purple black chilis are impressive; I haven't seen any before and I do grow chilis like jalapenos.
Are the purple ones very hot?
Also, a perhaps foolish question, but when you mention "garnish with ginger leaves", do you eat the leaves?
Don't laugh!