Dec 31, 2008

Greeny and Bloomy 2008

So, the Year 2008 was so bloomy and greeny!

Purple Allamanda - Allamanda blanchetii

Desert Rose - Adenium obesum

Rangoon Creeper - Quisqualis indica (right); Asoka - Saraca indica (left)

Though it was built late in the year (during the summer), Plantville grew up so fast and healthy.

Butterfly Pea - Clitoria ternatea - Aparâjita

Cockscomb Crested - Celosia argentea var. cristata

A lovely splash of colors adorned the mini city, welcoming visitors and growing along with them well.

Blue Morning Glory - Ipomoea nil - Krishnabîja

Mexican Flame Vine - Senecio confusus

Plants are the most adorable pets who reward you well, aren’t they? They do survive a day’s starving and regain back soon with proper attention the next day!Plumbago - Plumbago auriculata - Nîlacitraka

Isn’t that the most positive factor about having Plants for Pets?

Oleander - Nerium oleander - Karavîra

They make no noises, would damage your belongings, don’t need to be walked, and many more attractive factors make them a perfect choice as pets. They in fact cheer you up when you're moody with their beautiful greens and blooms.

Wax Rose - Pereskia bleo

They definitely did for me! I wasn’t content with one and on and on grew their population, crowding the Plantville. Some died and some were thrown out for misbehavior.

Sunflower - Helianthus unknownus :D

Cucumber - Cucumis sativus - Trapushpa

Some were tortured badly by their worst enemies, but always recovered and were grateful to me as ever.

Hibiscus - Hibiscus rosa-sinesis - Japâ

I'm going to talk less today and let you enjoy this year’s cheerful pictures of the denizens of Plantville…

Chilli - Capsicum frutescens


Crape Jasmine - Tabernaemontana divaricata 'Flore Pleno'

Purple False eranthemum - Pseuderanthemum carruthersii

Four O'clock - Mirabilis jalapa - Krishnakeli

Cape Honeysuckle - Tecomaria capensis

Ixora - Ixora coccinea

Canna - Canna spp.

Desert Petunia - Ruellia brittoniana

Zephyr Lily - Zephyranthes candida

Rain Lily pink - Zephyranthes grandiflora

Yellow Zephyr Lilies - Zephyranthes sulphurea

May the next year bring us all and our green pets, happy, prosperous, and bloomy surprises!

Dec 30, 2008

Macro Monday (Late)

Sorry everyone for the late post. Off late I've been spending most of the time at office and with the very few time available, I catch up with disturbed sleep and check my emails hurriedly.
By the ways, it's Blue Morning Glory for this week's Macro Monday.
Blue Morning Glory - Ipomoea nil - Krishnabîja

Dec 23, 2008

'Legends of the Ancient Ones' Series

So I finally managed to make Iruvâkshî speak to me of the legends of the plants and trees and here is a really concise version of it –

She inhaled the perfume of the bunch of flowers that set the tree aflame upon which she was leaning. She heaved a sigh and moved a step further, attracted by a bushy growth of Jasmine. Its fragrance filled the air. Jasminum sambac var. 'Belle of India' - Arabian Jasmine 'Belle of India'

She breathed in its strong fragrance and sighed heavily. The thought of her lover afflicted her. Manmatha was agitating her mind with his flowery arrows. The cool blue blooms of the butterfly peas lighted up the early morning sky.Clitoria ternatea - Aparajita (Sanskrit) - Butterfly Pea

It was twisted around a Bilva tree like a lover hanging onto her dear one.

Aegle Marmelos - Bilva/Sivadruma (Sanskrit) - Bael

The sight brought a heavier sigh and her lips dried up. She immediately picked up a bunch of Lantana and sucked its nectar that wet her tongue.Lantana camara var. aculeata - Lantana

As the drops of honey trickled down her throat, a cool breeze whispered something in her ears, carrying with it a stronger fragrance of the nearby rose bush.

Rosa - Rose

Her eyes litup, as though the breeze had informed her of her lover’s arrival. But no! A small hunched figure walked towards her. His disfigured legs crunched the leaves beneath and his yellowing teeth and matted locks made him a terrible sight. Frightened at this sight, she stumbled backwards and leaned once again against the Sorrow-less tree. The touch of it and its fragrance removed her fears away letting her mind think.

She looked at the hunched dwarf in front of her, wearing a beautiful garland of forest flowers around him. She immediately recognized him as her lover, who’d come in disguise. She decided to play his game and looked at him innocently. She greeted him with respect; offered him water to wash his feet, water to quench his thirst, and a mixture of curd, honey, and clarified butter to energize him. The old dwarf looked into her deer-like eyes and said, ‘I’d like to marry you, O’ lady with plantain-like thighs!’

‘I am under my father’s control and hence you should ask him for me,’ replied the beauty shyly.

The dwarf too went to her father and asked for his daughter. Her father replied, ‘My daughter would choose her groom among the assembly of all men.’

Disappointed he came back to the woman who was still leaning against the tree dreamily and said, ‘You father wants you to choose your groom among capable princes. Why would you choose an ugly dwarf among handsome ones!’

At this, the beauty plucked a bunch of flowers and leaves from the tree and placed it on his shoulder and said, ‘I have chosen you right this moment!’

Saraca indica - Asoka - Sorrowless tree

The touch of the nosegay, the fragrance of the flowers, and the promise filled his mind with indescribable delight and he spoke to the tree joyfully, ‘O’ Asoka! I’ve been chosen with your highly pure nosegay and hence you’d be freed from aging and become immortal. You can attain any form that you desire and will bloom flowers as you wish. You’ll be the bestower of desires and endowed with fruits and flowers for all forms of adornment, you’ll be very dear to me. When eaten, your fruits would taste like Amruta (nectar). All kinds of fragrances would emanate from you and would be very dear to the gods. The world would become fearless and happy because of you and this hermitage – highly regarded by Vedas would come to be known as Citrakûta. One who visits this auspicious place gets the fruitions equivalent to Asvamaedha yagnya (a kind of sacrifice) and one who gives up his life here would attain the world of Brahma after death. Since Devî (Pârvatî – wife of Siva) performed tapasya here, she would beget Mahâganapati (Lord Ganesha).

The divine woman described above is Pârvatî and the dwarf is Siva. It’s an incident before their marriage that made the Asoka tree so special and divine. When you say Ashoka, many think of only Polyalthia Longifolia which grows really tall like a narrow pyramid, but the actual Ashoka described in ancient Hindu legends is Saraca indica, which is actually an endangered species. It is considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the forests. So anyone who has some space for a tree, get this beauty and help it survive for ages. Its flowers are beautiful and very fragrant and those who grow trees/plants to used its flowers for worship, this is your best choice.

I bought one myself and potted it up. I know, I know, it’s a tree, but someday when I buy a place it’ll go to mother earth directly and flower crazily. Of course it’d be a treat if it flowers in pot but the woman at the Horticultural Society – where I bought it from, looked at me crankily when I said I’m going to pot it up and as ked if it’d flower when small. She said, ‘No way! It needs space,’ (as if I don’t know that) but hoping against hope, I hope it does flower or at least grow some in the pot.

Note: For those interested in the legend's actual source, it's from Brahma Purâna. The description has been changed a bit to suit the post.

Macro Monday

It's my favorite flower on Macro Monday! Chrysanthemum! mmmm.....By the ways, I need help to identify this beauty's botanical name...

Dec 21, 2008

Where are ye’all?

Where are ye’all, my dear winged friends? Where are the Koels that replied back to my ‘coos’ on Sunday afternoons? I still remember me cooing and the Koels would reply back and if you stop cooing, it’d give you back a frightful coos continuously, as if it’s lost its lover. I don’t see them anymore! Or at least hear their coos anymore!

Where are the welcoming early-morning chirrups of sparrows? They used to be a nuisance when you wanted silence years before, but my ears are aching for them again… My eyes don’t see their cute little figures flitting about. Yes, I do hear their chirps once in a while these days, but where are ye’all hiding?

Even you, O’ Myna? Where are you hiding your beautiful yellow beaks? Are your yellow bordered eyes tired of Chennai-ites? Don’t your yellow feet find relief in Chennai trees? I still do see them (in fact did see one flying by today morning) but not so much!

O’ dear Parrots! Why do you fly away at my sight? Where are all your siblings? Why don’t you kee-kee a lot anymore?

Why wouldn’t ye cocks crow anymore? Do you not see the sun anymore in this polluted sky?

O! My heart bleeds and my eyes bleeds too to see ye’ all! Really, it’s sad that birds have almost disappeared from Chennai (the city I live in – previously called Madras). Not that we had exotic birds visiting us, but we did have the above mentioned birds very commonly visiting our houses, but they’re lost almost-forever. Know why? They’re not fed by people and neither are they given places to live. With structures stacking side-by-side and trees cut down to build bridges, the winged chummies were offended and driven away!

But one consolation is that I see a lots and lots of Pigeons. They lately seem to compete with the Crow population!

Hope people start realizing the importance of birds and begin feeding them…