Jul 26, 2008

The New guests

Hey All!

Things are starting to get more interesting in my Greenies’ world. Strangers have popped out their heads along with the warmly invited guests, to be greeted well. Of course I’d greet them well as long as they’re not nuisance (weeds; and they don’t seem like – at least for now), as here in India, it is believed that along with your guests come in the Gods, Manes, and Divine sages and disappointing the guests would disappoint the invisible companions, which you wouldn’t want to happen obviously.

My mom says some of them are lemon saplings and the others look like the Jasmine creeper, some like the Ixoras. Well, time will say who they’re. Let’s wait and watch, until then, I’ll nourish them well and keep them happy.

About the invited guests, many have heeded my call and have been patient upon my amateurish treatment. Master Bitter Gourd and his little girlfriend have moved into their new home today. Master BG came out faster than his girl and I hope they like their new 6-inch high home comfortable. I filled their home with an experimental furniture.

It’s something like this – Small pieces of thermocol – the same acting as crock-piece at the bottom, regular soil (that I got from the nursery nearby), compost, fertilizer, and coconut husk. I was forced to use thermocol after many days of frustrating shopping at nurseries and seeds shops.

In one of the nurseries, I asked the vendor, “Hi! Do you have perlite?” He looked at me quizzically; I explained, “You know the one used for good drainage and air? The small whitish crystals?”

“No, no! We don’t sell all that.” He smiled apologetically.

I didn’t give up, “How about vermiculite?”

“No sir! I’m sorry, no.” He almost snapped.

“Oh ok... errm... You don’t happen to have peat moss, do you?”

This got him really irritated and said, “Why don’t you check the Ayurvedic pharmacies? They might have the chemicals you’re looking for.” I was so bugged by this reply. I stuffed the cash for my purchase in his hands and drove away without another word to him.

I also checked with few seeds shops who sell agricultural products and even they shook their heads. After searching over the Internet for alternative I finally came up with thermocol bits, something I could get easily and used it for the Gourd family. I hope they like their new home and get accustomed to it quickly.

I was actually gonna speak about my Bandhûka (बंधूक - pronounced > Bun-dhoo-kuh Red Ixora – Ixora Coccinea) – that’s what it’s called in Sanskrit (the one language I love the most) that got itself adapted in my garden pretty quickly and she started flowering profusely since the day one. The day after I planted her, I started seeing Ixoras all around – it so happened that the government decided to plant flora all around the city and guess which plant they chose? Ixora! In most of the places it’s the pink or orange flowered ones. The most saddening thing is many of them died within a week due to the extreme heat and no water.

Ixora is actually believed to have been given its name from the Sanskrit word Îsvara which is an epithet for Lord Siva and the flower’s very dear to him too. Ixoras do well in acidic, well-drained soil and love full sun, but would grow well even in shade (mine gets sun for an hour or more). I have another tiny Ixora plant shaded by the larger one and it’s growing really slow. If you plan to grow it in pots, you might want to get the ones that give out tiny flowers (it’s so cute to see them in pots, fully flowered). It’s the best shrub for the Indian (Tropical) Climate that rewards you with minimal care. It’s my view that this is a must-have for all gardeners due to its never-fading beauty. Work’s beckoning me... See you all later with other plants in my Greenies’ world... Now, they need a name don’t they? Hmmm.... I’m thinking...


A wildlife gardener said...

We have nothing as exotic as an ixora in our northern hemisphere gardens, though we can have them indoors, of course.

Actually, I always find it so interesting to see plants which I can only grow indoors growing wild ..sometimes with gay abandon...when I'm on holiday in countries where the temperature is hot. 20-24 degrees is hot for us, whereas I'm talking about temperatures of up to 36 degrees...which is way too hot for me, actually, but I love to see the flora and fauna which live and survive in these temperatures :)

Chandramouli S said...

It's a great surprise to me too, when I read online that plants like Petunias cannot survive on hotter climates but I've seen them in Chennai too (blooming abundantly) where the day temperatures even during winter might go upto 20 deg. Celsius, but plants like humans seems to have ways to adapt themselves and I'm happy they're doing so, all the same.