Mar 27, 2010

Spring with fragrance and beauty

The Spring is here officially and the temperature is hot already at an average of 30 deg. Celsius. I've been talking about starting veggies for long now and I did so two weeks ago. The results weren't great but a few that did germinate are encouraging.
The arrival of Spring is marked by the flowering of Indian Licorice.
Its beautiful bunch of blooms reminded me that Spring isn't far away two weeks ago and Lo, it's here already.
                                            Abrus precatorius - Indian - Licorice - Gunja
The Jasmines followed the queue with its wonderful fragrance wafting in the air, first being the Arabian Jasmine 'Belle of India' (Readers of my older posts might remember the Old Hag who used to tell me the stories from Ancient Legends of Plants).
Right now she's blooming crazily.
Did you notice a unique feature of this flower? Look Closely...
                          Jasminum sambac var. 'Belle of India' - Arabian Jasmine 'Belle of India'
She looks as if a flower has bloomed from the one below - as if one single petaled flower has been placed over the other. Lovely, ain't it!
Arabian Jasmine 'Maid of Orleans' isn't doing bad either.
                   Jasminum sambac var. 'Maid of Orleans' - Arabian Jasmine 'Maid of Orleans'
It's surprising that the River Jasmine is blooming crazily even in this hot climate because we get them in the market only during colder climates. Anyways that's good for me!
                                                Jasminum fluminense - River Jasmine - Mullai
I had a super-duper surprise two weeks ago. As usual, I didn't get what I sowed but something else - this time really cool plants! I sowed Columbines and Lavender but I got these:
Can you guess what these are? At first they seemed like weed but thanks to my instincts, I didn't pull them out.
I'll reveal the identity in my next post. Let's see if you can guess.
Oh yea, I mentioned the basil in my last post and it's grown really well. One looks bleached and the other one is purple.
Is this normal? They're exposed to same amount of light/sun and are beside each other in the same pot but still are differently shaded. Anyways, they taste the same. We made tea and curry out of them. It tasted really good. I'm lovin' it!
                                                                Ocimum basilicum
The Bush tomatoes have grown well and one of the seedling has already started giving out buds.

The 'Golden Queen' Tomato has germinated
and so has Gaura and Pepper.
I did sow another batch of seeds and am waiting for them to germinate with my palms enjoined towards the heaven! Wish them luck...
Here's another clue to that mystery plant...

Mar 9, 2010

The Spring is almost here and the climate is already hot! I envy people from Northern parts of India where I hear it is not yet warm. Hot means watering twice and even if you miss once, you'd end up with sad droopy plants that sometimes might not ever stand back up! Scary, isn't it!
Not much is blooming in Plantville, but those that are, are doing really great like the Pink Ixora.
The Dwarf Oleander is just beginning to bloom after I repotted it. All it's been doing is sending out lots of buds.
The White Oleander is going crazy with its double blooms.
White seems to be ruling Plantville. It is surprising to see that this Jasmine (still trying to find it's botanical name) variety that stops blooming by winter is still sending out two or three blooms every day!
And this Nyctanthes has almost stopped, but for one or two every week.
This Dwarf Ixora seems to welcome the hot sun with the spring coming and so are the Crape Jasmines.
One plant that's really loving this hot sun is this Hummingbird Vine. Its maroon hot blooms really lights up the space. I'm sure this would be welcomed by the cuties over at Catherine's garden. If only, the customs allowed seed shipping, I'd be glad to send some over to her or anyone who have hummingbirds visiting their gardens. I read that the birds love this Vine.
I was speaking of seed starting in my last post and I did start some but only Bush tomato and Purple Basil have germinated.
Others have only weeds in them. Once again, the strawberry seems to have give up on me. Well, the trial would continue.

Looking at all these weed plants and the centipedes in the soil that I buy from nursery, I decided to use coir pith or coco peat as the growing medium. After long, tiring search and many phone calls, I got 4 kgs of coco peat from a dealer here. YAY! I sowed Eggplant, Cayenne Long Pepper, Fennel, Cornflower (I'm longing for these), and Borage. I wish all of them germinate, coz I finally am ready for veggies! I have quite a few radish hybrid seeds but am hesitant to sow them now, as I ended up with junk last year. Do you think this is the right time for radishes? Or do I wait for the end of summer? (It's about 30 deg. C here now - 86 deg. F)