No more Pinching!

You know exactly where this is going. Bonsai was just the beginning. Beginning of an entire new series of questionable gardening practices. I said “questionable” and not wrong.

Lets start with pinching. A widely approved and accepted Gardening Practice. Pinching plants is a form of pruning that encourages branching on the plant. This means that when you pinch a plant, you are removing the main stem, forcing the plant to grow two new stems from the leaf nodes below the pinch or cut. (Source – GardeningKnowHow – You can check the entire article on pinching here)

 

punchingAs you would have noticed, I have emphasized the words ‘forcing the plant’. My question is, why would you do that? Now before you say because it branches out and becomes bushy and produces more leaves/buds/flowers/fruits etc. All I want to say is it would have eventually done so. When the main stem has grown enough, the plant will branch out. All the pinching is just done to hasten the process. Why? Why can’t we allow them to grow at their own pace and in their own way? Is it so necessary to mold everything to our convenience?

 

Let us go a step further, with pinching we at least had a reason that it would produce more. What about Topiary? Why do we go about chopping plants/shrubs/trees? Just because it is appealing to the eyes? We chop them right till the time we get the desired shape and then we go on chopping to maintain that desired shape. All I wonder is, does nobody find it brutal?

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Lets assume that I have an authority over you or I am powerful than you. Imagine me telling you exactly how you should look. Your weight, height, skin color, hair.. everything. I decide and I impose it on you. How does it feel? If you have attained the kind of weight I want you to have, I stop feeding you. If you’re underweight I feed you unceasingly. I chop your hair to the length I desire and tan you enough so that I get the desired skin color. How does it feel? Well, you didn’t die and I am feeding you as well, so whatever I am doing is right, right?

 

We have come a long way from autocracy to democracy just to support the fact that every human being is equal. Lets take a step forward to support another fact that every living being is equal.

I love plants but not all of them!

There has been a overwhelming liking towards Cacti and Succulents these days. I just don’t understand why! As far as I can see, people love them only because they really don’t need to be watched over. They are fine if you water them once in a week or 10 days. They are fine irrespective of whether you place them indoors or outdoors.

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My point is if you’re looking for that kind of convenience, gardening isn’t the right thing. The entire purpose of Gardening is to develop a relationship between you and plants. And what kind of relationship are you building if you’re watering your plant just thrice in a month?

cactus

Cacti is meant for the areas where nothing else can grow. Why would you keep it at your home when you can grow a lot more beautiful set of flowering plants? But again this is just my opinion. You don’t have to agree! And there are always exceptions like the Aloe! Its a succulent but its proven quite beneficial as it is used to treat cold and cough, its used as skin and hair care. But it still doesn’t explain the growing fad for Cacti.

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After Cacti, its about Bonsai! I just hate the concept of Bonsai. How can somebody prune roots? That is just so gross! Those are trees which, under normal circumstances, grow to a height of 12-50 feet (or even more) depending on which tree it is. How can you just prune its roots, limit its food (nutrients) and stall its growth. It makes me cry. Imagine stalling your child’s growth by not giving it food. Just some liquid so that it is alive and seeing them not grow at all or grow only to a height of 2-3 feet instead of 5-6! How does that feel?

bonsai 2

Do I need to put a disclaimer saying the pictures used in this post are for illustrative purpose only and do not belong to my garden?

Being Reema!

When I started this blog, it was only about sharing my Gardening experiences and a few other Gardening tips and tricks that I had picked up! But something didn’t feel right. Or rather it felt right all throughout until past few weeks.

If you need to know how to grow something you have wikihow. You don’t need to look into #reemasgarden. Then what makes this blog different? How do you know its me.. Reema.. and everything on this blog is authentic?

This question has been haunting me for days and I finally feel I have found an answer. Our flaws make us human! That’s what I have realized and that is all that I am going to speak about for next few days. I want to get candid. I want to tell you all about my mistakes, which I now term as Experiences. I want to tell you all the non-physical/emotional/psychological aspects of Gardening that I have experienced.

One thing I now know for sure is that there is a limit to the physical aspects of Gardening but not to the emotional ones! In more ways than one gardening does turn you into philosopher or Spiritual person or probably both!

Strong-headed opinionated woman.. I have always been.. But I never thought I would let you know that. I didn’t want my blog to be an opinionated one. But then I don’t want my blog to be fact sheet/ database either. So here’s me!

I wish You all the very best! Remember, you always have an option to unfollow me! 😉

 

Gardener’s Confession – My take on Pests

You can call me stupid or sentimental. But this is exactly what I am. I opted to be a Gardener so that in my little way, I could be close to Nature. And Nature encompasses everything; not just the plants.

So, I do everything to ensure that my plants are healthy. But that is where I stop. If they ever get infected with a pest attack, its their fight. Not mine. I believe if plants are living beings so are those insects. I do not kill them with insecticide.

Survival of the fittest it is. If the plant is healthy enough it will resist the pest attack and eventually the insects will disappear. In either case, letting them be as they are is the key and one of the most difficult things to practice.

And every single time there is an urge to get protective, I ask myself, “what do I want my plants to become – dependent or independent?

Gardener’s Confession – Chemical Fertilizers are tempting!

Who doesn’t love instant results?

Its very luring and tempting! You should see the results when chemical fertilizers are applied! The plants go lush green, start blooming ceaselessly, grow very fast and what not! When I use photos from my Garden on the Blog, I know how much better they can be if I did use those chemical fertilizers; especially in case of container gardening!

Then why not go for it? Because there will be days when you’re not regular with the supply of fertilizers or for that matter even water. There will be days when the plants have to sustain by themselves. That,my friend, will be time where an organically grown plant would outlive the chemically grown one.

And there are going to be several of those days. Days when there is excess work at your workplace (or exams if you’re a student), days when you or somebody in your family is not keeping well, days when you’re traveling or recovering from your jet-lag, and many more.. You want your garden to survive through all of it.. don’t you? Then, Go Organic!

Happy Gardening 🙂

Gardener’s Confession – I don’t have a green thumb either!

Let’s get Candid here!

There are so many things that I want to share. Lets start from here. I have so many people coming up to me and saying “You know what, I don’t have a green thumb!”  And all I want to say is “Neither do I!”

I want to get this straight – Gardening, like any other skill is acquired by learning and practice! There is nothing like an inherent ability or talent! If I can, anybody can!

If you’re under the impression that our parents or grandparents were better than us at Gardening, all I want to say is “of course they were. Most of them grew up in villages and even if not, they were surrounded with a lot of plants since childhood. Those Gardening activities that they are good at, was a part of their upbringing, which we lacked to some extent!”

So rule No.1 – Stop comparing yourself with your parents/grandparents!

Everyone makes mistakes. So do I! A lot!! Yes! I just realized that I have not spoken much about my mistakes. Gives an impression as if I am a perfectionist! No I am not! I just never spoke much about them. But I guess I need to. Its okay if you make mistakes. What is not okay is, you not knowing where you went wrong. You cannot afford not to learn from your mistakes. 

So if you want to know, have plants died in my Garden because of my mistakes, YESSS!! They did. The only difference, I realized where and what went wrong.

So rule No.2 – Its okay to make mistakes! Don’t be hard on yourself.

We are dealing with living beings. I want you to understand this. The way we humans are little broken.. Some are differently-abled, some women can’t conceive, some suffer from chronic depression and others from kidney failures. Even plants are that way. Not every plant can bear flowers or fruits. Not always do you have to go on adding fertilizers incessantly. Sometimes you just have to let them be the way they are, accept and love them. Can you do that for me?

Lastly, you also need to accept yourself! I tried growing Dahlias at my place. I first bought a dahlia plant from nursery and it lived for a year. Second time I tried growing them from seeds. Both the times I realized there was something that I was not getting right. May be it was the climate or that they really needed chemical fertilizers to survive- I don’t know what. But I stopped growing Dahlias. I had a choice. I could keep frustrating myself over the Dahlias or I could just move to 500 other options that I had. I moved.

You have so many options. Start from something that is zero risk and then move yourself up. I am always there to help you. Take up Gardening.

Trust me when I say this, “If you have a thumb – Its green!”

Flowers, flowers and More Flowers!

Now that we know flowers help attract bees, butterflies and birds; let’s get a bit more specific about what kind of flowers. We also discussed about single petaled flowers being better than the double petaled ones.

  • The next thing is to incorporate as many colors as possible. Its true that colorful flowers attract bees and butterflies more than the usual white flowers.

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  • Also add as many different variety of flowers as possible. Fruit vegetables are a great option too.

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  • Prefer both Bunch flowers like Ixora and Pentas as well as individual flowers like hibiscus.
  • Have flowers for all the seasons.
  • Go 100% organic.

 

Single Vs. Double

We know flowers help attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

We also know that the flowers have to be native/indigenous!

What next?

It is said that the bees and butterflies prefer single petaled flowers more than double.

Confused? Look the following pictures. The images to left indicate single petaled flowers and the images to the right are double petaled ones.

Opt for single petaled flowers the next time.

Happy Gardening 🙂

Disclaimer: The images in the post are used for illustrative purposes and do not belong to reemasgarden.wordpress.com

Go Indigenous!!

The first time I heard the word Indigenous (with reference to plants) I knew for sure they were referring to the genus of plants originating in India!! Well, I did realize that I should refer a dictionary and not come up with my own interpretations!!

So what is Indigenous? Indigenous means originating or occurring naturally in a particular place; native. (To me, who stay’s in India, the misinterpretation and correct interpretation didn’t really make a difference though 😉 )

So, Why should we go for Indigenous plants?

Because only and only indigenous plants help you attract the fauna!! By fauna, I mean, the birds, bees and other insects!

So how do we identify these native plants?

The simplest and most useful trick I use here in India – I check if there is a name for the plant in local language. If the local language has a name for the plant it definitely is a local/native/indigenous plant.

If I know only the English and/or Botanical name of the plant, I know its not indigenous to India or my State!

Gardener’s Confession: Yes, I do have a few plants that are not indigenous, but a majority of them are Indigenous!! 🙂 😉 🙂