Living in the moment

How do we live in the moment when we are all but running around with our hectic schedules and busy screen times? Is it even necessary to live in the moment? It’s for you to decide, but let me say something before you weighed in on your answer

What will happen when you are living in the moment? In moments of stress, you will see more than just your stress. Maybe you’ll notice the gorgeous greens around you, living fully and give you some hope. When you feel alone, maybe you’ll feel the vast amount of living you hadn’t considered before. When you feel small, you will see the little saplings under the towering trees and know it is okay to be small and grow in your own pace. When you feel down, you know you will be much, much better when you just get a little bit of rain or sunshine!

Living in the moment will let you see the little things that have been overlooked for so long, the little things that can actually let you live more naturally. So, let me ask you again, is living in the moment necessary? I’ll leave it for you to decide 😉

Cocopeat

What is cocopeat?

Coir, or coconut fibre, is a natural fibre extracted from the outer husk of coconut and used in products such as floor mats, doormats, brushes and mattresses. Coir is the fibrous material found between the hard, internal shell and the outer coat of a coconut. COCOPEAT is a byproduct that remains after the extraction of coconut fibres from husks/shells. It is also called “coco fibre pith” or coir-dust.

Advantages:

• It is high in nutrition

• Retains huge amounts of water thereby helping soil to stay moist for a long time.

• The structure of the cocopeat particles makes it excellent for improving aeration within the pot/container.

• Light in weight.

• Natural, organic and renewable. 

• Best Part – it is made from a byproduct.

Disadvantages:

• Expensive.

• It is not the sole medium to grow plants. It needs to be used along with other mediums like gardening soil, organic compost, etc.

• Coco peat generally has an acidity in the range of pH – 5.5 to 6.5, which is slightly too acidic for some plants, but many popular plants can tolerate this pH range.

Cost Benefit Analysis:

Cocopeat gets a big thumbs up and is definitely worth the time, money and energy you spend on procuring it. It is easily available on all the ecommerce platforms. The biggest thing to remember is to use it in potting mix as it works the best in potting mix along with other mediums like gardening soil, compost, etc. Use it in little quantities and always remember that cocopeat retains a lot of water so use it only for the plants that love a good amount of soil moisture. Do not use much for indoor plants and never use it in your succulent mix.

Indoor Plants

We have often talked about flowering plants and most of the people do gravitate more towards the flowering plants like bees, and understandably so. But can we give it a moment for our lovely foliage special house plants for a minute here?

They are so unique, there’s almost other worldly feel to them. All plants have different needs but indoor plants are especially different. A lot of them are sturdy and low maintenance and an absolute pleasure to have in your indoors.

There are a few plants which are flowering and will be happy indoors, like anthurium or peace lily and cactus flowers but the exceptional foliage on them gives any room they are in a unique look, a different vibe.

What are your favorite indoor plants? Let us know in the comment section below!

Gardening is Magic

There’s some magic that happens when you are working in your garden, whether it be indoors or outdoors… For me, it’s a trance like state, almost meditative when I am aware of everything and yet, of nothing else. There comes a point, after which I don’t think about what I am doing, all the work happens naturally, in the flow…

After a minute or two, you can feel your body temperature rising, beads of sweat forming and dropping into the garden, almost making the garden sweeter. You don’t have to sweat in your garden so to say, but for me, it is a sweet experience. It helps me calm down, helps me focus and yet, let go.

The textures on your hands, the pulled muscles from doing some work, overall heat, various scents, be it sweetness of flowers or tartness of the soil and compost, may be even earthy smell of vegetables or the citric fruitiness from any fruits you may have in your garden, all of these surrounds you like a cocoon, filling you with warmth, love and positivity!

So it is safe to say, gardening for me is a magical experience…
What are your thoughts?

Clematis

Clematis is a genus of about 300 species within the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae. In this post, we will be discussing about Clematis flammula (or that is what I think is the closest to the species I am going to describe. Kindly correct me if I am wrong. However the incorrect identification of species won’t affect the content of this post as all the care, maintenance and other suggestions are based on personal experiences and I know they work well. 😀 ). So let’s dive into it!

It is cultivated worldwide as an ornamental plant in gardens. The woody vine bears fragrant white flowers and small green achenes. When the flowers are newly opened they have a strong sweet almond fragrance. (I just wrote almond fragrance and I have written vanilla scent in the above image. How do we decide on the name of fragrance? Anyways, you can buy this plant, smell the sweet scent and then call it whatever you like) The vine grows in a tangled mass that is heavily sprinkled with flowers throughout the warmer months. It is popular with gardeners as a decoration along fences and trellises, or as ground cover. If the vine has no other plants or structures to climb on, it will climb on itself, forming a large, densely tangled bush. The plant sends out many shoots and can reach over five meters in height.

Let’s talk about care and maintenance. But before we do that, here are a few common names of clematis.

This plant is very easy to care for and requires very little time and effort. Once you have trained the vine to grow thee way you want, rest everything is pretty simple. I have trained my jasmine vines, but not this one. I have let them grow straight up vertically with the support of a wooden stick. Remember, as i have mentioned earlier, if the vine has no other plants or structures to climb on, it will climb on itself, forming a large, densely tangled bush.

Here’s how I would like to sum up this post!

‘Fern’tastic Garden

Especially where I am from, Fern isn’t a common name that wouldn’t pop up in my mind when we start talking about plants in our garden. When I first came across Fern, a Boston Fern to be exact, I was a little out of my comfort zone since I had never had the plant, neither had I seen it in my friends’ or relatives’ garden.

Now, looks wise, I had to agree that it was absolutely beautiful and agree that getting it home was indeed a good choice. The plant sat nicely near my Pothos, both of them giving amazing “pinteresty” vibes with their different, yet vibrant earthy colors. It was amazing how easy fern is to have in your indoors, and it will grow beautifully wherever it is kept.

So, after having it on a shelf, hanging basket, table, or window, I came to the conclusion that fern was, a very ferntastic plant and that ferny puns too are awesome! 😉

Click here to read more about Fern!

Vermiculite

What is Vermiculite?

Vermiculite is a hydrous phyllosilicate mineral which undergoes significant expansion when heated. Exfoliation occurs when the mineral is heated sufficiently, and commercial furnaces can routinely produce this effect. Vermiculite forms by the weathering or hydrothermal alteration of biotite or phlogopite.

Advantages:

1.      Very light in weight

2.     Helps with aeration inside the pots.

3.     Helps with better water retention.

4.     PH neutral (or close to neutral)

5. Great for germination mixes.

Disadvantages:

  1. Has minimum nutritional value
  2. It’s a nonrenewable resource. Hence we need to use it wisely.
  3. Cannot be used independently. Has to be used with other soil growing mediums.

Cost Benefit Analysis:

Where the native soil is heavy or sticky, gentle mixing of vermiculite—up to 15% of the volume of the soil—is recommended. This creates air channels and allows the soil mix to breathe. Mixing vermiculite in flower and vegetable gardens or in potted plants will provide the necessary air to maintain vigorous plant growth. Where soils are sandy, mixing of vermiculite into the soil will allow the soil to hold the water and air needed for growth. Vermiculite is also not very expensive and can  be bought easily. Vermiculite is definitely better than perlite when it comes to water retention. But like perlite it is also a natural non renewable resource and needs to be used carefully.

Flowers (Part 2)

There are so much variety when it comes to flowers that bloom on the surface of this planet that I am awestruck at the abundance and uniqueness of it! Now, being in a tropical region, I have come across a lot of perennials and annuals that bloom around here indigenously or otherwise.

For me, I definitely love our usual yet, refreshing outdoor flowers, whether it be hibiscus, champa, gerbera, chrysanthemums, canna, passion flower, rose, and so many others which; if I start naming individually, will take up all of the post!

Flowers need not be scented for me to like them, I like them either way, just as they are; absolutely perfect. They bring color in our lives and some newness in a relatively mundane routine…

What type of flowers do you like? Let us know in the comment section below!!!

Flowers

I was writing about colors last week, cup of tea on my desk, blank screen waiting to be filled out, my desk succulents and a color out of the window caught my eye. A bougainvillea blossomed with pink flowers swaying in the afternoon breeze. And was it a sight!

I wasn’t head over heels for bougainvillea as such, but looking back, just passing by a bougainvillea tree that’s maybe poking out of someone’s compound or just growing all by itself on a road side gives us such a freshness!

It is a break from the greys of urban areas and the neon of embellished greys. Flowers in general are so incredibly beautiful that words can rarely do it justice. Just like plants, these flowers have their own personality! Happy ones, melancholic ones, the blues, the whimsical, sun-lovers and nocturnal, the bold ones and the shy. Do you think any particular flower suits your personality?