Summer

Yellow-browning drying leaves, gusts of warm breeze and buzzing bees… Summers show us the side of nature that ends a cycle, preparing the earth for a new one. The warm hues everywhere, overheated air and yellowing greens gives us some different vibes altogether. Like a glass of cool water after a sunny day, looking at a patch of green will also give our eyes and mind a much-needed break. May it be a small patch of lawn, a small garden, a single vibrant house plant or the colorful summer trees that we find every now and then on our roads. One such indigenous tree that sticks out is ‘Flame of the Forest’. One summer while traveling through the mighty Sahyadri mountain ranges, I saw a patch of red, and even through the summer heat, it was stunning! It was befitting the whole scenario. It reminded me that though summer may not be my favorite season by far, it most definitely had some peculiar, unique beauty to it!

How do we spend summers at home while isolating?

This question has been the bane of our life especially since last summer. Work at home is another thing, and then spending all our time at home later becomes something of a stretch sometimes. If there are children in your home, it becomes especially difficult to keep a balance.

In times like these, I would want to tell you to try to get your family involved in activities like home gardening. Getting to know the basics like watering, potting, repotting, soil, compost can be a fun activity which also teaches you something new. Gardening is something that needs no age limit. Giving your children some responsibilities of say, watering your plants some days of the week could be something that will help them in multiple ways as well as you. The beauty of gardening is that it has very few limitations so whether you want to garden alone or with someone, your garden can make your summer at least slightly better!

Since we are currently in the middle of the summer season, I thought it was best to talk about something related to spending summers indoors

Especially since the summer of 2020, we have been going through a lot of changes, and some of these have been getting to us without even us knowing. The complex and constant changing rules and regulations, disturbing news, odd mandatory confinement has started changing us on some level. Now that we know how we cannot be taking things for granted, I would like to share my opinion on something and I am not saying it just for nothing, I truly want you to try this.

If you don’t already have a garden, start gardening, start with a single plant. Especially in summers when the temperatures are rising and you are stuck in your home with probably odd people in there with you as your company, you need something like a plant to soothe your mind sometimes. To give you a different hobby, to help your mental calm, and to teach you to not give up ever!

So are you ready, because the best time to start something new is now!!!

Portulaca

You have heard about it, you have it or you probably want it! Here’s everything you would want to know about Portulaca! There are many species of portulacas. In this post, we are discussing mainly about Portulaca Grandiflora. The leaves are cylindrical, about an inch long and pointed on the tips. The rose-like flowers are about an inch across and come in bright colors like rose pink, red, yellow, white, and orange. Portulacas are commonly known as 9 o’clock flower or 10 o’clock or 11 o’clock flower, because they bloom at the same time everyday. The time changes based on region. In India, mostly it is referred to as 9 o’clock flower or “Naubajiya”. Many people also refer to it as “Chini Gulaab”.

Botanical Name: Portulaca grandiflora
Common Names: rose moss, eleven o’clock, Mexican rose, moss rose, sun rose, rock rose, and moss-rose, purslane.

They come in both single and double petalled varieties. Both are equally good and beautiful. If you have space in your garden, opt for one each. They are small and compact plants.

These plants are succulents with fleshy leaves & stems which means you don’t want to keep them constantly wet. They need good drainage. Water your kalanchoes well, let it all drain out & then water again when the soil is completely dry. That might mean you
water your portulacas twice or thrice every week. The frequency will vary depending on the temperature, light situation & the size of the pots.

Portulacas love sunlight. So you can go for it if you have a south facing or west
facing window. They need at least 3-4 hours of sunlight.

If they come potted, do not repot them immediately. Repot them after a month or two, that too, if required.

They are annuals. That means their entire life cycle is less than a year. So you can grow different colors every year. Also they are very inexpensive.

You can place them directly or in hanging baskets near windows that receive at least 4-5 hours of sunlight!

Do you like portulaca? Do you have it in your Garden? Comment and let me know! Do share your experiences with portulaca!

Also, if you like this post, don’t forget to check out my ebooks on flowering and indoor plants. Click here.

Happy Gardening 🙂

Perlite

Ever wondered what is perlite? How it is used? Is it really necessary? Well, I heard you, and here’s everything that you need to know about perlite.

Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock. Perlite is an amorphous volcanic glass that has a relatively high water content, typically formed by the hydration of obsidian. It occurs naturally and has the unusual property of greatly expanding when heated sufficiently.

It is an industrial mineral and a commercial product useful for its low density after processing.

Advantage

  • Very light in weight.
  • Helps with aeration inside the pots.
  • Helps with better drainage.
  • PH neurtral

Disadvantages:

1.       It is a myth that it holds water. Perlite is very poor when it comes to water retention and hence must be used in combination with water retention materials.

2.     Has minimum to no nutritional value

3.     It’s a non-renewable resource. Hence we need to use it wisely.

4.    If the granules break – forming a powder, it’s of no use. It is useful only and only because of its granular form.

Cost Benefit analysis:

Perlite is very cheap and needs to be used in very little quantity. So that’s good. However, it is a non- renewable resource and hence can be substituted with other soil amendments available for almost free like sand, very small stones/pebbles. As mentioned earlier, the biggest disadvantage is the misinformed fact that it holds/retains water. So if you’re looking for a soil medium to enhance water- retention, perlite is a big no no.

We are launching Newsletter

Hello my dear readers, followers and fellow bloggers! I am very excited to share that we are coming up with e-newsletter starting 3rd June 2021. After creating two gardening courses, writing two ebooks and several blog posts, this newsletter is something totally different and I love it! I am sure you’ll love it too!!

Here’s what you can expect from the newsletter:

  • ‌Engaging, Insightful & Simple (3-4 min read) article every Thursday in your inbox starting 3rd June 2021.
  • ‌Different topics from what’s in vogue to in depth analysis of gardening practices!
  • ‌No bias, No preaching.. Just facts! We will lay out the pros and cons… You decide!
  • ‌Learning about different aspects of gardening which you would have never thought of looking for!
  • ‌Interactive: You can reply to emails and we would love to discuss the topics in detail with you!
  • ‌Money Back Guarantee: If you’re not happy with the content, you can unsubscribe anytime during the month of June 2021 and we will refund the entire amount! No questions asked!
  • ‌One year subscription – Rs. 99/- Subscribe Now!

Click here to subscribe!

Kindly subscribe as soon as you can! We are enrolling only 1000 subscribers only. The reason being, I want to curate the content for the subscribers. Hence, the limit. We have always been communicating here and you know the kind of content I put out. I feel we should take our communication to next level, hence the limit of 1000 subscribers. I know, it’s a month’s time to 3rd June, but please do subscribe as soon as you can.

If you have any questions, you can drop them in the comment section below or write to me at info@reemasgarden.com or whatsapp me on +91 7045323927. Thank You!

Love,
Reema.

Seasons

The word “season” probably was inspired by the vastness and expected mysteries that accompany the huge matter that is the sea. For, a season is nothing but recurring time. And seasons are nothing but yesterday’s steps of nature, no? The same seasons that make our surrounding lush green go to browns and yellows and back to green again. The changes that happen in nature are probably as vast as the sea is, and the minute yet exact changes that happen at the right season, that vary with even slight geographical changes is incredible! Nature has always been so inspiring and seasons are just a natural part that happens in nature; naturally.

Gardening and Minimalism

One of the biggest drawbacks in current times is that when we say Minimalism nobody looks beyond decluttering.. Minimalism is lot more than decluttering or the number of items you own.. To begin with, Minimalism is understanding that we need very little to survive and everything beyond that is a “choice” which you have to make for yourself! It applies equally to tangible and intangible things!

It is about how we identify ourselves (or if I may say, how we search for ourselves, our self-worth, our self-identity in the things we own).

And in this process of understanding what things mean to you… You discover what truly matters.. What makes you happy on a deeper level… And this journey of self-discovery is what Minimalism is all about!

Minimalism is often construed as such a rigorous practice with owning so little… And denying yourself the pleasure of indulgence… And that’s not the case… The only reason you feel that way is because it has been imposed as a concept on you… And nothing that has been imposed is going to last long.. Even if it’s a good thing… That is where gardening comes into picture…

When you observe plants (everyday.. day after day) take in so little and give so much, you realize that we need very little for survival… And everything else is a choice… Now that you have acknowledged the power of choice..

There are only two things that can happen – you turn towards minimalism, conscious consumerism and sustainable lifestyle…. Or you continue with your current lifestyle and develop an immense sense of gratitude for all the luxuries you enjoy.. Both of which, is the most profound impact plants & Gardening can have on your life and lifestyle!

Summer

There are different types of ideas that pop up in our minds when we think of “Summer”.

Those who live in the western or northern countries where it snows, summer is a welcome change from all the snow and means time for daisies, lilies, petunias and peonies and lots of sunshine! In tropical countries like India (where I’m from), the idea of summer comes with a different set of thoughts and problems

Our Reema’s Garden office last year was on the top floor with hardly any trees along the majority of the vicinity. Most of us are not new to the concept of power cuts coupled with lack of water. So Summers especially were pretty tougher than the other seasons

I wasn’t new to the concept of Indoor Gardening but because especially in India, the idea was somehow not too common, I had a slight reluctance when it came to getting my first set of Indoor Plants, yet once they were in my office, I knew the reluctance was for nothing. One thing that changed almost overnight is that my office felt cooler, literally and metaphorically.

The hottest room in our office was bearable to be in even with an electricity cut and the amount of water majority of them needed was also manageable. It’s been a year since I found out how much I needed these little plants in my indoors and I am so glad to have something to beat the heat from the very start this year!

The Soil.. The Mud.. The Dirt.. The Earth!

When we think about gardening, one of the first things we think about are the flowers, foliage, or perhaps the plant has a unique looking feature. The one thing we don’t think about but is perhaps one of the most important things, is the soil.

You all know what soil is… It is the skin of the earth and the reason it is one of the most important things is because it is capable of supporting plant life and is vital to life on earth. Gandhiji once said, “Land is not merely soil, it is a fountain of energy flowing through a circuit of soils, plants and animals” Soil is not just something that is sitting there though. It helps me in so many more ways than the usual ones, one of my earliest memories is the smell of soil after rain. The smell gives me a sense of peace and tranquility.

As a child, I used to love to play in mud and soil while my mum gardened. It was the most important thing to me than to play with soil, feeling the different textures of soil with different amounts of water in it. Writing this, I know what I am definitely going to do today after finishing all my work. So, in short, though soil is one of the most complex things, in a way it is the simplest and gives us some unadulterated experiences.

The satisfaction of Gardening

Satisfaction is a feeling of content, of being happy and fulfilled. What better example do we have to know satisfaction than from the greens we have at home??

The efforts you put in, all the planning that you do, some of which works well while some doesn’t… The patience while you see the slow and steady growth, and the beautiful moment when you realize that the whole process in itself is the fruit is what these little greens do to you.

For me, I learn from my plants sometimes unknowingly and so many times, I know the contentment and happiness that is waiting on the other side of the efforts is what satisfaction is for me.