Reminder: Plants are living beings!

I know it sounds and looks weird…. but we do need a reminder every now and then…

Especially after a beautiful flower series… This is a mandatory post.

Don’t buy plants only for their aesthetic appeal.. Don’t force them to look a particular way. They have their individuality like you have yours. They don’t have to look the way you have imagined it to be. One single flower is as beautiful as a bunch of 15-20 flowers. A plant serves more purpose than just producing flowers. Don’t force the plant to produce excessively by adding excessive chemical fertilizers. Treat a plant like your child!

Happy Gardening 🙂

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Flower Garden – Part XX – Firecracker Flower

Heyy friends.. this is the last one in the series… Its called the Firecracker Flower or Crossandra infundibuliformis.

It is native to southern India but I believe it can be grown in several different regions as this plant has received Award of Garden Merit from Royal Horticultural Society in 2017.

3 main reasons to have this plant:

The flowers are very beautiful… But the Buds are even more beautiful 🙂 🙂 🙂

Crossandra is perfect to add that light orange color to your Garden! They have multiple blooms at any given point of time.

These are very easy to maintain these plants.

Plant them in Big Pots. Add sufficient compost while potting them and then once in every 45-60 days.

Happy Gardening 🙂

 

Flower Garden – Part XIX – Asian Jasmines

I really wanna talk about these 2 Jasmines which are native to Asia/India.

The first one is Tabernaemontana divaricata or commonly called pinwheel flower, crape jasmine, East India rosebay.  Also called as Tagar or chandni in Hindi.

The second one is Gardenia jasminoides

To my friends across continents… Both these jasmines are native to Asia… I don’t know how well they’ll fare in your countries. But they subtropical plants… So no harm in trying though 😉

These are very easy to grow plants. Since these are perennials, you just have to buy them once. They don’t need any pruning. Plant them in big pots.

They need good sunlight. If not complete, at least partial sunlight. Keep adding compost regularly, say every month for initial 4 months and then once every 45-60 days.

Happy Gardening 🙂

Plumeria flowers at Reema's Garden

Flower Garden – Part XIV – Plumeria

Often called as CHAMPA or CHAPHA, Plumeria is one of the most easiest growing plants. That is one of the primary reasons why landscape designers/horticulturist use them anywhere and everywhere. You find these plants along the roads, highways, in backyard, residential housing compounds, around commercial buildings, parks, gardens, everywhere.

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3 reasons why you should have plumeria:

They are strong and sturdy.

The flower stays afresh for 10-20 days. The flowers have a very long shelf life. Hence even if the plant blooms just once every month, it looks as if the plant is laden with flowers always.

Flowers in all seasons and has a mild beautiful fragrance to it. It blooms in bunches making it look spectacular.

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Plumeria has more than 300 varieties. Choose the one that is indigenous to your location. Use a big pot to plant them. They need regular supply of nutrients. Add lots of compost while potting them. Later on add compost every 45-60 days for initial 6-8 months and then once in every 75-90 days.

Happy Gardening 🙂

 

Flower Garden – Part XIII – Rangoon Creeper

Combretum indicum, also known as the Chinese honeysuckle or Rangoon creeper, are beautiful flowering vines with Red color flowers found very commonly in Asia. The beauty of these flowers is they start as white colored flowers.. slowly turning pink and then maroon.

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Since they are climbers you can place them in any part of your garden and then place support in the shape and direction as you want them to grow.

They need bright sunlight.

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Keep adding compost every month for initial 4 months and then once every 45-60 days.

They are very low maintenance plants. They have a very high aesthetic appeal and are strong and sturdy.

Happy Gardening 🙂

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!! 🙂 😉 🙂

A Garden is more than just plants!

While we start with plants, a Garden is never just about plants!

A Garden starts with plants..

goes a step further with flowers..

bees

one step further with Bees..

Another step further with Birds..

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This image does not belong to my Garden. But I have seen hummingbird hovering around my Pentas and feeding on its nectar many a times!

Further with Butterflies..

Still further with all the pests, insects, worms and weeds..

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I have got 4 caterpillars in my Garden!

And a final one with predatory birds and insects!

All my upcoming Posts are about completing the Garden and how to go about it!

Hope you Like it!!

Happy Gardening!! 🙂

Also Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook !!

Disclaimer: The images used in the post do not belong to reemasgarden.wordpress.com

 

 

 

Which Veges to grow?

I am often asked, what are the best vegetables to grow at home/balcony/terrace? Well, all!!

So how do you go about deciding which vegetables do you want to grow?

Firstly, always factor in your interest and preference!

Secondly, the season. There are many veges that grow throughout the year but there are also equal number of them who prefer a particular season!

Thirdly, consider the available space in your balcony/terrace.

Now comes the biggest challenge – You’ve a list of 10-15 veges which grow well in a particular season, you’ve enough space for them and you like them as well. So now how do you choose?

CucumbersAlways remember, if it is your first time, things may not workout exactly the way you want them to. So always go the conservative way. Imagine you can harvest a very little quantity everyday. So what would you do with it? I’ll illustrate.

  • What if you harvest just one cucumber? Nothing wrong with it as you can eat it right away or you can use it in a salad with few other veges.

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  • Now, what if you harvest only 5-6 okra in a day and next ones would be ready for harvest only after a week. What would you do? All my south Indian readers are going – we will use in Sambar or in morkutaan!! 😉 😛 Well so if you can use a very little quantity of okra efficiently, go for it or else just reject it!

 

  • Similarly with beans – What if you harvested just 5-6 pods of french beans? You can probably use it in fried rice/vegetable pulav/Biryani.

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  • But what if you harvest just 5-6 pods of broad beans or cluster beans? How would you use them? Well I don’t have an idea so I would reject such veges. But if you know how to use them, go for it!!

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Now, before you decide to plant any particular vegetable, ask yourself, What would you do with an small harvest? Save yourself the pain of growing the veges and then not able to use them properly!! 🙂

Happy Gardening 🙂

Is Relocation the reason?

Is Relocation the reason you aren’t Gardening?

Is it your Work that makes you relocate often? Or may be it is your studies? Or may be it is just you! We all relocate for many a reasons. But all I want to tell you is don’t let the relocation ruin your Garden plans! It is feasible to move your garden to your new home but you may not want to do so for many reasons like:

  • You don’t know if the new home has enough space for all your plants
  • You’re not sure if you can dedicate the time and effort that the garden requires since a new place comes with its new set of demands
  • You’re not sure about the climatic conditions of the new place
  • You believe that – It is best to have local(indigenous/native) plants.

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To put it briefly, you’re expecting to move to a new place in another 3 to 12 months. Hence you’re not willing to start a Garden at your current place. Here are a few things you can definitely try: 

Option #1: Rent a plant 

There are many plant libraries, which function just like book libraries. You can rent a plant (or few plants) for a week to a month depending on your subscription and preference.

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Option #2: Go for Annuals

An annual plant is a plant that completes its life cycle, from germination to the production of seed, within one year, and then dies. Summer annuals sprout, flower, produce seed, and die, during the warmer months of the year. Winter annuals germinate in autumn or winter, live through the winter, then bloom in winter or spring. ( Source – Wikipedia)

In short, go for short-lived plants. These plants live only for 4-12 months. Hence are desirable as they would fade out naturally by the time you have to relocate.

Option #3 Go for Grow Bags

Grow bags cost less than half the cost of pots/planters/containers. They are very light weight which makes them easy to carry. On relocation, you can easily fold your grow bags, put them in carry bag and take them along. So they are Cheap, light-weight and flexible. Since they are cheap, you also have an option to dispose them off!! Click on the image to know more.

Option #4: Grow Your Own Food

Almost all the vegetables are annuals. And by vegetables, I also mean all those fruit plants which are commonly considered as vegetables. So whether it is gourds, beans, peppers, peas or lettuce; they are all annuals. And the list is never ending. It is also a great idea to have an herb garden since herbs mostly fall into annual category.

If you’ve any queries you can put them in comment section below or contact me here.

Let nothing stand in the way of You and Your Garden!

Happy Gardening 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

Your Garden does not need additional water!

Surprising as it may seem you can manage your Garden very efficiently with the existing quantity of water usage. Garden by no means is demanding, especially when it comes to water! So whether you’re facing a water crunch or you believe in water conservation, these tricks will definitely help you save water.

#1 Always Mulch the Soil: Mulching helps to prevent water evaporation from the soil thereby requiring less water. To know more about Mulching click here.

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#2 Use Fresh Cow-dung: Cow dung is excellent to prevent water evaporation and keep the soil well hydrated. Mix 1kg of cow-dung in 5 liters of water and use it to water the plants. This acts as excellent compost, mulch and water retention technique. You can also try making amrutjal. Click here to know more about amrutjal. (Disclaimer : Please do not use fresh cow dung in monsoon/rainy season. The moisture in the soil combined with humidity in the atmosphere will lead to fungal growth.)

#3 Water from Mopping the Floor: It is a great idea to Mop the floor with plain water (without any chemical floor cleaners) and then use it for watering the plants.

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#4 Water from washing clothes: You may not be aware but there are many 100% eco-friendly detergents available in the market. So you can use the water that drains out after washing/rinsing the clothes and use it for watering the plants. In fact its a great idea to connect your washing Machine’s drainage pipe to another smaller pipe that leads directly to your garden or pots.

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#5 Water from Washing Your Fruits & Vegetables: It is a great idea to wash your fruits, vegetables and other food items like cereals and pulses in a container and use the same for watering the plants.

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These are my top 5 water saving techniques. Please add your ideas in the comment section below!

Happy Gardening 🙂