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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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.

 

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..

butterfly
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

 

 

 

What if I am on a vacation? How do I water my plants?

This problem has been topping the charts and has been one of the primal causes as to why one does not have plants. The fact that plants dry up or die when they are not watered is really worrisome.  It is very obvious that we would not be around all the time to water the plants. There are many ways to tackle this problem. So don’t worry about the agony and the pain of seeing dried plants after returning home from your vacation. Here are a few tricks that will help you save your plants!

Always mulch the pots and move them away from sunlight before leaving. To know more about mulching, click here.

Option 1: Self Watering Pots

There are many types of self watering plants available. Yes, they are expensive as compared to the regular pots. But its worth it as with them around, you have to water the plants just once in a week. Have a look at these! Click on the images to know more!



Option 2: Plastic Bottles

Option 3: Bottle with thread idea

Option 4: If it is a monsoon season, you can place them in an open space like your building terrace or open Balcony.

Option 5: Request your neighbors/friends/relatives to water the plants. You can also place the plants in the corridor/terrace/community space which would make it easier for the neighbors to water them.

Option 6: Drip Irrigation Kit

You can use an automated Drip Irrigation System. If you have a manual drip Irrigation installed, you can just add a Timer to it. You can also use a manual drip Irrigation and connect it to neighbor’s tap/ Community Tap and request them to water the plants. Click on the images below to know more.

None of the above steps are required if you’re going out for 3 or less days. In such cases Water the plants three hours before leaving and again water them thoroughly just before leaving.

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10 Awesome Minimalist Garden Ideas to begin with!

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Please Help!

Hi Friends! As you know, I am a Gardner and my life is all about my Plants. However I have decided to take it a step further. I am now studying Human-plant relationship! Please help me to get a better insight into this relationship by putting in your perspective.

Here’s a link to the Survey!

https://goo.gl/forms/OTXIW3sdobivlcHy1

It will take just 5mins!

Thank You!

Composting – 4

How will you know if the compost is ready?

It normally takes around 3 months for the composting process to get completed.

You know your composting process is going well when you can sense a slight heat in your compost bin.

Also slowly the contents will start turning black. When all the contents in the compost bin have turned black, the compost is ready.

COMPOSTING – 1

As we all know compost is nothing but decayed organic material used as fertilizer for growing plants. We also now know about the nutrients required by plants. Now all we have to do is add these nutrients to compost and eventually add the compost to the soil. But the question is to identify which organic material contains which element!

I’ll give you a very brief identification methodology:

Carbon : Anything brown in color contains carbon. Let’s take for example a leaf. Leaf when green in color does not contain much carbon but a dried leaf which is brown in color is a very rich source of carbon. Similarly you can use sawdust or rice husk.IMG-20160825-WA0027

Hydrogen & Oxygen : Plants obtain the required quantity of Hydrogen and Oxygen from water(H2O). So keep watering the plants regularly !! 🙂

Nitrogen : Anything green in color has nitrogen in it. So all the green leaves and kitchen waste (which are mainly fruit and vegetable peels) act as an excellent source of nitrogen.

Phosphorous & Potassium : One logic says any fruit or vegetable will have phosphorous and potassium in it because it is utmost necessary for its growth. So if you add any fruit or vegetable to the compost it is sufficient. You need not add fresh fruits and vegetables to the compost. Any leftover or spoiled or unconsumed fruits/vegetable can be added to the compost. This logic applies for all the elements here on. But if you are still not satisfied you can add rock phosphate (directly to the soil) which is an excellent source of phosphorous. You can also add wood ash (directly to the soil) which acts as an excellent source of potassium as well as phosphorus.IMG-20160825-WA0021

Calcium & Magnesium : You can add calcium rich fruits/vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, banana, papaya, sweet potato, etc. I repeat you need not add fresh fruits/veges. You can add their peels or leftovers or the spoiled parts that you will not be consuming.

I would not appreciate you spending even a single penny for making compost!! The whole motto of making a compost is to use all the kitchen and garden waste. Happy Gardening!! 🙂