Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - November 2017

For someone hailing from more temperate climes, late fall in Delhi is a curious mix of spring and fall. On the one hand, there is the decidedly autumnal - the temperatures finally fall, and with the rains of the monsoon long over, the vegetation in meadows and road verges yellows and dries up; many tree species begin to shed some or all of their leaves in preparation of the driest and coldest part of the year and many of the tropical shrubs and bulbs that account for most of the color throughout the summer cease blooming and go more or less dormant. Chrysanthemums are budding and will soon take center stage in most gardens. At the same time, this is the time when all the annual flowers and many vegetables commonly grown over the summer in cooler regions are sown or planted, to grow and bloom throughout the winter and spring. Roses, too, are pruned, their beds cleaned up, weeded, and hoed, in preparation for their renewed flowering set to begin in a few weeks. Like spring elsewhere, this also marks the beginning of outdoor season proper, with people moving out their patio sets, restaurants opening their terraces, and mobile vendors offering beautifully simple old-fashioned cane garden furniture making the rounds. Unfortunately, nowadays this has also become the time at which the already problematic smog plaguing North Indian cities becomes exponentially worse, making outdoor living and yard work a sometimes downright dangerous proposition, and adding to the brown-grey dust covering much of the vegetation. My own little balcony garden, by virtue of being on the north side of the building and not receiving any direct sunlight at this time of the year, is definitely more on the declining, autumnal side of things, though I do have some chrysanthemums coming up and some impatiens:

 The last of the globe amaranths (Gomphrena globosa) still blooming

 The poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) I bought early in the fall keeps producing more bracts

A first Impatiens x walleriana blooming

The first flower of a new four o'clock (Mirabilis jalapa) grown from seed collected early in the summer in Udaipur and different not just in color but in habit from my older batch grown from seed collected in the neighborhood park

My very first chrysanthemum to begin to open

The Italian basil has bounced back happily with the cooler temperatures

Marigolds are arriving around town by literal truck loads

To see what is blooming in people's gardens elsewhere, make sure to visit May Dreams Gardens.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Historic Environmental Destruction and the Struggles to Repair It

An interesting article about efforts at reforestation under the challenging conditions of Iceland:

Vikings Razed the Forests. Can Iceland Regrow Them?

Perhaps particularly worth considering in light of all the massive damage we are doing right now...

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Sobering and Scary

Because the vital importance of this really cannot be overstated:

Warning of 'ecological armageddon' after dramatic plunge in insect numbers

We need to a lot better, both in terms of habitat protection and restoration and in curbing chemical use, and we need to do so now.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - October 2017

Here we are already another month later and as usual I have no idea where the time went!  My little balcony garden here in Delhi has been doing ok - cooler temperatures are invigorating some plants, and throughout the city the planting of annuals that takes place in the spring in temperate climes is under way for the exuberant floral displays that characterize gardens in northern India through the winter and spring months. However, for other plants the plummeting humidity and return of the dust after the end of the rains appears to have the opposite effect, and on my balcony plant growth at this time of year is further hampered by the fact that that direct sunlight is largely blocked by the surrounding buildings as the fall sun remains comparatively low in the sky. Nonetheless, a few things continue to bloom quite nicely, and I am adding seasonal bits - like the poinsettias that appear in nurseries here around this time, perhaps in time for Deepavali - here and there.

View westward along the balcony

Four o'clocks and poinsettia yesterday at dusk

One of very few but very double balsam (Impatiens balsamina) flowers I managed to get this year

A little male bitter gourd flower (Momordica charantia)

Double butterfly pea (Clitoria ternatea)

The last little bit of my rice harvest from the one plant that made it

To see what others around the world have blooming, make sure to visit May Dreams Gardens.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Blueberries, Farming, Michigan

This is from a few days ago, but I just got around to it and thought it was interesting:

The Fruits of Covert

It was also nice for once to read something about the state where I spent my high school years that was not just depressing or upsetting...