Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - August 2017

On a complete side note before we get to the flowers, today is also Independence Day here in India. My balcony garden here in Delhi does not have much new going on, in part due to a somewhat lackluster monsoon. Even with daily attentive watering, there is a notable explosion of growth and flowering within a couple of days after every good day of rain we get. Conversely, whenever it has not rained for a week many plants begin to notably decline. We are now in one of those dry spells, and with it has not only come drought but also temperatures rising from day to day. Even so, here are a few things that are blooming these days:

Double butterfly peas (Clitoria ternatea

Globe amaranth (Gomphrena globosa), very much the star of the show right now

A coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) grown from a wilted torn branch I found on the street one day

A new addition - the deliciously fragrant mālatī (Aganosma heynei), a native vine that is undeservedly rare in gardens

My two heirloom roses continue to bloom, though in the heat flowers rarely last more than a day, especially if it is sunny; this one seems to be a Bourbon of some kind, the other is 'Gruß an Teplitz'

Hopefully there will be more rain for us in the near future. Meanwhile, see what others have blooming today at May Dreams Gardens.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Indian Travels - Part I: Saheliyõ kī Bāṛī, Udaipur, Rajasthan

A high school friend was visiting the last two weeks, and we did a fair bit of domestic travel. Making our way down the western side of the country, we made stops in Udaipur, Mumbai, and Kochi. Of course saw much of garden interest; one of our first stops was the Saheliyõ kī Bāṛī or "Garden of the Maidens" in Udaipur. Located in the north of the city near the Fateh Sagar lake, this pleasure garden was created in the early 18th century by Maharana Sangram Singh for the women of his court. The garden is renowned particularly for its ornate fountains, including a pavilion in the middle of a bathing tank in an enclosed courtyard in the center of the garden which spouts sheets of water from its roof. This quirky feature is called Bādal Binā Barsāt, or "Monsoon Rain Without a Cloud". While we were, there, however, the actual monsoon was actually in full force, varying behind light drizzle and heavy downpours, which made this water-themed garden appear particularly lush and misty.

A palm-lined path

A lovely door that is probably one of the most photographed features of the garden, based on how often I have seen it on social media

One of hundreds exceptionally lush and sturdy balsam plants, most of which were just beginning to bloom

One of several ornate fountains

Purple globe amaranth (Gomphrena globosa) intermingling with Thunbergia grandiflora

 A waterlily pond with with an even more elaborate fountain and elephant statues spouting water from their trunks

The Bādal Binā Barsāt pavilion in its tank in the center of the garden

A lovely niche overgrown with bougainvillea in the main courtyard

Due to all the rain we did not spend as much time at this garden as we might have otherwise done, and even with the drizzle and downpours it was quite busy with visitors. It is lovely though, and quite special in its quirky playfulness.

Monday, July 17, 2017

About Town

Just a few pictures from some of my park and garden stomping grounds around town, the result of the most recent walks taken in spite of the sticky heat.

In the garden of the Tomb of Najaf Khan and his daughter Fatima

A close-up of some of those blanket flowers (Gaillardia aristata)

A sea of Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus)

White crepe myrtles (Lagerstroemia indica) at the tomb

One of many varieties of Citrus in the tomb garden

View towards the Bara Gumbad or "Big Dome" in Lodi Gardens

A beautiful glazed tile jālī or screen at Lodi Gardens' glasshouse

A section of the historic Athpula bridge in Lodi Gardens

Lodi Gardens' fountains

Now I shall be off to exploring the city some more with one of my oldest friends finally here to visit... :)

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - July 2017

Of course I have once again been neglecting this blog - where oh where does the time go! - but at least I remembered Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, and have a bit more to show for myself. My little balcony garden has grown up a bit and the arrival of the monsoon - which has brought more moderate temperatures, even if the rains so far have largely come in spurts separated by long days of drought - has encouraged growth and flowering.

The Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus) continues to bloom reliably

A dwarf pomegranata (Punica granatum 'Nana') that I recently added to the collection

One heirloom rose flower, tiny due to the heat...

... and another

Seed-grown globe amaranth (Gomphrena globosa) getting started

The double butterfly pea (Clitoria ternatea), much happier in wet weather

 One basil variety... 

... and another

Also check out what others have blooming at May Dreams Gardens!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

When It Rains, It Pours

For most of the past three months, dry heat was the main challenge for my fledgling balcony garden, with most of my plants just surviving rather than really growing, despite my dutiful watering. Now that the rains have arrived that has certainly changed, which more moderate temperatures and high humidity making for some lush and rapid growth.

Some of my plants in the downpour this morning

However, now I am already starting to worry that some of my plants might be on the verge of drowning on particularly rainy days, despite clay pots with proper drainage holes. Some have water standing in them for hours after each thunderstorm if I do not keep pouring it out. At the same time, heavy raindrops - and manually pouring out the excess water again and again - of course also incrementally washes away soil...