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...

Friday, October 6, 2017

Rice Update

Growing rice continues to throw up new challenges. After my very last rice seedling here in Delhi finally developed nicely and headed perfectly a little over a month ago, I thought I was finally in the home stretch. Then last week while I was out during the day, some animal - my suspicion is on one of the monkeys that occasionally clamber over the walls, balconies, and roofs of the neighborhood - decided to rip up anything grass-like in my balcony garden. Nothing else was damaged at all, but my lemongrass was shredded, some freesia sprouts were torn, and about half the shoots of my rice plant were ripped off, just short of properly ripening. The culprit did not actually eat them or take them along, so I was able to collect them, but of course many of the grains were still green.

What is left of my rice plant now

Hopefully the remaining panicles will be able to ripen without further disturbances. However, the fact that the balcony hardly receives any direct sun by this time of the year is probably slowing down the ripening of the grains.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Why Genetic Diversity Matters

Yet another interesting article to drive home the point that biodiversity and crop genetic diversity ought to matter to us all:

A Battle to Save the World's Favorite Treat: Chocolate

Also, check out that beautiful rainbow of cocoa pods!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - September 2017

It is hard to believe that yet another month has passed - and I think the plants in my little balcony garden feel similarly, because there has not been much change since the last Bloom Day. For the most part, the same things are blooming now that were blooming a month ago. The one notable development is that my rice plant has begun heading. Now I just hope I can keep ants and birds off it long enough for the grains to ripen.

My tiny little mālatī (Aganosma heynei) has been flowering for weeks now

My one surviving African marigold (Tagetes erecta) has produced its first somewhat ragged bloom

The four o'clocks (Mirabilis jalapa) are all blooming now; I was hoping for some color variations or two-tones, but the magenta is lovely nonetheless

The caladium and betel pepper (Piper betle) seem happy

My banana plants have definitely put on heft

One of several fruits on my bitter gourd vines (Momordica charantia)

New panicles of rice

To see what is in bloom elsewhere, check out Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens!