This time of year is in some ways a bit of an interlude in gardening here in North India. From late April onwards the day-time temperatures tend to hover decidedly above 40°C/105°F and there is very little precipitation before the onset of the monsoon in late June. In the face of these conditions, the cottage garden annuals and bulbous plants that are the stars of most Indian gardens and parks during the winter and spring - think sprawling expenses of petunias and annual phlox, nasturtiums clambering everywhere, blocks of fragrant stocks, whole armies of enormous dinner-plate dahlias - rapidly wither away. Their replacements - zinnias, cockscomb, Madagascar periwinkle, and so on - do not really kick in until the rain. The only time that is really pleasant to be outside is early in the morning. Even so, there are quite a few things in bloom. Yesterday morning I managed to get out early and take a walk around Lodi Gardens, one of Delhi's oldest and most elaborate parks, and the surrounding fairly posh area and there was plenty of vegetation looking its best.
A Pride of India or jarul tree (Lagerstroemia speciosa), the crape myrtles much bigger cousin, on a quiet residential street
A close-up of a jarul inflorescence
Shady green at the entrance to Lodi Gardens
Bonsai are really popular here
In the bonsai display area
Lots of growth in the herb garden this time of year
Gorgeous shell ginger (Alpinia zerumbet)
Curcuma aeruginosa blooms with the emergence of the leaves
Bauhinia tomentosa unfortunately only looks this lovely early in the morning as the flowers quickly wilt in the heat
Arabian jasmine (Jasminum sambac), now in bloom along many of the gardens' paths
My own little balcony garden is muddling along - the first plants I bought are finally beginning to take off; it seemingly took them a month to adjust to their new surroundings. Later additions are still not really doing much and many seedlings, contrary to what one would expect with eat and attentive watering, are growing excruciatingly slowly. As always, learning to garden in a new place brings new experiences and challenges.